The Management of Change

Published April 26, 2013 by Mayrbear's Lair

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Change is an accepted reality in the survival of organizations and plays a significant role in the longevity of a company. It requires organizations to incorporate new practices.  Simply put, change means doing things differently. Change management leaders are looking to achieve goals and objectives from the implementation of strategic planning.  In designing the change process, executives must connect their objectives with the experiences of the past that led to the necessity of change.  In addition, leaders must tune in and engage in active listening to personnel in order to reconstruct and comprehend from the input, the way they perform, and use their intellect to assist in the management of change. Employees in this instance become involved as peers and confidantes who can challenge, alter, or replace the assumptions and goals of upper management (Neilissen & Martine van Selm, 2008). In other words, staff members become co-producers in the communication process that leads to the designated change.  This research examines various elements that organizations procure in the planning and execution of change and the methods they implement to help them achieve their goals.

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Change Mechanisms

Yarberry (2007) suggests that at the core of change management, information and general control is required to support business functions. He postulates that while change control is conceptually simple, the mechanisms implemented and observed require attention to detail as well as support. His research concludes that change management cycles must address the following questions: What is the size and significance of the change? Who is requesting the change? Is the end goal possible to achieve? Is there urgency? What are the obstacles? How many people will be required to complete the project?  Full change management is a bureaucratic experience and a complicated process. If the tasks are coalesced and the participants meet regularly, it can be made to work efficiently. Creating templates, workflow plans, and good communication will help make the process more effective (Yarberry, 2007).

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Stanley’s (2007) research extrapolates that management development and organizational change are deeply connected. His studies suggest that management development is often focused on technical and professional skills rather than the more complicated contexts of change which include the structural, cultural, political, emotional, and psychological influences involved in change. The regularity and intensity of change that most organizations are subject to highlights the importance of effective management development. Some of the greatest challenges an enterprise faces are from ineffective leadership and a lack of effective organizational change. This includes the recruitment of individuals, retaining (and most important) the development of strong managers, and creating a successful management team (Stanley, 2007).

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Change Programs

Efficient programs of change must be highly effective at communication. Merrell’s (2012) research suggests that there are six components that influence the success of change. The ability to: (1) lead, (2) communicate, (3) learn (4) measure, (5) involve, and (6) sustain the organization during and after the process.  To elaborate on these components further, leaders must first, for example, present a clear vision with intents and purposes to inspire confidence in the workplace.  In addition, the best decisions occur when executives are better informed. This is achieved by involving the personnel who are affected by the change with their input and feedback.  Good communication fosters the learning process and helps to motivate employees. Next, staffers must engage in the learning process to acquire knowledge and the necessary skills needed to make adaptations.  In addition, establishing a system that incorporates the use of metrics can help define and support improvement with clear measurable goals.  Some of these goals include staying on target and within budget. Leaders can then analyze the process and progress of the change program. The finish line, however, does not occur upon completion of the change management project.  In fact, the change must endure.  This is accomplished by reviewing the entire system, processes, policies, technology, and structures necessary that support and sustain the organization in the post-change world (Merrell, 2012). Organizations that conceive and create an effective plan and execute change well are most likely the institutions that will outperform their peers.

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Conclusion

The role of change is the key to the survival of any organization. Research conducted by Hammoud (2008) purports that managers can achieve long-term business goals and objectives through carefully constructed strategies. Empirical evidence suggests that high failure rate is due to a leader’s inability to incorporate projects in alignment with established business strategies. Technology, focus on customer service, and a new global marketplace are some of the driving forces that lead organizations to embark on change. These significant elements affect the fluctuation of customer needs, buying patterns, markets, and channels (Hammoud, 2008). Organizations that develop an efficient action management plan and execute change successfully, by doing so on time and within budget, engaging in effective communication that fosters understanding, and achieving stated goals, will most certainly produce an environment that is conducive to maintaining success and longevity.

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References

Hammoud, M. S. (2008). Assessing project success: Comparing integrated change management and change management. Ann Arbor, MI, USA: ProQuest, UMI Dissertations Publishing. Retrieved April 10, 2013, from http://search.proquest.com/docview/304835611?accountid=32521

Merrell, P. (2012, Summer). Effective change management: The simple truth. Management Services. Enfield, UK: Institute of Management Services. Retrieved April 10, 2013, from http://search.proquest.com/docview/1027234230?accountid=32521

Neilissen, P., & Martine van Selm. (2008). Surviving organizational chage; how management communication helps balance mixed feelings. Bradford, UK: Emerald Group Publishing, Ltd. Retrieved April 10, 2013

Stanley, C. (2007). Managing change through management development: An industry case study. The journal of management development. Bradford, UK. Retrieved April 10, 2013

Yarberry, W. (2007, Mar/April). Effective change management: Ensuring alighment of IT and business functions. New York , UK: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. Retrieved April 10, 2013, from http://search.proquest.com/docview/229584201?accountid=32521

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