CHANGE is the only constant in the survival of individuals and organisations. With the evolving nature of global markets and business, organisations need to continuously review their operations and thrust of business.
It trite that every company needs to run the business in a smooth and efficient manner, to use modern technology, ensure coordination among the workforce, and establish the necessary group teams to carry out activities. Various tasks need different abilities to solve new problems, the work which is carried out in the organisation is also changing. All these tasks require flexibility and change readiness.
We can define change management as when the organisation decides to alter the present mode of business activities into a new style or model to cope with rapid changes of the business world, but keep in mind the profit maximisation factor.
Change management is the contemporary phenomena in today’s business. Most of the organisations now are going to change their activities and the organisational culture. Due to the advancement of technology, as well as evolving production techniques, and the changing behaviour of the customer, the organisation is compelled to change the way in which business is done.
Change management usually entails various aspects such as control change, adaptation change and effecting change.
The final goal of the change management is the long-term sustainability of the organisation.
“Organisational change can develop skepticism and resistance in employees, making it sometimes difficult or impossible to implement organisational improvements. Management’s ability to gain maximum benefits from change depends in part on how effectively they create and maintain a climate that minimises resistant behaviour of people and encourages acceptance and support.” — Coetsee (1999).
What complete change entails
Organisational change happens when there is complete change in the present activities of the organisation such as it may be, business process, employees change, physical environment change, recruitment and selection procedures change, culture change of the organisation, method of appraisal, training and development of the employees.
These are necessitated by triggers of change, which refers to any disorganising pressure which is arising inside and outside the organisation, indicating that the current system, procedures, arrangement of the organisation are no more effective and it requires change in all these activities. There are always internal and external triggers of change.
There is collaborative, consultative, directive and coercive style of management change management. Collaborative: such style involves the widespread of employees’ participation in key decision-making processes which affect them and the organisation in future. Consultative style: limited involvement of the employees in the decision-making process and responsibility area. Directive style: the managerial authority level involved in decision-making on how change proceeds. Coercive style: such style means the involvement of senior management, forcing or imposing change on the organisation. (source: David Buchanan).
Importance to organisation
The task of change management is not an easy undertaking because it requires the business skill, analytical skill, political skill, system skill, people skill, and involvement of various consultants now performing the duty of change management for various organisations.
Change management plays a vital role in the organisation’s development because it gives stability by studying the internal and external changes. It also provides a solid base for the value and reputation, as well as maximising the profit of the business concern. In the change process, management must facilitate conditions for employees to perform their activities in an effective and efficient manner. This requires management to consider strategies for training and development which boost the employees’ capacities to meet the needs of the organisation. Management control must be adapted to ensure the needs and interaction with suppliers, employees and customers are tailored to achieve the desired objective of the entity concerned.
Planned change model
Organisational change can be achieved by observing the internal and external trends, needs and patterns. The manager can use planned change to support the organisation, when the entity is facing a lot of problems. Failing to anticipate and respond to new needs or any other fault in the management activities will lead to catastrophic failure in the change process.
These may be dependent upon the management style of managing or handling the changes paradigms in the organisation. The ability to see the external and internal forces for change is vital for leadership. The manager must monitor all these forces and be aware of the need for change in the organisation. Secondly, management must be able to assess the need for change and be equipped with the necessary problem-solving skills.
Leadership must further be able to initiate the change process by envisioning the desired or ideal future state. The third step in the change process is idea implementation. At this point, management must be aware of the resistance from the side of employees and they must have the technical ability to manage the organisation in that situation.
The last step in the change management process, after full implementation of the change ideas into the organisation, is for management to see that the organisational goals are achieved or not. Management should also assess the profitability, productivity and reputation of the organisation to ascertain if there are some improvements or not, it must compare with result of pre-change in the organisation and with post-change. Corrective action or decision must be taken to improve further the situation.
Robert Mandeya is an executive leadership coach, trainer in human capital development and corporate education, a certified leadership and professional development practitioner and founder of the Institute of Leadership, Research and Development (LiRD). — [email protected]/www.lird.co.zw.