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Chasing the Challenge of Change Published: Sunday, May 27, 2001 By: Dr. Manuel Ángel Morales

Solving and avoiding organizational problems inevitably involves the introduction of organizational change. When the required changes are small and isolated, they usually can be accomplished without mayor problems. When they are large and involve many people and subunits, they often can cause significant difficulties.

Managing the change process is a critical issue for organizations, leaders and managers. Very few organizations exit in a static state; the world is constantly changing. Outside the organization, in the space of the fiscal year, product development cycles go from two years to six months, because customers demand new products, better and faster. Governments impose new regulations, and/or remove others. The financial environment becomes difficult to predict. Communications across organizations is intense and rapid, as the business environment becomes global. Institutional honeymoons are becoming shorter and shorter.

Organizations of all kinds must seek and adopt more effective ways to set strategies, to market and manufacture products, and to work effectively in an ever changing and turbulent environment. Thus, organizations have no alternative but to make mayor changes in their management style, beliefs, systems and culture in order to meet these challenges.

Most organizations have a difficult time in preparing the work setting for change. Once the organization embraces change, it is often difficult to configurate and sustain an implementation process. Leaders and managers who are champions and supporters of the change often meet resistance from the tyranny of the status quo and its many organizational fronts.

For the last twenty years we have been working, playing and having fun with many ways to conceptualize a change strategy. Following a huge research foundation and more than one thousand applications, we can establish that change is more effective when the costs of making the change are outweighed by factors which create the motivation for change. The profound logic is that change is equal to the levels of dissatisfaction with the status quo, by the presence of a new model for managing implicit in the change, by the structuring of a planned implementation process for making the change overpass the cost of the change to the relevant stakeholders, individuals, groups, teams and units in the organization. (C = D x M x P > C )

Change will flow somewhat more easily when sufficient dissatisfaction with the status quo is a mayor condition inside the organization. The new model of management is the tool leaders and managers have to put the vision into managerial practice. The organization has to have a process for managing the change that is sufficiently well-planned, anticipating that resistance to change will occur, understanding where the resistance will come from, and outlining effective intervention methods for dealing with these changes. Again, all of the change variables combined must be greater than the cost of change economically and emotionally to the organization in question.

You ought to take the bull between the teeth…most organizational things are rarely as easy as they seem, especially when your team is the one trying to do them. It is all about chasing the challenge of change.

 


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