I N D I A P R I V A T E L I M I T E D
STYLES OF MANAGING (STRATEGIC) CHANGE
Traditional top-down approaches (direction and coercion) to change typically result in failure. Direction involves the use of personal managerial authority to establish a clear future strategy and how change will occur. Coercion is the imposition of change. Direction and coercion provide clarity and speed and might be successful in crisis but risk a lack of acceptance. Decision quality may not be high.
Better approach involves collaborative styles of managing change; Collaboration or participation in the change process is the involvement of those who will be affected by strategic change. It represents an opportunity for employees to become involved beyond the normal scope of their job in decision making and/or running the business. It requires Participative leadership style which involves consulting with subordinates and the evaluation of their opinions and suggestions before the manager makes the decision. Collaboration and participation improve the quality of decisions by obtaining many diverse views on problem solutions and lead to increased ownership of decisions, making the likelihood of change greater. Additional benefits include enhanced employee satisfaction and therefore commitment and motivation and a culture of change readiness. However such an approach is likely to be time-consuming and may be constrained and limited through the involvement of employees locked into the existing paradigm.
THE IMPORTANCE OF CONTEXT
Some styles are more appropriate in some contexts rather than others. There is no one right formula for the management of change. Different Contexts require different approach to managing change. There are a number of contextual features that need to be taken into account. The time available for change varies, with change required more quickly in some cases. An organisation facing crisis or needing to change direction very fast may lend itself to a more directive or coercive style. Organisations must also consider the degree of change needed ie. transactional, incremental or transformational change. In terms of time and scope, participative styles are likely to be most appropriate for incremental change within organisations, but where transformational change is required, directive approaches may be more appropriate. Clear direction may be imperative to motivate a desire or create a readiness to change. Organisations with a flatter hierarchy or empowered culture have employees that are likely to expect to become involved and participate.
FAILURE OF THE TRANSFORMATION OF LEADERSHIP
There is no ‘one best way’ theory of leadership, under the situations of change management, leaders are required to harness the skills and capabilities of others to adapt to different situations in a collaborative way. Transformation of leadership in different situations is significant and failure of transformation can constitute a big threat to the success of change management.
FAILURE FROM NOT FULLY APPRECIATING THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE CULTURE ISSUES
It is very critical and important to emphasize and assess the role and influence of organizational culture in change management. Culture is a complex conception. Organizational culture is placed alongside structure, technology and the environment as one of the variables, which influence organizational life and performance. It is defined as “the basic assumptions and beliefs that are shared by members of an organization, that operate unconsciously and defines an organization’s view of its self and its environment”. Organizational culture is capable of blunting or significantly altering the intended impact of even well-thought-out changes in an organization. Different forms of organizational culture could lead to be supportive of, or against organizational change in different situations. For example, the transformational change in an organization which has been imposed top-down, can be frustrated by a strong, resilient, yet ‘non-relevant’ cultural infrastructure applying at the grass-roots level of the organization. Schwartz and Davis devised a means of measuring organizational culture by employing a matrix to assess organizational culture, which helps us pinpoint where we are likely to meet resistance to change because of incompatibility between change management strategies and culture. This further allows us to make choices regarding whether to: a) ignore the culture; b) manage around the culture; c) try to change the culture to fit the strategy; or d) change the strategy to fit the culture, perhaps by reducing performance expectations. All in all, considerations must be given to managing organizational culture or even changing the strategy to take account of the culture in change management.
FAILURE OF MANAGERS PAYING ATTENTION TO THE SIGNIFICANCE OF PEOPLE ISSUES AND ADAPTING TO EXTERNAL ENVIRONMENT CHANGES QUICKLY
Few people can doubt that the management of people is considerably important to the success of today’s change management. Failure to attend to the concerns of the people is one of top ten mistakes in the process of change management. People within formal organizations resist changes because they perceive that organizational change will break their established and familiar working environment, and threaten their self-valued interests. Organizational change also will lead to the redistribution of power and resources, which cause the fear to organizational changes. Adequate consideration must also be given to the informal organization which has its own core leader, culture, structure, norms and rules, which probably is not compatible with those of formal organization. We need to understand how things are done, who control this grouping as the core leader, and what is their culture in informal organization, to see whether the goal of informal organization is compatible with that of formal organization. Failure of doing it would make easy and obvious things difficult. Especially in the process of organizational change, people in different informal organizations would conceive it as a big threat to break their firmly established interpersonal relationship that offer them senses of self-identity and security, consequently causing the resistance from these people to organizational change.
FAILURE OF MANAGERS ADAPTING TO EXTERNAL ENVIRONMENT CHANGES QUICKLY
Managers have to effectively manage the human side of change, which means pay close attention to the psychological processes that people experience in dealing with change, whether planned or unplanned. Successful change management also requires a quick and proper adaptation to the characteristics of the prevailing environment. Therefore managers’ failure of adapting to external environment changes will lead to the failure of change management strategies as well.
Shifting a culture requires a delicate, systematic, and well-planned approach to avoid failure and affect positive change. We can help guide your organization through the necessary transition, ensuring you are ready for change, are prepared to lead the change, and are able to validate that change has occurred.
A Change Readiness Assessment documents your organizational climate in terms of its culture, its history with change/ transformation initiatives, and its resistance to change. We use a series of diagnostic tools to determine your organization’s readiness for a successful transformation effort. Information on attitudes and behaviors gathered during stakeholder interviews and surveys allows us to collectively identify areas of concern and barriers you are likely to encounter during your change efforts.
A Change Management Action Plan defines the transition path from the old way of doing business to the new. For each area of concern identified in the Change Readiness Assessment, we work collaboratively with your organization’s change agents to develop specific action steps to help mitigate the impact of the change management issues. These actions are designed to help overcome resistance, reduce the impact of past history, and convey a shared vision for acceptance into the business culture. Documented communication strategies are essential to ensure that stakeholders are receiving critical pieces of information at the right intervals.
Change Monitoring & Reinforcement activities are essential to validate the change has been accepted and put into practice. To monitor change progress, we can help you perform periodic reviews of the change initiatives identified in the Change Management Action Plan to confirm the transition is moving along as planned. If these reviews indicate something is going awry, it serves as a trigger to immediately initiate actions required to address the issues, so change efforts do not falter. Our change reinforcement services support cultural acceptance and include mentoring, coaching, workshops, and training.
Change management is a systematic approach to dealing with change, both from the perspective of an organization and on the individual level. For organizational changes, we can define that change management as activities involved in :
> Defining and instilling new values, attitudes, norms, and behaviours within an organization that support new ways of doing work and overcome resistance to change;
> Building consensus among customers and stakeholders on specific changes designed to better meet their needs; and
> Planning, testing, and implementing all aspects of the transition from one organizational structure or business process to another.
There are three major drivers stirring organizational change faster than ever before: technology, government and Globalisation. Technology affects organization structure, determines the nature of individual jobs, affects employee attitudes and behaviour, and controls the informal social structure within the organization and ultimately determines the organization’s ability to accomplish its goals. For example in business new technology could greatly reduce the cost of production and enhance the profits; in public sector, technology was associated with a characteristic organizational structure. Therefore the appearance of new technology would result in the structure change in public organizations.