It has always been said that change is a complicated process. However, many other many issues need to be considered when approaching a chance to change. Among the necessary component are the skills for change management because the various businesses and organizations keep on improving. These stages of change management assist the business organizations to understand aspects of change and how to make changes in multiple units of the organization, departments, or the whole organization. The stages also help to recognize the role played by the change agents as well as defines the people who are responsible for the accomplishment of the changes proposed. Therefore for any organization who desires to introduce the changes then the various outlined stages must be adhered to. It is for this purpose that the essay investigates the multiple steps involved and how they can affect management practices in an organization (Heathfield, 2014).
It is important to note that change in management does not just take place. It requires the intervention of various factors or aspects such as the level at which employees are involved in the decision making in the organization and also the level of empowerment of the employees which offers them with the freedom to contribute to the affairs of the organization. All these effects change-making process (Heathfield, 2012). Units within the organization that possess a higher degree of people with skills and experience can bring them willing to offer their input at an earlier stage of change management. It should be understood that change characteristics such as scope and size also affect the process of change. Also, if significant changes are to be modified, more planning will need to be put in place because some changes in management involve the whole organization which will possibly require complex and more planning. Some changes have widespread support and are therefore not involving during the implementation process. Notably, it would also be easier to implement changes that employees view as a gain on their side rather than the ones that they perceive as a loss. When appropriate steps are taken in the organization, incorporating the right people, then change will be inevitable. These managerial change steps will help any organization to make desired and necessary changes. Hence, the change management stages help to give a systematic approach to these management stages which aids in the practical implementation in the long-run. (Heathfield, 2014) The stages are; initiation, investigation, intention, introduction, implementation and then integration.
This is the first stage in the change management. At this stage, one or more people within the organization tend to notice that there is a growing need for change. Such individuals feel a feeling that something is wrong. This can come from various sources within the organization as well as outside the organization and at any level of the organization. It is worth noting that those who have accurate perception and have studied the business keenly are the people who are very much familiar with the affairs of the company and stirs up the need for change. Consequently, need for a change of management of an organization can also arise from the fact that they could see how some other organizations are managed, through allowing the organization to benchmark the various departments where there is a need to change the management and or through employing senior leaders with skills and experience to run the organization (Heathfield, 2009).
Changes are sometimes made from outside of the immediate workforce in most of the large organizations, and it is true that organization of any size may have to change because of the varying needs of the customer. In this awareness stage of change in management, the organization will tend to realize the need for the change because the alarm had been raised to notify that there is a section or unit that requires managerial correction. In this case, there may be a definite administrative gap or a performance problem or merely having a general feeling that something is not right within the organization. It is important to note that on the realization that there is a managerial gap to be attended to, despite where the need to change originated from, all individuals within the organization will all recognize that the situation at hand is not working and must be attended to. If a single person is passionate enough about the on goings and sees the need to change, then such an individual can influence and educate the whole group about the observed changes (Heathfield, 2014).
During this stage, the architects of the change process must come together with coworkers and obtain the support of senior managers of the organization so that these desired changes can be successfully implemented. It is right to note that at this stage of change management, a few people are involved, and they may come from various levels within the organization. Additionally, top managers are mostly involved in technical issues like capital decisions while others suggest changes through avenues like departmental meetings, suggestion programs, as well as discussions with other managers, supervisors or reporting staff members.
Limitation of the Initial Stage of Change Management
Some of the barriers noticed during this stage include:
- The problems are not seen at the beginning of the stage and only become evident in the phase of deliberation. At this point, they might have blown out of proportion and can be difficult to control.
- The barriers can either be internal or external and therefore difficult to control because the external problems might have been influenced by other organizations which becomes difficult to preside over as opposed to internal sources which the organization can easily contain.
- Another limitation is that some sources which bring about these problems keep on recurring and therefore becomes relatively difficult to control because of their recurring nature.
Strategies for achieving initiation stage
The need for change can be created in so many ways. This can be through the support of the efforts of the employees by the organization's culture to introduce and initiates various changes in a clear and straightforward way. The strategies include:
- Through rewarding and encouraging ideas that help to generate and experiment to decrease opposition to change attitudes characterize that.
- Encouraging attendance of seminars, trade shows and conferences through the provision of financial assistance and support
- Provision of continuous access for employees to suppliers, customers, and business competitor as this will instill to them a feeling of being involved in the affairs of the business. This can make them became interested in handling and observing the company.
- Encouraging industry participation in groups and other certified associations by paying subscriptions and giving employees time to attend the associations
In this second stage, people start to investigate possibilities for change. Here, a vision of what and how the organization will look like after the changes are viewed. The readiness of the business to change is also evaluated at this stage. During this stage, the employees of the organization explore the changes they desired, ramifications of the changes and the required steps to help manage the changes. (Heathfield, 2012) It should be noted that at this stage of change management, the change agents collect information regarding the problem at hand and the possible improvements or solutions that can be put forth. After the investigation process is completed, then participants of the stage should be able to:
- Know whether the organization will be able to attain the desired goals due to the options of change to be introduced
- Determine the necessity of the outside sources to assist with the planning and implementation of the changes so identified or not (Bull & Brown, 2012).
- Should also be able to know if the identified solutions will help solve the problem or will improve the system
- Identify the information about alternatives for closing the gap including adjustments to current systems and new developments, technologies, and systems
Limitations of the investigation stage
Some of the barriers at this stage include:
There is the possibility of financial difficulties as problems may be realized and not catered for in the budget of the organization. The lack of resources to provide for the cost of investigating the change can be a very significant constraint for the organization.
Another limitation of this stage is the fact that the management can also prove to be a barrier especially if the sources to be investigated were beneficial to the top management.
At the same time, agents of change themselves can halt the process of investigating the problem especially in a situation where there are interested parties who desire to be recognized as the initiators of the change (Heathfield, 2014).
It is therefore prudent that these limitations be addressed to enable a smooth transition to the next stage of change management.
Strategies for achieving investigation stage of change management
During this stage, the agents leading and supporting the changes should engage in activities that will ensure that the changes are performed. They should participate in the following
They should asses the effects of potential changes in the organization
Attending conferences, seminars, trade shows to be able to explore specific options and existing alternatives
By benchmarking other organizations that have already implemented all or part of the planned improvements (Bull & Brown, 2012). Choose an evaluation team to identify exact necessity or way for change, development or solutions
At this stage, the decision on the course of the change is determined. Planning and definition of the identified strategies are done at this stage of change management. A realization that change requires a change in the culture of the organization is also essential. Here, the agents of change weigh the alternatives and decide on a specific course of action. They come up with the visions of the organization. The last part of the stage is the selection of an approach which will help to move the organization through the changes needed. Strategies are also determined at this stage.
Limitations of the intention stage
The process of assessing the impacts of the changes can be tedious and difficult to conduct
Relying on the outside consultants can be misleading as they might not be able to understand the underlying factors that have caused the problems hence can be biased
Another limitation is that the changes at times may not give the accurate reflection of the organization as they can be a result of an organized attempt by a section of workers to influence and meet their selfish organizational demands.
Lack of knowledge on how to approach the change is also a barrier that has limited the activities in the intention stage of change management.
Strategies for achieving intention stage of change management
At this stage, the change agents must conduct the following to ensure success.
They should ensure that appropriate people are involved in the process and that their inputs are well-thought-out and to a greater extent if sensible, they should be implemented.
Assess the impact of the suggested solutions and improvements on the organization
When outside consultants are used, it should be clear that the objectives of the organization and needs are i...
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