Change Management: What’s in a Name?

July 24, 2018
Change Management

In the recent years, change management is a term which has been steadily growing regarding usage. Although the name may sound a little obscure, change management is something that can help companies streamline various facets of their businesses, to achieve a determined outcome.

A whole range of target audiences is included in this umbrella, right from business processes, resources, budget allocations to other critical aspects of a project, which may be the recipient of change management processes. Change management processes will have to be conducted at one point or the other, as change is inevitable in any aspect of the operation. Therefore, a good leader will need to be prepared to meet changes, or even better, instigate changes himself.

But Why Change?

The modern world is a far cry from the world that we have lived in- however, many organisations are still refusing to recognise that. The business environment has undergone some significant changes in the previous decades, especially with the advent of globalisation and liberalisation. The whole situation is now changing on a daily basis, so organisations must be comfortable while adjusting their approach to reflect the conditions of the market best.

Companies that adopt the quickest in the modern world get an all-important headstart over their competitors, and this could lead to drastic gains or losses in the marketplace. For example, today, in the age of social media- marketing activities must be expanded to social media too, and not just focus on print ads and TV ads. A small example of change, this demonstrates why change management is such a necessity today.

Approaches to Change Management

There are many approaches which have been deemed to have various levels of results in change management. These include the 8-Step Process by John Kotter, Change Management Foundation and Model, and the PDCA Cycle among many others.

The 8-Step Process consists of 8 steps, starting with creating a sense of urgency among the stakeholders and building a guiding coalition, and conclude at sustaining the acceleration from short-term wins and finally, instituting change in the organisation.

The Change Management Foundation and Model involves four steps. First, the need for the change is determined. Then, preparation and planning of change are carried out before the implementation of reform. The final step is to sustain the switch so that it becomes a norm in the organisation.

The Plan-Do-Check-Act Cycle, prepared by Deming is another commonly used method to improve the workings of an organisation. The name itself is self-explanatory in this case. It is an iterative 4-step process to control and enhance the organisation’s operations.

The approach will have to be tailored according to the situation at hand. Some things to be considered include levels, goals, strategies, measurement system of results, the sequence of steps, and the consequences of implementation.

Conclusion

Of course, there are bound to be barriers to change implementation. They may be owing to a variety of reasons, right from the difficulties of implementing changes due to infrastructural deficiencies, to the refusal of recognising the need for change. Since change is the only constant, a good leader must be prepared to manage effectively, which makes change management a fundamental function.

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