Managing change is a continuous process of aligning an organization
with its marketplace, by being more efficient and effective than competitors,
and continuously collecting feedback from within the organization
(L. A. Berger, Sikora & D. R. Berger, 1994). Specifically, change
management examines external and internal conditions affecting an
organization and uses skills, knowledge and strategies to effectively
plan and implement change as well as support continuous improvement
following change ("Managing Change," 2003). Change management
is an effective tool for reducing motivational, incentive and environmental
barriers while defining and improving the structure of an organization.
What triggers a need for Change Management?
Managing change is a matter of transforming states within an organization,
specifically, from a problem or opportunity state to the solution
state. Below are common triggers that prompt organizations with
the task of managing change.
- An organization chooses to implement a new method or system
in a planned and managed or systematic fashion (Nickols, 2000).
This is an "anticipative or proactive response" change.
Either internal events within the organization or the external
environment triggers the shift in change.
- An organization is forced to make changes or implement a new
system based on the external factors such as laws, societal issues
or competitors. This is known as a "knee-jerk or reactive
response" change (Nickols, 2000). The organization has little
or no control and must change in order to stay competitive and
How does Change Management work?
Change management is a procedural based process. It starts with
the detections of a change trigger and ends with the implementation
of a new strategy within the organization (see Figure 1). Below
is the complete lifecycle of change management.
Figure 1: The Change Management Model
(L. A. Berger et al., 1994)
Value of Change Management
Motivational, incentive, and environmental barriers can be reduced
by managing change within an organization. The key to implementation
is recognizing a need for change and applying appropriate measures
to turn the problem into a solvable opportunity. Table 1 below illustrates
some examples in which change management is an appropriate intervention
for motivational, incentive and environmental problems.
Table 1 - Examples
of Change Management
|Motivation - lack of value or confidence; don't care
or understand the benefits
Motivation = Value x Confidence
|Problem/Opportunity: Grandparents resist using email
to communication with family and friends.
Solutions: Change your strategy from begging them
to get a computer and just learn to use it to explaining the
benefits of email. Such benefits may include immediate delivery
of messages, quicker response time, more frequent communication
and instant access to family pictures. Demonstrating the value
of something is a motivating factor.
|Incentives - performance goes unrecognized, doing it
is painful and not doing it is ignored
||Problem: "Supervisors who rate employees as other
than stellar expected to fill out forms and attend meetings
to justify these ratings" (Rossett & Sheldon, 2001,
Solution: Mange change by creating an incentive program
in which supervisors want to honestly rate their employees.
It's important that the appropriate performance or actions
|Environment - processes or jobs are poorly designed,
necessary tools are unavailable, a continuously changing world
||Problem: Documents and tools are placed randomly throughout
the office. Employees waste time searching for documents and
Solution: Create a work environment which minimize
the amount of time waste looking for supplies and maximizes
the amount of productive work. Change management could develop
a strategy for accomplishing such a task.
Managing Change in an Organization
The following are real-world examples of change management in action.
(Cases were adapted from The Change Management Handbook)
Case 1: Shake-up at the
||A deregulation in the telephone industry that was capped by
the antitrust settlement broke up the Bell system and triggered
the great shake-up at the GTE Corporation.
||External environmental change triggered by government laws.
||The company was forced to refocus its telecommunications business
and discontinue its other unrelated industrial businesses.
||GTE is attempting to integrate local phone service with cellular
business to create a streamline network. This would allow customers
to easily call almost anywhere.
Case 2: Need for quicker product deliveries
at Black Box
||Black box wants to improve the efficiency of the
organization by delivering their products quicker to the customers.
||Internal organization problem in which the change was triggered
by slow employees.
||A change agent at Black Box used action in the form of a reward
system to incentivize employees. He dramatized the need for
faster deliveries by implementing a new bonus plan for the employees.
||Warehouse fulfillment teams worked overtime taking extra orders
and sending out same-day shipments. Employees earned 140% of
their bonuses and nothing else suffered.
Managing at the Speed of Change by Daryl Conner
Change Management 101 http://home.att.net/~nickols/change.htm
A Performance Technology Glossary http://edweb.sdsu.edu/edweb_folder/pt/PTGlossary.html
Managing Changing http://web.mit.edu/hr/oed/learn/change/art_basics.html
Berger, L. A., Sikora, M. J., & Berger, D. R. (1994). The change
management handbook: A road map to corporate transformation. Burr
Ridge, IL & New York, NY: Irwin Professional Publishing.
MIT Human Resources Department. (2003). Managing Change by Organization
and Employee Development. Retrieved February 3, 2004, from http://web.mit.edu/hr/oed/learn/change/art_basics.html
Nickols, F. (2000). Change management 101: A primer. Retrieved
February 1, 2004 from http://home.att.net/~nickols/change.htm.
Rossett, A. & Sheldon, K. (2001). Beyond the podium. San Francisco,