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Monday, October 13, 2008

Do you know how to Change

In the last article I wrote about IBM's report on enterprise of future. One of the point that was mentioned is that Organizations of future will be more flexible & will be more adaptable to change frequently.

Now keeping this point in mind I wanted to know what percentage of companies presently are good at changing.

In a recent survey(July 2008) by Mckinsey Quarterly of executives around the world, only a third said  that their organizations succeeded in transformation activities!!

So what we are seeing is that Change is important FOR companies and ability to change as well as managing change will be important in the upcoming years.


But the question still remains: How to Change succuessfully.....

I got this book...Change Management by V.Nilakant & S. Ramnarayan.

The book highlights that Change is all about Altering the mindsets of people. 

The book provides a new model for organizational change & lists four tasks that are crucial for success of any change initiative.

   The four tasks of change as described by authors that companies can utilize to change effectively are:

1. Appreciating Change

2. Mobilizing support

3. Executing Change

4. Building Change Capability


Appreciating Change: This step  is useful for planning for change. It aims at understanding the present mindsets of people within the organization. Appreciating change involves making people(stakeholders) mentally ready to change. It involves describing why one needs to change, consequences of changing & not changing and what are the options one has for undertaking change in the organization.

 Very often it has been noticed that change efforts are not successfully carried out, one of the main problems noticed is that there is too much resistance within the organization. So therefore it is advisable that managers should understand the mindsets of employees and other stakeholders and make efforts to make them ready for change so that they will appreciate change.


Mobilizing Support: After the people are mentally ready for change/innovative programs, the next step is to mobilize support for change. It has been noticed that change efforts are not successful because people do not support the change efforts. It has been mentioned that in large organizations one can expect 20% of people enthusiastic about change, another 20% are opposed to change & rest are indifferent. Now in such a scenario what should managers do in order to gather support for change. The authors have listed some issues, lessons & techniques along with relevant case studies which managers can utilize for gathering support for change.


Executing Change : It is very important that resources are made available for change/implementation of Innovative programs within the organization. This step deals with creating & putting structures in place for change to happen. Even if the above mentioned tasks are carefully thought through, it has been mentioned that execution task can pose various hurdles in change efforts of the organization. The authors lists that managers need to decide the type of change they wish to bring into the organization which will lead to how the change is to be executed (style of change) and also whether to have a ready made change program or design their own.


Building Change Capability: It has been mentioned that in order to successfully implement change efforts, people needs to be infused with certain qualities which will improve their capability for changing the organization successfully. The authors have listed three qualities which are Self Efficacy (people having the confidence in their ability to achieve challenging goals), Focus (clarity of goals to be attained among people), & energy (employees should be energized & fueled by personal commitment to change).


In addition to phases mentioned above, the authors support the above mentioned points with the roles that senior management & leaders needs to play in each of the phase  while initiating & implementing change.

Overall though it is difficult to change but organizations today & in future will have no choice but to change rapidly & be successful in implementing innovative efforts or perish.