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Changes in modern businesses.

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Introduction Changes are inevitable in modern businesses. They occur in almost every organisation, or industry sector, at some time or other. The changes may be small but incremental, or radical and occasional. Business is continually changing, new technology is making operations easier, new markets are opening and staff are bringing new skills to the workplace. However, in order to make the most of these changes, they should be introduced in a systematic way, which maximises their effects. Additionally, staff should be kept informed of changes, and should be encouraged to contribute to them. Staff will also need to be trained to use the new systems procedures and technology correctly. Stakeholders and customers will need to be kept informed of the changes and understand how they will effect them. Effective change management that makes all employees participate is essential in our world of turbulence and of shorter cycles of innovation. Changes may affect every industry and every organizational function. In every organization, management knows about the external environment and the vision of the organization. This knowledge is the basis for developing appropriate strategies. Although challenging, this is the easier part. Nevertheless, management will only be able to successfully implement a new strategic direction, if they manage to gain the commitment of everyone within the organization. The point is to develop processes that enable all employees to learn about change and that to develop a culture of dialogue between management and workforce. Change management means to make change happen - to flexibly adapt the organization to ongoing external changes. Chapter I: Basic Change Management I. What is change ? Change Defined "Change is the window through which the future enters your life." It's all around you, in many types and shapes. You can bring it about yourself or it can come in ways (Source : http://www.prosci.com) The root of change In recent years we have witnessed a radical change in perspective. ...read more.


A potential reason is that our culture attaches great importance to targeted thinking. Thus, we virtually unlearn how to be imaginative and creative with our ideas. * Problem solving is seen as a serious matter: There is no place for humor in the process of problem solving; hence, there will not be much freedom for creativity. * Reasons and intuition: It is generally accepted in business life that critical reasoning, objective analysis, logic, figures and facts are good things. Intuition and fun are seen as sub-optimal. In our personal life, however we are used to base many important decisions on our intuition and our feelings - for instance choice of friends and partners. * Tradition and change: It is a challenging task to overcome traditions. This is especially true when employees do not see the relation between their traditions and an existing problem. On the other hand, traditions can be the basis for personal commitment in change processes. These cultural barriers hinder the development and evaluation of solutions for problems in the organization. Moreover, they limit options for new approaches in change processes. Environmental Barriers * Lack of support: Many people perceive changes as a threat for their personal status. Changes move the whole organization as well as every single employee out of their 'comfort zone'. Therefore, there will always be some people who try to stop or ignore the process. * Lack of ability to accept criticism: Those who create new ideas may set up new barriers when they ignore justifiable criticism. The ability to accept criticism is a major precondition for establishing trust and for gaining support. * Managers who always know the answer: Some managers are successful because the have good ideas and are able to implement them. But only those, who listen to their employees, will be able to use their creativity as well. Such environmental barriers have effects on all phases of change. ...read more.


* Identify the different levels of change. * Develop the traits of a change leader. * Prepare a plan for a change. * Identify why employees resist change. * Control a crisis situation. The Skills to control change * Political Skills. Organizations are first and foremost social systems. Without people there can be no organization. Lose sight of this fact and any would-be change agent will likely lose his or her head. Organizations are hotly and intensely political. And, as one wag pointed out, the lower the stakes, the more intense the politics. Change agents dare not join in this game but they had better understand it. This is one area where We must make our own judgments and keep our own counsel; no one can do it for us. * Analytical Skills. Make no mistake about it, those who would be change agents had better be very good at something, and that something better be analysis. Guessing won't do. Insight is nice, even useful, and sometimes shines with brilliance, but it is darned difficult to sell and almost impossible to defend. A lucid, rational, well-argued analysis can be ignored and even suppressed, but not successfully contested and, in most cases, will carry the day. If not, then the political issues haven't been adequately addressed. Two particular sets of skills are very important here: workflow operations or systems analysis, and financial analysis. Change agents must learn to take apart and reassemble operations and systems in novel ways, and then determine the financial and political impacts of what they have done. Conversely, they must be able to start with some financial measure or indicator or goal, and make their way quickly to those operations and systems that, if reconfigured a certain way, would have the desired financial impact. Those who master these two techniques have learned a trade that will be in demand for the foreseeable future. (This trade, by the way, has a name. It is called "Solution Engineering.") * People Skills. As stated earlier, people are the sine qua non of organization. ...read more.

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