CHALLENGES IN MANAGING CHANGE IN ORGANIZATION

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1 CHALLENGES IN MANAGING CHANGE IN ORGANIZATION Introduction Business as usual is something in the past, and maintenance of the status quo is likely to drive an organization to bankruptcy. The success and survival of the organization is dependent on the ability to respond and manage changes. Change means moving into the future. Change depicts that tomorrow is going to be different from today. Change as always provides anxiety to people. Identification and development of strong leadership is most likely, the ultimate guide to the whole process of managing change and driving the organization to success. Dramatic changes in global environment which includes globalization of businesses, advancement in technology triggers the change in organization. Organization needs to adapt to the changes in order to stay relevant and ahead of others. What is Change Management? The demand for organizational change has accelerated in recent years. The 90s brought an intensified search for competitive advantage through corporate alignments mergers and acquisitions, breakups, spin-offs, joint ventures, and integrated supplier networks. These changes bring instability, upheaval and uncertainty. Change becomes a normal, accepted, expected part of organization operation. Competition is most likely the main driving force behind change. Nowadays, organization tries very hard to be on top of the game. Change management is a structured approach to change or transform individuals, teams, and organizations from a current state to a desired future state. It is a process within the organization aiming to empower employees to accept and embrace changes in their current environment. Lambeth explained that change management acts as means of transitioning people from their present way of working to the desired way of working. In the current situation, where high delivery system is one of the key focus areas, change management is fairly important. Organizational change is often overcomplicated by bad execution and lack of clarity and a plan. Organization that opts for change must start with a vision statement. This helps to motivate those that are impacted, to take action in the right path. A comprehensive roadmap for achieving the vision shall be laid out, for the change effort to be successful.

2 Transitional change is change that results in the design or implementation of something that is different, where the organization needs to do more than improve what it is doing. Developmental change creates an improvement in an organizational way of doing things. Transformational change is the most extreme, which the organization realizes that merely improving what it is doing is not enough to achieve its business strategies. The organization needs to shift the entire way of doing business. Obstacles to Change Institution doesn t change, only people change. When people change, they bring about change in their organization. In order to change the organization, you must find ways to change the people. (Gil Amelio) A study by the Harvard Business Review found that 66% of change initiatives did not achieve their desired outcomes. This depicts that change is not that easy, it is a difficult process. Among the obstacles of change in an organization are employee resistance, communication breakdown, insufficient time spent to training, staff turnover during transition, and costs that exceeded budget. It is critical that leaders play active role in addressing the change obstacle. Leaders can communicate the information on the change effort consistently so that the communication breakdown that leads to the failure of change is eliminated. The high turnover of staff during the change exercise would likely reduce if staff is being engaged in the initiative. Navigating Change: A Leader s Role Leaders are the keys to successful organization, by developing effective strategies to recruit, retain, and develop effective successors, the change can be managed. Managing change requires strong commitment from change leader, and the team that supports the change effort, to create and gain commitment of all stakeholders. The organization chart must be turned upside down. The first line management must support the front line people. Middle management acts as facilitator, greasing the skid and speeding up actions of change. CEO s job is to lead change not just manage it. Leading people in new direction means reshaping their view of the world. However, there are a few leadership challenges that need to be resolved to achieve successful change management. The shortage in the leadership pool is one of the challenges, where, ensuring a sustained supply of leaders helps the change management.

3 The knowledge hoarding culture should be changed to knowledge sharing culture which will develop sustained growth and value creation through a learning organization. It is equally important to cultivate effective teams and recognize when it is appropriate to switch the leadership style in order to maintain the momentum. A leader must be able to motivate and empower followers to accept change, to acknowledge shared visions and undertake challenging goals. Recognizing change is a continuous process, which will facilitate the changing of culture, habits, systems and skill sets of people. The readiness and preparedness to respond to change determines whether such strategic path taken by the organization can be an opportunity or threat. Leaders or managers need to navigate change through four (4) phases : DISCOVER, It is important to firstly discover the need for change and those that are affected from such change. DECIDE, deciding the framework of the change initiatives, build relationships, motivate others, and create alignment and commitment are key leadership functions. DO, then the organization can start adopting the change initiatives DISCERN..lastly, leaders must take charge in figuring out whether such change framework works, in order to maintain focus, energy, resources, and support, to ensure sustainable change over time. Roles of Leader During Change Leadership and change are connected. All changes are not necessarily good. Therefore, the challenge for a leader is to identify the adaptive change that will benefit the organization. Leader in the change team needs to align the people. Significant and widespread change will take place only if there is a strong top leadership that drives through pitfall and turns the inertia into a dynamic force. Effective leaders acknowledge that their support is paramount to success of change in an organization. There are six (6) roles that leaders may play in driving change, namely, The Sponsor, The Role Model, The Decision-Maker, The Voice, The Motivator, and The Enforcer. The Sponsor the champion, won t let the change initiative die from lack of attention; he is willing to utilize his political capital to ensure the change takes place.

4 The Role Model is deliberate and self-aware, where, he walks the talk and employees could rely on him through his words and actions. The Decision Maker sets priorities that support change, he must leverage his decision making authority to support the initiative. The Voice, on the other hand, is transparent and consistent. He ensures that relevant message on change is passed to the organization. The Motivator, as the name suggests, provides motivation and creates sense of urgency and importance about the change. He also shows commitment and is passionate in getting things done. He is energetic and empathetic, he understands the need to get people motivated and jump out of their comfort zone. The Enforcer, being fair and attentive, don t let people get away without changing, and try to figure out ways to remove any obstacles involved in the change exercise. Fulfilling these roles are the only way to ensure that the change happen accordingly. It is important that leaders take part and play their role in change. Change Management Model Upon deciding to manage the change, the next step is to develop a change management model. According to Kotter, there are eight (8) critical steps when adopting change in an organization. The following are the steps as listed by Kotter in his book, Leading Change: 1. Increase urgency. It is the critical to first, instil the feeling of urgency among the impacted parties. Complacency will hinder the change effort from taking place effectively. The end result is when everyone is eager to change and is ready to step out of their comfort zone. This can be done by creating vision and compelling stories on how much the organization need the change and the positive impact from such change. 2. Build the guiding team. Getting the right people to initiate the change initiative is equally important. They need to be committed, have power and influence to drive the organization throughout the change process. Employees that are reluctant to change will buy in the change initiative, if the top management are showing their enthusiasm towards the change. At the end of the day, from this change exercise, a team that work together is formed. 3. Get the vision right. In order to push people to adopt the change, through urgency and shared needs, clear vision on the new direction needs to be conveyed. The guiding team must be able to see the future ahead, post change initiative.

5 4. Communicate for buy-in. The change effort needs to be communicated to ensure that organization understands and respond to the change effort. 5. Empower action. The barriers that exist in the change process should be removed. Thus, more people will be able to act, on the vision. 6. Create short-term wins. This will inspire and build momentum since people will try to fulfil the vision, and the resistance to the change will gradually reduce. Focus on one or two visions or goals, rather than all visions and ended up accomplished nothing. 7. Don t let up. It is important to eliminate unnecessary, exhausting work and keep the momentum and urgency up. Focusing on major milestones and key information helps people remain motivated to push change forward so that the vision is fulfilled. 8. Make Change Stick. A strong, supportive and new organizational culture will help to sustain the change over time. Challenges to Change Management Change often fails due to bad planning and bad execution. Most people see Change as problem because they feel they are going to lose something and to have to give up something. People are reluctant to change. Change is seen as an invasion of their comfort zone. In an organization, the resistant to change would hinder the whole process of change. When an organization is ready for change, regardless because of internal or external factors, everyone is involved. However, there are always challenges pertaining to the change management. The biggest challenge is planning the initiative. Without proper planning, change is likely to cause more problems than the benefits. The need to understand the changes that will take place and how those changes will occur is vital. Assigning the right change team is also part of planning. Lack of consensus from the top management is a challenge. Failure to get everyone on board to agree to change creates barriers. Other than getting employees to step out of their comfort zone, the people on top needs to be comfortable with the change as well. The impact of the change needs to be conveyed effectively to get managers passionate about the changes. Managing the communication for the change is important. It is always a challenge when management fail to communicate the decision on the change to the entire organization.

6 This will create rumours and fear into workplace. Employees, as always, want to know what is going on in the organization, be it positive or negative. That is a way of making them feel they are part of the decision. Involvement of employees as much as possible through meetings and brainstorming sessions will help during the planning stage. In some cases, employees would resist changing. They are comfortable the way the organization is at the moment, they are in their comfort zone. A major change most likely will disturb their familiarity with the workplace, they will become upset. They fear that they had to relearn their jobs and change from their usual work ethics to a new one. The leaders need to cope with this resistance so that the change is successful. There are needs to change the perception of employees that the change is important for the survival of the organization, as discussed earlier in the change management model. Why do employees resist change that is for their own benefit? It is because they do not view change as an improvement, they see it as a step in the wrong direction. Apart from being comfortable in their current state, employees has the perception that the change is not necessary and not possible. This perception needs to change! There are reasons for such change and the justifications why such change should take place should be communicated. Overcoming Resistance and Challenges Through Transition People generally resist moving out of their comfort zone. Handling resistance to change would ensure success. Support and training to employees to get them ready for the change can be done to handle resistance. Other than that, the commitment that the management show for the change initiative should be high. Employees will get excited when management is passionate about the change. It is a win-win situation. The goals of the organization and the employees are not aligned, which causes the resistance. With alignment of goals, comes success. 1. Communication. Organization is to provide information on the change. This is to ensure that people know what the change really means. The sense of urgency is also important information to convey to the people. It is also important to share the information on what won t change. 2. Education. Telling people what others have done and the success factors will help with the resistance. A field trip to other organization that has implemented the change will be an eye opener. 3. Participation. Employees participation by getting input or any ideas on the change will get employees excited.

7 4. Facilitation. On the job coaching and training is equally important. This creates opportunities for real discussion, counselling and support about problems that arise during the change period. 5. Negotiation. Negotiation skill is needed in change. This can be done by being flexible and taking into account others views and needs. Finding benefits for each individual in the organization is the key. 6. Coercion. The last resort would be by the use of force and threats. It could be transfer or termination of individual that keep on resisting on the change. Change Management: Human Aspect Organizations change best when they change from within. Attitude is the way a person look at things. It is how a person chooses to response to life. Knowledge drives behaviours. Behaviours are product of knowledge and attitude. How do we change attitude and behaviour? Knowledge changes individual attitude and behaviour. The attitude results to the success of the organization. A successful organization chose to adopt good corporate attitude. The people within the organization with good attitude and corporate culture will be able to accept change well. Attitude is the hardest to change. In order to mould people to a better attitude or mind set, it takes the persons willingness. It can t be forced. It comes naturally. For example, in order to change the attitude of the employee sitting in front of the counter, servicing clients, it takes a lot of work. Some people love the organization they are working for, that they change their mind set and attitude in order to fit the work requirement and environment. To change from a normal mind set to the first class mind set, a lot of work needs to be done. It involves sharing the need and impact of such mind set to the organization. The top management should then adopt the first class mind set in the first place, to be a role model to the employees. People learn from good example, therefore leaders should act first class and the employees will follow. People are always a challenge to organization. Yet, organization needs people to move. Investing in people with skills and good attitude is not cheap. Thus, constant change to improve the quality of human capital is needed. Dealing with individuals that creates negative vibes in the organization isn t easy. Constant care needed to change the attitude, mind set and overall behaviour.

8 Change could be from internal and external factors. Once the change is initiated, the whole organization needs to move along to ensure the success. Nowadays, we are being bombarded with claims that organization is not performing at their best. The top management has been scrutinized for the inability to drive the organization towards high performance service delivery. This is driven by an increased demand for cost effective and efficient services from the clients. Thus, creating a culture that embraced change was critical to the success of the high performance service delivery model. In adopting the high service delivery model, it is important to create core values. Once people knew the reason and where we wanted to go, the next thing is to address the how and we started with organizational values. Performance management is part of handling human towards high performance delivery. It is crucial in laying groundwork for culture change and we had to help people understand it wasn t punishment, but it is a means to help people understand how their performance is linked to the success of the business. The KPIs of the staffs is the KPIs of the management. Failure to achieve the KPIs, the management failed in managing their organization. Conclusions Change is crucial. Change management is successful only with the help of each individual in the organization. Changing the human aspect of an organization involves the commitment of the top management. The factors driving change should be managed well so that the change is effective and beneficial to the organization and people within the organization. Leader s roles in change are significant and are the pinnacle of the process. To be able to align employees and organization s goals, it leads to the success of the change process. Managing change starts from the people, the human capital. The process of instilling first class mind set and the attitude that leads to high performance service delivery is part of change management. The change efforts need to be recognized top-down. As suggested earlier, the organization chart is to be turned upside down. Where, the front line managers support the front line people.

9 Refences Books Kotter, John P. (1996). Leading Change Articles Ryerson University (2011). Change Management Leadership Guide. Human Resources: Organizational & Employee Effectiveness. David Dinwoodie, William Pasmore, Laura Quinn, & Ron Rabin (2015). Navigating Change: A Leader s Role. Heather Stagl (2011). Six Roles of a Leader During Change. George Kohlrieser (2007). Perspective for Managers. Six Essential Skills for Managing Conflict. Cheryl Francis-Nurse (2007). Managing Change: The Leadership Challenge. SSON (2015). Creating High Performance Teams to Improve Service Delivery. Notes Tan Sri Ismail Adam (2007). Public Service Delivery: Leading Change. Emeritus Professor Syed Mohd Famy (2010). Pembangunan Insan Ke Arah Penjenamaan Semula UTM. Professor Dr. G C Mohanta (2012). Managing Change Process, Types and Challenges. Tom Ward (2013). Organizational Change and Conflict: Challenges and Opportunities for Organizational Ombuds. Houghton Mifflin Company (2013). Lecture Outline: Managing Change and Conflict.

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