Organisational Change Management Volume 2

Some Basics to Remember about Organisational Transition

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. Very little happens without commitment.

Initial commitment is almost always limited to a handful of people. Everything depends on a core group of committed people. This highlights the need to have like-minded individuals with similar values and passion in the core group

. Start small, grow steadily.

Used the committed core group to build on. Remember: profound change is a self-reinforcing process of the elements that are interrelated, and involves limiting forces that can be hard to anticipate and thus to handle, eg governance, not enough time, etc. It is a balancing process that involves the limits to growth (one of the main reasons change processes do not work)

. Participatory process and not a driven process

This means that everybody must be open to the possibility of changing themselves

. Intended results and useful techniques are more important than a detailed plan.

In many instances good management is made up as you go along. It is dependent on the manager's intuition and judgment of each situation. In many change processes there are no right answers; thus experimentation, observation and reflection are essential. The use of practical techniques is important. Furthermore, clarity about the issues at stake and the aims of the undertakings is essential so that people are fully committed.

. If you are short of time and up against the wall, fix the crisis first!

Remember: reacting to the crisis is not enough. There is a need for sustained learning and to direct attention to the deeper issues

. Leaders willing to change themselves

Effective leaders understand intuitively that, rather than driving change, they need to participate, by being willing to change themselves. This involves seeing the challenges ahead and dealing with the forces that can limit the momentum that has been unleashed.

. Conditions are getting harder, not easier, over time.

Challenges become more emotionally charged. The limiting elements should provide a powerful incentive to creativity and innovation.

. Common sense needs to prevail

For example, a relative of a deceased person rang Telstra to close the deceased's account. The relative was informed by Telstra staff that they are only allowed to talk to the account holder!!!!!! This was a bit hard as the account holder was dead!!!!! Yet this phone call was transferred to 8 people in Telstra until someone took the initiative to break the prescribed process; others were fearful of the consequences of devaiating from the usual process (Shannon Morrie, 2104)

 

(source: Peter Senge et al, 1999)

 

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