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What is Change Management?

What is Change Management? Change management is an art of making changes systematically i.e. in a well-planned and organized manner in an operating organization.

Why Change Management? “Change is the only constant thing in our life.” Every organization undergoes change at one point or another, may be temporarily, may be at the wrong time, may be too early, may be too late or maybe, just may be… forever.

The reasons for the organizational change in the current scenario may be external or internal.The external factors affecting the organization can be rise in competition among rivalries, changes in the economy, changes in government policies, fluctuation in cost of raw materials, advancement in technology etc. The internal factors can be appointment of new leader i.e. CEO, decline in profitability, union problems, implementation of new technology etc.These days, the most visible changes that a common man encounters are Mergers & Acquisitions, Technological changes and Downsizing.Thus, managing change is of utmost importance to ensure the effectiveness of these desired changes, to take care of the undesired side effects of the changes implemented in the organization and to provide strategies to manage the resistance to change.


Resistance to Change Management

“It is easy to change the things that nobody cares about. It becomes difficult when you start to change the things that people do care about or when they start to care about the things that you are changing.”
— Lorenzi and Riley.

Change is inevitable still people are reluctant to accept this reality. It is a part of a human nature.

People resist change because of the following reasons:

1. They are afraid that the change may act as an impasse to their current level of performance.

2. People are used to do things in the same way as they are doing it from years. The quote, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” also coveys the same message.

3. Some people find limitations of resources such as scarcity of time, scarcity of manpower to implement the desired change.


4. People in the higher level of hierarchy consider themselves more powerful or influential and are afraid that may be the change will eliminate their power of influence.

5. They are afraid of the after effects of change as the outcome is uncertain. They believe in, “When change arises, think of the consequences.”

It is advisable for an organization to adapt for changes otherwise new strategies will not be perfectly implemented and the quality programs, if implemented, shall not deliver the expected results.


Effective Change Management

Slowly seeking for acceptance is not what we want from change management. This will unsettle the present working scenario and will result in the same lower levels of performance. When an organization is looking for a change, the first and foremost thing to be taking care of is to remove the reluctance to change.

Effective change management can be done if we follow the under mentioned steps:

1. Accept the reality is the first step. People don’t accept the change readily so a negative frame of mind can never give desired results. They should be rational as this helps in unbiased analysis and a better judgment.

2. Try not to avoid the ongoing process (of change). Avoiding the process is not a solution but one should follow the process. Change is not the objective but it is the process to achieve the objective.

3. One should learn the art to anticipate change which is going to happen in future. This is known as Change Foresight. Do not wait for things to be take place, try to predict it and be prepared.

4. Change is mostly done for the good. So, an organization should evaluate long run benefits. Some may argue that this is impossible to measure; nevertheless, it is very essential to get the complete picture of the change. Change is mostly associated with risk. Greater the change, greater the risk. But the biggest risk in life is not to take risk at all. The benefits associated to risk are so high that risk can be ignored.

5. In implementing the desired change, group consensus is of utmost importance. A wrong change may lead to a series of wrong changes. Taking decision, keeping in confidence all the stakeholders is usually more effective.

6. Taking reference from the past or from somebody who has already implemented that change successfully or even unsuccessfully will certainly help in a better decision. At least one can evaluate what change to implement and what not to.

7. Do not expect quick results. It might happen that after transforming any certain norm, result may not be seen immediately. It may lead to anxiousness but reviewing it patiently for a certain period of time will certainly pay off.

8. Some people in spite of knowing that changing with the contemporary era is very essential still are reluctant to accept this. If you feel the need to change anything then you definitely have to change. Procrastination of a desired change is not advisable as in long term it may be unmanageable. Performing changes with a casual frame of mind can be disastrous.

At last to end the article I would like to mention that no one should follow words ofMark Twain, “It’s not the progress I mind, it’s the change I don’t like.”

Contributing Writer:  Pranav Chawla
B.E. (Polymer), MIT Pune, MBA (Operations + Marketing), IMT Nagpur

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