Foundations for Change

Changes usually require much time, effort, and patience. The period from initiation of the change effort and its actual results can be months or years. Organizations should set up frame of the problem and opportunity in order to regulat all changes. All changes aim at taking advantage of an opportunity or solving a problem. However, every organization, therefore should determine whether the change is, in fact, necessary. One of the most important aspects of change effort is whether an organization needs change and how well is it prepared for one. There are different factors to consider before making a decision to implement any organizational changes.

These factors include (Hannum, 2008):

Adherence to Organizations Goals. Every change, whether it deals with leadership development, transformation, or a team intervention, should align with the organization’s basic goals.

Crisis. One of the factors that indicate the need for change is how organization operates in amid the crisis. The crisis may affect organization in numerous ways, directly or indirectly. For example, the recent financial crisis clearly led to different changes in the financial sphere as companies were trying to stay afloat.

Performance Gap. The company might need changes if it fails to satisfy its organizational needs and meet its objectives. Thus, it can focus it change effort at closing thes performance gaps.

New Technology. Changes that implement new technology and more efficient ways of operation can improve company’s success. Moreover, organization should always remain up-to-date with evolving technology in order to increase its competitiveness.

Recognizing Opportunities. Organization needs to implement changes in order to seize opportunities that would allow it to gain advantage in the market.

Reaction to Pressures. Sometimes employees, especially those in organized unions, put pressure upon organizations to bring change. Organization may also subject to external pressures coming from customers, competitors, shareholders, or changes in government regulations.

Planned Abandonment. Organization is most likely to need to bring change if it plans to abandon unprofitable products, markets, or allocate resources to other objectives.

Change for the Sake of Change. Sometimes an organization may introduce changes that neither bring serious improvements nor resolve any problems. For example, a new CEO may bring changes only to demonstrate to the board that he or she is doing something. Another reason may be that an organization may implement some particular changes without weighing all the pros and cons only because competitors are doing so. Organizations should avoid such changes for their own sake.

Blackkman, O’Flynn and Ugyel (2013) argue that even there are macro-level factors that influence on organization’s readiness for change, individuals should be also ready for change. Organization should determine its readiness for change according to the factors listed above in conjunction with assessing readiness of employees. Organization will be more apt to implement changes if it is ready to implement them. Employees and management should believe in the effectiveness of changes and possess the necessary amount of time and energy to support them. Organization can assess whether it is ready to participate in change effort by using various instruments and qualitative information from employees and experts. Prior to making a decision to bring change, an organization should answer the following questions: Is the trust level within the organization company high enough for employees to accept changes? Do employees feel positive about their work environment in general? Does the organization have an open communication within personnel? Does the organization share financial information?

These aspects have a great influence on employees’ approval of and enthusiasm about participating in change effort. Companies that start creating positive and helpful environment before the change, may have a significant advantage on implementation the change. It is impossible to change an organization without changing the employees within it.

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