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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.