Change Implementation Techniques for Creating a Sense of Urgency

Technique 2.30 An Organisational Transition Audit

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The following questions provide a basis for analysis of the preparedness of people in the organisation to change and identify a sense of urgency

Perceived contributing factors to change

i. What is intended by this change?

ii. How were they determined?

iii. What will be the value of change for management?

iv. What optional methods need to be considered for accomplishing long-term objectives?

v. Why has the particular change strategy been selected for implementation?

vi. What need is there for these objectives to be accomplished and why?

vii. Why is there any need for change? For this change in particular?

viii. What is to be changed?

ix. How is it to be changed?

x. Who is to be involved in the change?

Consequences

i. What specific long-term consequences are perceived?

ii. What specific short-term consequences are perceived?

iii. What are likely to be regarded as potential losses and expected gains from the changes?

iv. What are the extent and significance of these losses and gains?

Meaning

i. What does change mean to the various organisational constituents?

Opportunity to engage in change

i. What is senior management's commitment to the change?

ii. What is middle management's commitment to it?

iii. Are people at the "front line" actively involved in the change process?

iv. How are their interests addressed by the change?

v. Does the change promote their commitment?

vi. How will existing people fit into the new organisation?

vii. How will the new design fit with people's values and beliefs?

viii. How will the design influence the tone and operating style of the organisation?

ix. What feelings and attitudes are invoked by the change? By the unaddressed questions?

x. What fears and expectations are triggered?

xi. How intense will these feelings and attitudes be?

xii. How is this expressed and by whom?

xiii. Will there be anything in the new situation that constituents will find unpleasant or distasteful?

xiv. What are the various ways in which people act when confronted with planned change?

xv. What is the relative intensity and importance of other reasons for both resistance and acceptance?

xvi. What is the extent to which expected losses outweigh gains?

xvii. Are there any differences in individual employees' reactions to the change?

Obstacles to change

i. What barriers confront this change?

ii. Does the change modify existing positions and investments among constituents? In what way? Does it advantage or disadvantage them?

Issues

i. How are the concerns or issues of middle management and "front line" people - especially those likely to feel threatened by the change - addressed?

ii. What types of issues associated with the change program are felt by individuals with expertise in this area (eg human resource managers, internal or external consultant) and are they likely to have a highly positive or negative influence on the prospect of success?

For managers

i. What issues or actions do you believe have a significantly positive or negative impact on the ultimate success of large-scale improvement programs?

ii. What issues are you concerned about?

iii What questions have not been addressed?

Mediating factors in organisational change

a) Timing

i. Will the change be fast or slow?

ii. When is the change to be introduced?

iii. How long will it take for the change to be implemented fully and become operational?

iv. What will the situation be after the change, including the potential benefits that might be gained from the change?

v. Who will benefit?

b) Mode of communication

i. How is the change communicated by senior management?

ii. How do you signal to employees whether the change is fast or slow?

iii. How do you promote change?

iv. How effective are information releases put out by management or consultants?

v. How does senior management avoid the appearance of "forcing" change upon employees, particularly when time constraints limit the amount of planning and preparation that can take place prior to initiation?

vi. How can managers convincingly demonstrate the need for change as well as their commitment to the change?

vii. How does an effective role model behave?

c) Perceptions

i. Do the perceptions of organisational change differ between the various groups?

ii. Do you have a clear perception of organisational structure?

iii. How do you perceive the corporate image of the organisation?

iv. Now and prior to the change?

v. How do you regard the change?

d) Conflict

i. How do managers reconcile effectively the need for widespread change when diverse interest groups have different agendas for change?

Adjustment to change

i. Is there a convergence of individual and collective adjustment to change?

ii. How have past changes been carried out?

iii. What are the after-effects of past changes?

a) Personal efficacy

i. Do individual managers and employees have skills and abilities to meet the new task demands arising out of the change?

ii. Are new organisational arrangements adequate to meet the demands of the task?

iii. How competent will you be in the new situation?

iv. What will you have to learn?

b) Information

i. Why did you favour "change X" and not "change Y"?

ii. Why do some divisions favour "change X' and not "change Y"?

iii. What did you know about the changes in advance?

iv. What information did you receive? Was it positive or negative?

Stakeholders

i. Who needs to be involved?

ii. How will you gain their involvement?

iii. What contribution is expected from them?

(source: Ann Brewer, 1995)


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