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Change Management

Organizational change requires a clearly defined present state, an articulation of the desired state and the necessary steps to achieve the latter.  Ultimately taking these steps and regularly rechecking where the organization is at the moment and maintaining a view of the desired state.

 

This process includes the following steps:

1. Contacting, contracting:

In every case we collaborate with the top manager as his active support is crucial to success.
Definition of necessities is done on one or more appointments.

2. Data gathering and processing:

The gathering and procession of data starts during the first meeting at the organization, but a more methodical collection of data with a fixed range might be needed. We feed processed data back, focusing on information that supports efficient change. Methods may be: interviews with key men, questionnaire in the cross section of entire organization or focusing on fields to be changed, coming round in the organization or in particular units, or participating in an organizational event.
We favor simple, clear-cut methods that give us data in workable amounts and content.

3. Feedback, future planning:

Feeding back involves processed data, consultant’s conclusions deduced from these and his propositions. Even if there is a finished proposition, it requires a thorough discussion with everyone who will have key role in the change process. It is necessary to give information back to those who are involved in collecting the data, as they are probably interested in the results of their efforts. Maintaining high interest is critical to the efficiency of change.
We are concerned that giving feedback and diagnosis play a major role in planning the desired future. The more people take part in the shaping of vision, the more of them will be committed to changes and be active participants. The shaped vision is good if it is desirable, realistic, yet not too easy to achieve for the people working for it. Also it must be specific enough it to be supervised every once in a while, how far the organization gone in carrying the plan out.
Clear communication will be needed between management and non-management levels, and throughout the a complete cross-section of the organization. Communication plays an important role firstly in keeping up interest, and secondly in having information about forces of progression and – which is also crucial – about counter-forces which set change back. The consequence of scant or belated knowledge of evolving opposition might be that for success the multiples of necessarily required energy will be needed.

4. Action plan:

The first level of the action plan contains the important results which are milestones in respect to the vision, and are goals themselves in respect of the present. Not everything should be planned as it being too much will come down to unnecessary energy loss while nothing important is happening. Only those tasks should be planned which do not fit in everyday routine and thus need special attention by appointing people and marking time out for the tasks. Milestones must also be set out simply by giving considered answer to the question of (when and) how will we know if we are going the right direction or if we have already arrived.
Not less important is the planning of constant and universal communication. It might be that the old channels of communication have to be cleared, but also new channels might be needed. It is important for people on lower levels to have opportunity to respond to what has been said in higher levels and to feel it comes into consideration. Trust is fragile and it is hard to glue the parts together.

5. Action:

Very diverse activities are necessary here, depending on what the organization and its management feels problematic and what vision they have created. By this time the majority of the organization, however to a different degree and with different approach, supports changes.
Change in organization must be started where the energy is. With their energy taken into the process it is possible to take steps of much greater importance, compared to a small group trying to undertake everything.
On the other end are those who are most powerfully protecting the extant. Consideration of their doubts is important, but the most effort should not be put into persuading them.
It is worthy to start actions in a field which is important to many people and in which it is relatively easy to have achievements. It is on one hand good ground for practice for developmental work, on the other hand commitment of management to success and permanence is more convincing than a long line of the most logical arguments.
For broadening zest, changes and their results must be communicated to the members of the organization. Communication is even more important in those cases when changes might cause disadvantages for some.

6. Evaluation:

Permanent results can be achieved if evaluation, just like communication, is constant and universal. By evaluation we mean that we compare results to the goals previously set out to be accomplished, and discuss what the advancements are and what is still needed to carry out the plans as imagined.
This planned and practical evaluation process helps both parties in clearing and realizing the goals and to further develop them.
Evaluation is not only done in respect of achieving the set organizational goals, but also in respect of collaboration.

7. Closing, secession:

It seems obvious that collaboration with the consultant ends right when the developing process ends. Yet for several reasons it is not so. One of the reasons is that process development is not finished, should not be finished as development has to go on. Outside circumstances are not invariable anymore to let it stop. Stopping development by managerial decision – including the case when the manager lets these processes die down, not giving enough support for their continuation – will cause disappointment in the organization.
Development and change have to become persistent, for this however a consultant is not needed constantly. In the previous process we prepare our clients to plan and coordinate changes that became routine.

Before secession we evaluate the achieved results and the collaboration together. This gives an important basis both for the leader of organization and for the consultant in their further work of getting across important changes.

 

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