Assessment Task 1 Instructions
Explain the key phases of a change management process.
Change management is an important process in order to implement a change successfully. It is a coordinated effort between the organization and its employees to identify and manage changes effectively. Six key phases are involved in a change management process: planning, initiating, managing, monitoring and controlling, concluding and lessons learned. In order to successfully navigate through these phases, it is essential to have a well-developed plan, effective communication tools and resources available, as well as an understanding of how changes can affect employee productivity.
Explain three reasons why an organisation might initiate change.
- Poor financial performance is a big driver of change. If the organisation is not doing well, there is a strong imperative for change.
- Identification of opportunities in the market place may result in change, particularly if the organisation is to retain its competitiveness.
- Complying with new regulations and guidelines may result in change in the organisation through adopting new processes.
- New personnel: sometimes organisations change when, for example, a new CEO is appointed and he or she feels they need to make changes to make their mark on the organisation.
- New technology may need to be introduced to make existing processes more efficient or effective or new technology may replace existing technology.
- Employees may provide feedback that result in the organization adopting new practicesand therefore changing
Explain force-field analysis as a model for understanding the change process.
This model was developed by psychologist Kurt Lewin and describes how to determine which
forces drive and which resist a proposed change.
Driving forces are those forces that initiate, encourage and support the change. The main driving forces for organisational change are changes in the internal and external environments.
Restraining forces are those that work against the change, creating resistance. The current conditions, or status quo, result from these two forces ‘pulling’ in opposite directions.
Managers who are trying to implement a change should conduct a force-field analysis to identify and balance the driving and restraining forces.
Explain the key premises of the Burke & Litwin organisational change model and its application to the change process.
This model indicates that the most dominant factor that triggers organizational change is the external environment. It is the external environment that makes an organization to change its mission, culture, leadership and its operating strategies.
The changes in the 12 key dimensions, as identified by the Burke and Litwin model, bring about a series of changes in the structure, practices and system of the organization.
All the affecting factors put together affect the motivation level of the individuals in an organization, which in turn impacts the overall performance.
Discuss the purpose of Kotter’s 8-step change model and the steps involved. Explain each of the steps involved.
This model is designed to increase the success of change management
- Establish a sense of urgency by creating a compelling reason (Vision & understanding) for why change is needed. This is to inspire the necessary teamwork ideas and eagerness to make sacrifices related to the change.
- Form a coalition with enough power to lead the change. Usually, this is at the management level, which then selects individuals who can manage the change.
- Create a new vision to direct the change and strategies for achieving the vision. Painting a picture of the desirable future.
- Communicate the vision throughout the organization. This is a key part of the success strategy and allows staff to voice concerns.
- Empower others to act on the vision by removing barriers to change and encouraging risk-taking and creative problem-solving. For example, this could involve identifying those resisting the change and focussing on helping them see the benefits of the change.
- Plan for, create and reward short-term “wins” that move the organization toward the new vision. This means creating short-term targets that, when achieved, can be celebrated.
- Consolidate improvements, reassess changes, and make necessary adjustments to the new programs. As the change is introduced, each step needs to be evaluated and changes made along the way as required.
- Reinforce the changes by demonstrating the relationship between new behaviours and organizational success. This means ensuring that changes become part of the corporate culture. For example, talking to new staff about changing ideals and values.
Explain two strategies that can be used to effectively communicate and embed change during an organisational change process.
Consultation: consulting with stakeholders to get their input on the organisational change is more likely to result in acceptance of the change as stakeholders will feel part of the process and that their input is valued.
Communication Plan: using a communication plan as part of a change process ensures that all stakeholders are kept informed of progress. This is more likely to result in employee acceptance of changes.
Re-training: implementing training for staff during a change process so as to gear them up for a new role will assist with staff cooperation and readiness for the change.
Explain how the external environment can impact change strategies.
The external environment significantly impacts change strategies, as it is often the driver for the change strategy. For example, a change in government regulations may impact a company’s business, causing it to lay off staff. Therefore, the external environment has driven the change.
The external environment may also need to be considered during a change process. If the organisation is growing and making changes that require more staff to be hired, if there is low unemployment, this needs to be factored into the change, as the company may have difficulty attracting staff.
Explain the importance of a participative management style when implementing organisation change.
A participative management style is a form of management style that allows for employees to get involved in decision-making. When used in the context of organisation development, this type of management style is important, as employees are involved from the outset about the decision to implement organisation development and can input their feedback and suggestions all the way through the process.
Explain two aspects of organisational behaviours that can impact on organisational change.
The organisation’s learning culture. How staff learn within an organisation will need to be
taken into account in training requirements as a result of organisation development. For
example, workers may learn better through practical, on-the-job, training.
Resistance to change: if the workforce is resistant to change, this will need to be taken into
account in the development of the organisation’s development plan. For example, there will
need to be a strong focus on communication and consultation.
Diversity: in an organisation that is diverse in terms of cultural backgrounds, this will need
to be taken into account in organisation development planning and implementation so that
everyone, no matter what their background, can understand the processes occurring. Thus,
communication must be clear and concise.
Describe five components that may be included as part of a change management plan.
- Identification of change the change required in outline.
- Risk assessment: risks associated with the change are identified, as well as control
- Stakeholder analysis: stakeholders who will be impacted by the change are identified.
- Action Plan: a detailed action plan to guide the change process is developed.
- Communication plan: a communication plan to ensure that consultation and communication occurs throughout the change process is developed.
- Training plan: a training plan is developed to ensure that any gaps in knowledge and skills
- as a result of the change are addressed.
Explain three reasons why individuals or groups within an organisation may resist change. Include at least one suggestion of how resistance can be overcome for each of the areas you identify.
Fear of the unknown. Strategy to overcome could include involving employees from the outset in decision making.
Habits: used to the way things are. Strategy to overcome could be ensuring that the benefits of change are explained and understood.
Security: existing structures give job security. As above, explain the benefits of the change and give clear guidance on the impact on employees.
Selective information processing: individuals do not take in all information about changes because they do not wish to. Multiple communication channels that students cannot ignore
Threat to established relationships within the workplace. Communication and consultation is essential.
Discuss at least three barriers to organisational change.
- Not enough understanding about the change itself and poor alignment behind it. For example, no clear vision, direction, priorities
- Lack of leadership. Leadership is needed to inspire and engage people’s energies as well as to keep relentlessly moving forward
- Lack of focus and strong project management of the change: no clear accountabilities and inter-dependencies between roles
- No engagement and/or buy-in of key stakeholders. Starts with a failure to identify the key stakeholders (they could be any or all of the following: employees, shareholders, customers, executive/Board, the community) and then a failure to undertake detailed analysis of their needs/preferences and a detailed communication and engagement strategy
- No clear process for managing endings and beginnings, and coordinating the change process
- People’s issues/ barriers to change are not defined and there are no actions to address them leading to low engagement, poor morale, a fast return to ‘the old ways’ and a sort of ‘let’s sit it out’ environment
- People are not involved in developing quick wins and communicating them. This is needed to build credibility around change
- People practices are not reviewed and re-aligned. This is needed to ensure that the change is sustained, and to enable people to operate in a new way
- Successes are not recognised, communicated and/or celebrated. This is needed to increase the pace of change and gain commitment to the new way of doing things. Change is very tiring and is often something that requires extra effort: people need to see that this effort is paying off and their contribution is valued.
- Progress is not measured and the learning is not reviewed. This is needed to sustain the change
Discuss at least two strategies to address barriers to organizational change.
- A possible strategy is to ensure that there is a communication process in place to explain the benefits of change to all stakeholders, including outlining a promising future vision based on the change processes.
- Another strategy is consultation, that is involving stakeholders in the change from beginning to end and allows them to voice their concerns and opinions. It would also be beneficial to incorporate employee suggestions into the change process.
- Another strategy is to gain support by outlining the negative effects if change does not occur. For example, the business may become less competitive and therefore that this may mean job losses.