Are we Managing Change or the Perceptions about Change?

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Organization and Change


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Organization and Change > Best Practices > Are we Managing Change or the Perceptions about Change?

Are we Managing Change or the Perceptions about Change?
justice makhado, Management Consultant, South Africa, Member
Are we even managing change or are we managing employee feelings about the change?

Managing or Leading Employees
Gary Wong, Consultant, Canada, Premium Member
I believe we manage things and inanimate objects and we lead people. That's because we cannot control other people's attitudes, feelings, behaviours; we can only influence them to act in a way that's desirable to us.
As a change leader, we first appeal to their emotional need for change, set a future state vision of change, and describe the initial steps to start down the different path. This is the communication side.
We also must give them reasons to believe change can be executed. This means enabling the employees with time and money to participate in the change.

Managing Change or Employee Feelings About Change?
Leutloela, Professor, Lesotho, Member
Yes on appeal to their emotions and giving them reasons, but we should also empower them by asking them to read theories of change so that we do not test our choices on them but rather we all participate with the same or equal level of knowledge.

Empowering by Reading Theories of Change
Gary Wong, Consultant, Canada, Premium Member
Leutloela: I agree with your comment. I provide change theory material and testimonials in the initial steps.
Belief that change can be executed comes from acceptance and feeling they are empowered to make the change happen.
Besides decision-making authority, empowerment includes the power to spend time and money to achieve the vision of change.

Managing Change
Julius Tubili, Interim Manager, Zimbabwe, Member
Gary; your change management tact is spot on, I will try it.

Managing the Perception Towards Change
justice makhado, Management Consultant, South Africa, Member
Thanks for your responses, very thought provoking,
I always say to candidates: change always starts with an individual. You should not spend time waiting for others to change. You must look at yourselve and make the commitment to change and things become easier as they move along with the change.
So that means we 'sell' this notion to candidates and show the benefits of the change to themselves and to the organisation.

Change Starts with Self
Gary Wong, Consultant, Canada, Premium Member
Justice: your comments are totally accurate. When we start change with self, we practice what is called the inside-out approach. This is also reflected in habit 1: be proactive in the 7 habits of highly effective people.

What are we Managing
Lawrence Gqesha, Analyst, South Africa, Member
We manage the processes and lead the people. People should change their attitude toward change in order for it to be effective. Support systems or methodologies should be in place to provide support to the people, environment and change.

Managing People Who Execute Change
Dr. Luis De La Cruz, Professor, United States, Member
People, structure, environment, and culture stimulate or depress innovative organizational change according to O'Sullivan and Doodley (2009).
These four factors require the influence of a team-oriented leader in a central position who respects the culture, offers incentives, and shares a vision of the aftermath of change completion to stimulate people to adopt and participate in a changing process.

Change may be Unwelcome, but is Necessary
Caroline A Vine, Manager, United Kingdom, Member
The one thing that's consistent in business is change itself. If we don't change we don't evolve and get left behind. Gone are the days when we could remain status quo and don't change as everything else around us is changing.
Change may be unwelcome at times but it is necessary. If you can develop a change culture then you are way ahead of the competition. Resistance to change leads to many failings in the long run.

Are we Really Managing the Change
justice makhado, Management Consultant, South Africa, Member
What then do we do with those who won't change, as the longer they are part of the group considering to change, the riskier it becomes as they will definitely campaign against the change.

Managing Change
Liz Luciano, United States, Member
@Gary Wong: Gary I agree, people should be led - not managed. Influence happens by example and communication and considering emotions is the beginning of effective communication.

The Elements of Change
Dr Gary Jones, Business Consultant, Australia, Member
There are many elements to change and certainly employee resistance rates highly as a conditional element of success. Whether frame-breaking change that can leave employees fearing of what the future may bring or incremental change that can upset the balance of power through redistribution of resources and structure making some employees skills and experience more desirable - there are 3 problems and all of these need to be managed:
1) Resistance to change
2) Org. Control and
3) The problem of power.
Each of these elements may result in a win lose situation of conflict between employees. This is where the interpersonal management skills lie to diffuse these situations.
But prior to this the vision of the change must be well developed, implementation procedures in place (and this is where employee resistance can be abated by having the employees involved in this planning process), timetabling and regular update (formal and informal communication). "Plans are nothing - planning is everything." Dwight Eisenhower.

Change Management and Leadership
bharat lal, Director, Nigeria, Member
Managing change is when it has become a necessity, so it is planned and acted upon as per perception/requirement. This becomes then a "management process" and should deliver results accordingly.
Change has to be led and hence to be anticipated, visioned and planned through complete involvement of people. Successful, effective change is a "leadership process" and can be implemented by leaders only.

Bottom-Up, Non-linear Change
TSE Pak Hoi Isaac (Dr.), Professor, China, Member
We could plan and wish to execute linear change, step by step and know when elements we need before we start the implementation. More often, practitioners find that the necessary elements do not assemble together ready on designated time.
If we come to bottom up change, which starts from the majority of self, it becomes nonlinear and the outcome unpredictable. We cannot manipulate these non-linear change per se, we manage the peripheral conditions that facilitate change and wait to see how the whole picture unfolds in the long run. Change that sustains last.

Managing Change and Managing Employee Feelings About Change
Ivan Kohlinsky, Management Consultant, United Kingdom, Member
The behavioural science side of change is definitely one of the important sides of change management, besides of course, the technical and process (re) engineering sides etc. One useful visualisation of this that I remember is a picture of a stick man attached by rubber strings of different thicknesses - some pulling him to the right (things pulling him towards the change) and other rubber joining strings attached to his left side (motivations etc pulling him towards not going along with the change..
By labelling these rubber strings/forces, and sizing them one can see what negatives to deal with to get employees 'on side'/motivated (e.g. negatives have to work harder... Do things I didn't do before, fear of unknown) and positive change things that help one..(more satisfying job for employees, chances of promotion, more money etc etc.
I can't remember what this tool was called, but naive as it seems, it helped to focus on how one takes employees with one on the change.

Tool to Visualize Behavioral Change
Jaap de Jonge, Editor, Netherlands
Hi Ivan, I believe you're referring to (a variant of) Force Field Analysis?

Managing Change or Employees?
Luis cupenala, CEO, South Africa, Premium Member
Change is a natural process that depends mostly on the external environment of the firm.
Management skills enable managers to benefit from those external changes as well as to mitigate the impacts of external risks, by anticipating to those changes in plans and programs.
Management can be applied to deal with assets, financial resources, to maximize opportunities, profitability, and promoting sustainable social and economic growth.
Obviously, in all these areas we have to deal with human beings as a critical key success factor, human beings with soft values such as affections, soul, anxiety, spirit, feelings, emotions, expectations, intuitions, intelligence, knowledge.
Therefore they cannot be managed as an animal or as other material assets. A systematic approach is extremely important in order to make them aware of the cost and benefits of the change.
Managing or leading people in this way will enable them to embrace the program of change within the organization.

Managing Change and People in case of Privatisation
Caroline A Vine, Manager, United Kingdom, Member
If the culture of the organisation has not had the previous risk of competition due to it being a public sector and it then becomes a risk - there is a lot of change that needs to be managed. The culture of a job for life no longer serves its purpose here as privatisation via market testing and competitiveness is a new thing to the public sector. This is where change management may need to be forced/led/managed dependent upon the culture of the organisation. If the culture does not change the risk is greater of losing to the competition. This is a battle to ensure that what was once myth is now a real possibility/threat and managers do have to sometimes force the changes in order to survive the risk in the tight short deadlines that are used in market testing procedures.

Privatization is a Radical Change in Organizational Design Model
TSE Pak Hoi Isaac (Dr.), Professor, China, Member
@Caroline A Vine: why privatization? To crack the truth and be genuine, to tackle collective performance inefficiency, sinecure of staff here and there, cover up if not as bad as forgery of documents and report data... All hit on the covert interest of different parties. Resistance should be the first normal response. In an eastern culture society where compliance to superordinates is the norm value, forced change may end up with extensive perfunctory lip services while doing the same old things with a new way of expressing it apart from a small proportion of faithful loyalist working extra hard to cover all shortcomings of the others. In a democratic society, crisis is the best opportunity to enforce change and removal of negative assets. And it needs appropriate catalyst to tip the old norm. Without either of both, I surmise that enforcement of change by top down pressure is likely to end up in chaos, resulting in the expulsion of the change agent/leader.

Privatization is Another Type of Business Model
Gary Wong, Consultant, Canada, Premium Member
@Tse Pak Hoi Isaac (Dr.) and @Caroline A Vine: It's my belief that the org design model is at the operational level - the how to organize key people and resources to get what for why reasons. The privatization decision resides higher up at the strategic or perhaps the political level. To answer that, we need to explore the Business Model. Clearly political parties have their ideologies whether the public, the private sector, or a mix is best to create and deliver value.
I agree that sometimes it takes a crisis, a sense of urgency, to over the momentum of status quo. In the adage "If there is the will, there is a way", the will is injected politically. And forced change can happen in both directions: Privatization as well as Expropriation.

Managing Change or Employees' Feelings?
Sabine Pitcher, Manager, United Kingdom, Member
You are spot on with your question... Managing change means managing the people affected by it. And that means trying to manage their perceptions and expectations - which is near impossible to do successfully.
Let's be honest... People don't like change - no matter how much consultation and involvement you offer. All you can do is be honest and transparent throughout - and don't forget the phase after the change has been implemented, when some had to leave, and others are still there but might bear ill-feelings or might simply be worried.

Change versus Transition
Jacqueline Gargiulo, United States, Member
I have been researching current thinking, and it is less about managing change - it just happens, than supporting individuals through the transition.
Sabine, I challenge that idea. I, for one, actually crave change, and have witnessed others.
In fact, champions of change in your organization can help to support the "late comers" through it. Leverage them.
It also helps to seek to understand the resistance by leveraging change leaders to have those conversations. Genuine compassion can be a very helpful "tool".

Sustainable Change Until the Change Changes
Sumudu Dissanayake, Manager, Sri Lanka, Member
We can not achieve sustainable change without changing the thinking of employees.
Any change is only valid until somebody challenges the change by another change. Suh challenging can be done by yourself if you perceive the current situation is not the right thing.

We Should Think About the Meaning of Change to Different People
Louis Liu, Manager, China, Member
I know in some case, people even resist some good changes. There is no misunderstanding, wrong info, fear etc... They just do not want it.
If people feel the change means nothing or is meaningless or worthless, they will not accept any change nor spend any time on it.
But if they consider the change to be meaningful, even when they believe it is dangerous too, people might take the risk, like gambling.
So, in short, the different perceptions of the meaningfulness of the result of changes drives people to support or resist change.
For example, if people perceive taking dangerous changes means to be young and powerful, they might take the risk, even with fear. But if they think it is stupid or means a loss, they will run away.
So we should be very attentive to the perception of the meaning of the change by different people.

Change is Constant and Change Drive Improvement
ADIGUN TEMITAYO, Project Manager, Nigeria, Member
I have come to know over the years of my experience that there should be no control over change. Because without change there can't be any form of improvement. And the ability to carry as much people as possible during the process of change determines how successful the change process will be.
And we have three categories of people in change management
1. People that initiate change
2. People that will support change
3. People that will resist change.
From my experience all of these categories are always present at all levels from the lowest level to the most senior level.

Organization and Change

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Organization and Change


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