4 Steps to Take Before Starting an Organizational Change Effort

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4 Steps to Take Before Starting an Organizational Change Effort
M.A Jama, HR Consultant, South Africa

It is very important for change agents to create open channels allowing to challenge the status quo and allowing employees to come up with creative ideas before embarking on a change inititiave.

Change management can be described in simple terms as “the going to great journey”. Change on its own is known in simple terms as movement, transition, transformation and/or renewal. Change management is the systematic approach of managing/facilitating the movement, transition, renewal and transformation of peoples' psychological state, resulting in emotional discomfort/comfort which has a connection to physical behaviours.
Change does not happen overnight, the organisation needs to be fully prepared before considering to embark on a change journey. The person responsible for change must keep in mind the saying of “what you thinketh you become”, meaning the mind is just a like computer, it works with information stored. Below steps should be the first ones to follow in changing the psychology of the human capital of an organization:
A) Gather the Tribe. This serves as an introduction, the team gets to know each other a bit, this is basically to show that everybody matters.
B) Where are we & How we are doing? - Collectively review he current organisational/individual state.
C) My story (My journey). Each member of the team shares his/her hard times in life so as to feel connected to the team goals and organisational goals. “People support what they feel connected to and reject what they don’t feel connected to”.
D) Checking in …. Journey Onward. Go in and go strong.
After the Stage D, the first step of challenging the status quo can take presence following the “one team one goal” principle.
The steps A-D listed above will create the channels allowing to bring in creative ideas for an organisation. This came from an introspection of Lewins Model of Change, Kotter’s Change Management Process and the 5 Stage Model of Change.
The steps listed above are more detailed and commence prior than reaching the stage of “Challenging the Status Quo” which is the 1st stage of Lewins and Kotter. The three theories listed above only focus on changing the organizational state while not really going deeper into the individual human minds of employees. Before the plan can take off, there is a need to make sure that everyone feels attached and connected to the organisation's mission, objectives and values.
I believe the steps above could help many organisations to be more effective in starting a change effort.

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