Change, Change management and Change Resistance
Change is when something stops being what it is and becomes something different. Change is a process, not a single event and it occurs naturally in organizations and in our personal lives. It is normal, inevitable, and constant and can be managed so as to achieve desirable results. We must participate in change, or we will become a victim of it.
How change occurs
- Change by exception: This is where we allow exceptions to our beliefs but do not change our beliefs. For example, when we meet someone who does not fit our stereotypes, we classify them as being an exception to the rule.
- Incremental change: Introduction of small gradual changes that occur before we become aware of it; usually, a collection of small changes that ultimately alter our beliefs systems. For example, a teacher may have started using technology with an attitude of resistance and disregard, but gradually changes to a point where technology becomes an indispensable tool in her practice.
- Pendulum change: This is when an extreme point of view is exchanged for its opposite. An example is the change from Analogue to Digital (from TV to cell phones and from paper to the computer)
- Paradigm shift: This is a fundamental change in the basic of experimental practices of scientific discipline. An example is the shift from use of Landline phones to mobile phones.
Change concepts are general approaches to change used to stimulate ideas and steps that may lead to improvement. Ideas are then tested on a small scale to see if they result in improvement. If they do, tests are then expanded and larger samples are gradually incorporated until you are confident that the changes should be adopted more widely.
Examples of change concepts
- Manage time: Focus on reducing patient waiting time (introduce block system, triage)
- Eliminate waste using 5S: Waste is considered as any activity or resource that does not add value to an external client.
- Improve work flow: Ensuring processes are optimally planned and prioritized
- Error proofing: Redesigning the systems to make errors less likely.
Change management is a process that aims to ensure changes are thoroughly and smoothly implemented and the benefits of change are sustained. It is a sequence of activities focusing on the wider impacts of change on people and how they are, as individuals and teams, move from the current situation to a new one.
Successful change involves ensuring employees’ capacity to adapt to and work effectively and efficiently in the new environment. The underlying basis of change management is that people’s capacity for change can be influenced by how change is presented to them. Their capacity to adapt to change can shirk if they misunderstand or resist the change, causing barriers and ongoing issues. The rationale is that if people understand the benefits of change, they are more likely to participate in the change and see that is successfully carried out, which in turn means minimal disruption to the organizations.
Change management Principles
- Always involve and garner agreement and support from people within the system.
- Understand where the organization or individual is at the moment
- Understand where you want to be, when, why and how to get there
- Plan appropriate achievable measurable steps to get there.
- Communicate, involve, enable and facilitate involvement from people, as early, openly and as fully as is possible.
The Benefits of Change management for individuals
The change management is that it provides conceptual frame work for people, the process, and the organization implementing change.
- Effective change management supports a smooth transition from the old to the new while maintaining morale, productivity and even company image.
- Provides management and staff support for concerns regarding changes
- An efficient change management process creates the correct perception of the change for staff and public
- Helps to plan efficient communication strategies
- One of the benefits of change management is that it minimizes resistance to change
- Improves morale, productivity and equality of work.
- Improves cooperation, collaboration and communication
- A carefully planned approach to change reduces stress and anxiety and encourages people to stay loyal to the organization.
- Increased employee acceptance of the change
- Personal loss/gain to individuals is acknowledge and addressed.
- Change management reduces disruptive aspects and emphasizes positive opportunities in the change process
- Promote effective communication through collaboration and use bottom up and improve ffeedback mechanism.
- Reduces conflict through well defined job descriptions, using effective communication skills.
Benefits of change management for the organizations
- Change is planned and managed process. The benefits of the change are unknown before implementation and serve as motivators and assessment of progress.
- The organization can respond faster to customer demands
- Helps to align existing resources within the organization
- Change management allows the organization to assess the overall impact of a change
- Change can be implemented without negatively effecting the day to day running of a business
- Organizations effectiveness and efficiency is maintained or even improved by acknowledging the concerns of staff.
- The time needed to implement change is reduced.
- The possibility of unsuccessful change is reduced
- Employee performance increases when staff feel supported and understand the change process
- Increased customer services and effective service to clients from confident and knowledgeable employees.
- Change management provides a way to anticipate challenges and responds to these efficiently.
- An effective change management process lowers the risk associated with change
- Managed costs of change: change management helps to contain costs associated with the change.
- Increased return on investment (ROI)
- Creates an opportunity for the development of “best practices”, leadership development, and team development
- Strengthen the team through effective change management supports a smooth transition from the old to the new while maintaining morale, productivity and even company image.
- Improve cooperation, recognition, respect, efforts, ideas from others and trust.
- Improve decision making: by focusing on the facts instead of the personal deficiencies.
- Creates an opportunity for the development of best practices, leadership and team work.
- Times needed to implement change are reduced.
Factors affecting response to change
Responses to change can range from fear and panic to enthusiastic support,, and understanding why people respond to change so differently can help in designing and appropriate change strategy:
- Method of introducing the change
- Personality factors
- Group factors
- Organizational factors
Why people resist change
There are typical barriers in every organization that inhibit implementation of change-even change brought due to exposure to new theories, philosophies and concepts. As we seek to implement change, we must recognize and address these barriers.