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The Change Process – Manage Change Effectively

October 24, 2011 11:15 AM
 
Engaging workplace change can be an unpredictable experience because processes and people evolve in diverse ways as you undergo change. No two individuals will respond in exactly the same way to workplace changes. In the same way, identical changes implemented in multiple areas of an organization produce distinctly different outcomes. This Change Model shows how - by thoroughly preparing for it while allowing for various outcomes. This model allows us to take a structured approach to organizational change and still maintain flexibility.
 

1. Locate the Motivation for Change

The Change Model begins at the point where the organization finds a motivation for change. Sometimes external issues drive the change, like reorganizations, management changes, relocations, or acquisitions/mergers. Other times, internal forces drive the change, such as upgraded technology, expansions and growth, or continuous improvement.
 

2. Analyze the Situation

As the organization becomes progressively more motivated to change, leadership undertakes a thorough analysis of the risks and opportunities associated with the proposed change.
 
· What are the potential gains in undertaking the change?
 
· What are the costs?
 
· What are the risks of making the change?
 
· What are the risks of not making the change?
 
 

3. Plan the Direction

Once the leadership determines that opportunities outweigh the risks of making the change, a plan is developed for change implementation. Many organizational change initiatives fail because of lack of careful, thorough planning. In this step of the model, the stage is set for the change’s ultimate success or failure. Key elements of the plan must include:
 
· Planning for the impact of the change on individuals who will be most affected.
 
· Planning for the impact of the change on the systems within the organization that will be most affected.
 
· A step-by-step plan for integrating the change into the organization.
 
· A review plan to measure the success of the proposed change.
 
 

4. Implement the Change

Depending on the type and scope of the change, implementation within the organization may be gradual or abrupt. Changes such as layoffs or acquisitions often are implemented with little prior warning, while staffing, reorganization, or technology changes may be phased in over a period of time. The team’s most critical role in this step of the change process is to maintain open, honest lines of communication with each other.
 
· Define individual responsibilities.
 
· Announce and launch the change.
 
· Adhere to timetables.
 
· Promote the anticipated benefits of the change.
 
 

5. Review the Direction

Once change has been implemented, monitor the outcomes of the new structure and system. As team members in a changing work environment, you can’t assume that the change will evolve exactly as planned or that every individual affected by the change will react as anticipated. Your role is to observe review checkpoints that will reveal if the change is working as anticipated and is producing the desired results.
 
· Establish ways of measuring results.
 
· Communicate criteria for successful change outcomes.
 
· Coordinate the gathering and measuring of change effects.
 
· Inform key team members consistently during the review process.
 
 

6. Adopt the Change

When you review the change implementation and find it to be succeeding as planned, the change is adopted and becomes part of the new organizational norm. The review process is not terminated; instead, it transitions into ongoing monitoring of the changed systems and relationships within the organization.
 
· How well is the change meeting planned outcomes?
 
· How well have I adjusted to the new status quo?
 
· What aspects of the change have not met expectations?
 
· What is my role in making those aspects more successful?
 
 

7. Adjust the Change Plan

If the review process concludes that the change is not working as planned, adjustments need to be made to the change implementation. Assuming that your change analysis and plan have been executed accurately, you ought to be able to adjust the implementation of the organizational change to achieve your desired results.
 
· Determine where the outcomes are falling short of your plan.
 
· Engage key individuals in determining adjustments that need to be made.
 
· Keep the lines of communication open with everyone involved.
 
· Adjust the review process and the change implementation.
 
 

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