Business organisations continually
face major changes in their operations from the application of new technologies and processes. Successful changes mandate
the interaction and participation of all the people involved. This is called change management and it is frequently quite
complex as business operations expand on a global scale. The ultimate goal of change management is to adapt the people and
processes to the organisation’s advantage without jeopardizing company stability. (Home.ATT.Net, 2006)
Change management is a framework with
which a company can manage the people involved. A combination of tools to manage both individual and organizational changes
are utilised to ensure that changes are both fast and effective. The principles that provide the basis for change management
Systematically addressing human considerations
because changes can be somewhat unsettling for people at all organizational levels. Management is always looked to for direction,
support and strength. When company leaders adapt to changes themselves, this motivates the remainder of involved employees.
Involving all organisational levels
as they move from initial strategies to implementation. Departmental leaders and group team members are identified. Teams
that work well together are positioned for success in their assignments.
Involving every tier by identifying
leaders throughout the organisation and exporting design and implementation responsibilities downward so that it filters throughout
the company. The leaders in every tier must endorse and foster management’s vision.
Formalising the change process by developing
and distributing a written vision statement that will encourage alignment between team members, team leaders and management.
Developing ownership in changed processes
through leadership that creates a positive view of the new ideas. This ‘ownership’ requires that leaders accept
full responsibility for making ‘change’ happen and is very vital to successful change management.
Communicating clearly about all the
issues and the value of changes to the company and all it’s employees over the long term. Never assume that everyone
involved truly understands all the issues.
Detail the cultural aspects as they
affect each area of the organisation. This will bring out any conflicts or areas of resistance to the changes being made.
Be explicit in definitions. This is especially vital when the organisation is multi-national in nature.
Always be prepared for surprises because
no change management program goes precisely as planned. This is a transformation process that will require continual reassessment
especially if major shifts are made in mid-stream.
Communicate with individuals so that
they feel an important part of the change management process. To do this successfully, people need to have some ownership
in the organisation’s progress. (Strategy+Business, 2004).
Don’t lose sight of the fact
that change management is designed to organize a somewhat confusing situation. Never assume that it is organized and disciplined.
Make it so by adapting to the points highlighted above. There is a great deal of highly detailed, point-by-point instruction
available online via the Internet that just can’t be adequately covered in a brief article. If you are in the midst
of your first ‘change’ experience, these articles by company professionals are well worth reviewing.
Nikols, F. (2006) “Change Management
101: A Primer” Home.ATT.Net
Available from: http://home.att.net/-nikols/change.html
Jones, J. (2004) “10 Principles
of Change Management” Strategy + Business