Introduction to Business
Instructor Laurie Barnes
June 12, 2010
“Progress is a nice word. But change is its motivator and chang
e has its enemies.”
niverse is in constant change. F
rom season to season, year to year, nothing is as it
Kennedy suggested, progress can only come about with change.
Unfortunately, many people have a hard time dealing with change and resist it. To ease
transition, a concept called “chan
ge management” has been gaining popularity.
Early history suggests that mankind has dealt with change and transition from the very
, and often not very well
. Throughout time, riots and wars have resulted over the
resistance of change.
as brought about many changes in the past few decades and
for some it feels like changes come about ever more frequently
Technology continues to break down many barriers and has been an aiding factor in
on in itself has brought about even more changes. But how can one
manage keeping up with and facilitating all of these changes?
Keeping up with change is only half the battle when dealing with an organization and
implementing change. Human
ge is similar to the
response to the unknown,
which causes many individuals
This is where the study and
management becomes useful.
In order to improve, progress, and stay competitive, an organization must change if
become stagnant, ineffective, or produce adverse results. At that point
imperative and management must go to work on researching what change is nee
ded to correct
improve mundane processes
, or to respond to customer needs
the job of implementing the change and getting everyone on board to carry it out.
One website defines
change management as the “set of processes that is employed to
ensure that significant changes are implemented in an orderly, controlled and syste
fashion to effect organizational change
(Top Bits, 2010)
.” To overcome resistance, those
involved must be
to buy in to change and work together to achieve the
organization’s goal of an orderly and effective tran
Effective leaders must be able to
get their employees to buy in to their vision of change or they will fail.
Those involved will buy in to an idea if they see
change or result of the change
benefits not only the organization, but
It takes much work to
change behaviors, and if the required changes are perceived as negative
, it will be
difficult to implement these changes without any resistance.
To alleviate stress and agitation
brought on by chang
e, the ADKAR model was created by Prosci Research in 1994.
There are five components of the ADKAR model that give framework to successful
(Kelly Services, 2010)
. These components include awareness, desire, knowledge, ability,
and reinforcement. Following the process laid out by these components helps alleviate the
negative reaction to implementing new procedures.
While the ADKAR model is
carried out, the staff naturally go
, much like when they lose a loved one or a job. One study
the grief process
Ross grief c
. According to
y, the stages of grief are
shock, denial, anger,
, while t
were added when
dealing with change
Making all staff aware of the coming change and why it is necessary
will help emplo
begin to cope with the
upcoming work ahead of them
Staff must know that the change will
improve business operations, allows the company to stay ahead of competition, increase the
bottom line, and is necessary for the success of the company.
At this point, the change agent
help staff cope with the initial shock
, denial, and anger stages.
of employees to take an active part in the
upcoming process and request participation and input of all staff to support their feelings of
rtance. Leaders must take caution not alienate any level of staff or cause the
impression that the change is being forced upon them.
Promoting involvement might help with
the bargaining stage for many, while maintaining the feeling of importance and utilit
help alleviate many feelings that lead to depression.
One organization employed a change facilitator to guide groups of employees through
. The facilitator used methodology that
families moving to the West in search of a better life during the gold rush. She focused on the
fact that whatever change occurs, employees would have to say goodbye to the past so they
could make room for what lies ahead. She reminded them th
at no change is ever easy. The
pioneers needed to load up all of their belongings and along the way encountered broken
wagon wheels that forced them to lighten their load to be able to continue on their way.
Families were faced with throwing off their silv
erware and prized heirlooms to be able to get
where they needed to go.
The facilitator used metaphoric stories to help employees envision
why they must change and helped them understand that they must sacrifice for the good of the
company in order to get
where they needed to go.
Knowledge is power, so providing training and education to staff
how to change the
procedures, software, or structure
will provide them with
are made more aware of what is to come and are given th
to work with the new
methods they are expected to employ, they can begin to test the waters of the change at hand.
Along with knowledge of how to implement the change, staff will need specific training
increase their ability
successfully utilize any new procedure, process, or
software that is put into place. Often, onsite or webinar training delivers the education needed
to execute the change details.
Finally, repetition is needed in order to master a process or procedure. Repetition helps
form a “habit” as to how things are done and reinforces the transition.
According to the book
, it takes
one straight days of repetition to form a
Once the process or procedure becomes familiar, resistance will
may be achieved, barring any perception that change poses a threat.
If a change agent is faced with fur
ther resistance, the best
can do is to pause,
listen, empathize, think, and respond
(Straker, Responding to Unexpected Resistance, 2010)
The message to resistance should not be that public disagreement is not allowed.
The agent will
express themselves and then empathize with them while working toward a
win situation, showing them the bigger picture.
Some mistakes that organizations ma
ke when implementing change cause the process
to be more
difficult or even impossible. One of these moves that cause failure include failing to
appoint a change champion or choosing one that is too junior in the organization
Performance Pty Ltd, 2010)
. Another mistake is to
not employ executive sponsorship of the
change. Poorly defined objectives, turf wars, too narrow of a solution, and poor management
skills also may attribute to failure. And most importantly, the change team or agent cannot be
laden with too many duties t
o divert their attention away from the change project.
Another player in successful change management is the end user or customer. If an
organization implements a change (such as a new billing system implementation or execution
to government regulations),
the customer may inherit this change and express resistance or
dissatisfaction of his own
here are both winners and losers when change is facilitated. Straker says that
see change as inevit
able and a part of growth and evolution of their organization
. Some even embrace it. Winning managers actively and quickly jump on board with
change and lead their employees through it.
Losers see change
as a threat and have a low tolerance of ambiguity. These individuals
avoid change at all cost and treat it as an event, rather than a continuous and fluid progression.
Working with others to carry out change is risky for them and they would rather not leav
reputation to others’ decisions.
Losing managers simply mandate the changes and do not
change themselves. They are annoyed by resistance and consider culture as unimportant.
Change management is an intricate process and takes a combination of skill
implement change successfully. A successful change agent possesses qualities and skills that
include perception, flexibility, tolerance of ambiguity, enthusiasm, networking, communication,
sensitivity, political ability, and team
. The art of persuasion and
perseverance are also abilities needed when forging one’s way through the process.
nnovation and globalization have increased the need for change so that
companies may stay
Change management has become a popular study for many
organizations experiencing growing pains or suffering from stagnancy or decline
attempt at change is successful. To implement change
it takes special skills and abilities to
follow through with the change process. A successful change will aid an organization in
progressing toward a better future.
Business Performance Pty Ltd. (2010).
Organizational Change Ma
The New Imperative
Retrieved June 12, 2010, from Business Performance:
Frybarger, J. (2010, June 13). Change Agent. (M. Smith, Interviewer)
Kelly Services. (2010).
Five Components of the ADKAR Model
. Retrieved June 9, 2010, from Smart
Ross, E. (1969).
On Death and Dying.
New York: MacMillan Publishing Company.
D. M. (1960).
Englewood Cliffs: Prentice
Straker, D. (2010).
Change Agent Capabilities
. Retrieved June 12, 2010, from Changing Minds:
ker, D. (2010).
Responding to Unexpected Resistance
. Retrieved June 12, 2010, from Changing
Top Bits. (2010).
. Retrieved June 9, 201
0, from Top Bits: