Managing Organizational Change - Some Basic Principles

R.G. Srinivasan
 


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Managing transition is never easy. The loss of familiarity with the new processes, necessity and ability to learn new things and new ways of working is often very painful. The people and organizations accustomed to a certain way of work will take time to change.

While change is essential for progress, what are the elements to focus in preparing for the change management initiative?

Vision

Helen Keller said “nothing is more tragic than someone who has sight, but no vision”. Vision inspires all change and development. Vision whips up passion for achievement. Vision is the outward projection of the mankind’s core values and dreams of greatness. Nothing can inspire a person more than vision of excellence and his own contribution to such excellence. The power of vision is the major tool in the change managers’ arsenal for creating quick acceptance and effective implementation of the change initiative.

Sense of direction and purpose

A clear focus on what we want achieved out of the change initiatives and why would bring a sense of direction. Unless people understand clearly the purpose and direction they may not be enthusiastic about the process which is likely to be painful.

Micromanaging

Change initiatives often turn into exercise into micromanaging, effectively cutting off employee initiative. If an entire organization is accustomed to being micro managed and told what to do, they would wait to be told before taking decisions. The change manager should focus on results desired and the approach to it and leave the micro management to the junior management. Micromanagement ultimately compromises the larger gains to be made out of the change management initiative.

Knowledge

Knowledge is the key to success for a change agent. He needs to learn new and effective ways of doing things and communicate them to people where change is desired. Often it is best to take stock of the ground realities rather than be a theorist and go purely by data.

Rewards and Recognition

First share the cash then share the compliments holds good for the change initiatives too. When there is a reward for change and improved performance, much of the objections to change can be easily put aside. Celebrate the successful adopters to change widely with promotions, increased pay checks and recognition to drive the change process faster.

Final Thoughts

No organization can insulate itself from change. The change process is driven by external environment and beyond the control of managements. Unless the change leaders prepare the organization and its people for change in tune with the changes sweeping the globe, the organization would be left behind in spite of good products and people, and ultimately die an untimely death. How well you prepare the people for constant change would decide your survival and success.

R. G. Srinivasan is a managerial professional, Writer and Author. He writes a regular blog on management thoughts with interesting articles, resources, personal experiences and links useful for all managers at http://management-thoughts.blogspot.com

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