Change takes place everywhere. Individuals, groups, and organisations go through changes in different stages of their life cycle. Change is something that can push us to come out of our comfort zone. It is therefore a very important issue both in our personal and professional lives.
What is change?
Change is any alteration in the work environment. The shift may be in the way things are perceived or in how they are organised, processed, created or maintained. Every individual and organisation experiences change (Plunkett & Attner, 1994).
Changes may be initiated at any level of an organisation. Some changes are operational in nature; whereas others are strategic in nature. Strategic change is the proactive management of change in organisations to achieve clearly identified strategic objectives (Lynch, 2012).
Change is a reality. It is a very common phenomenon in the competitive business world. Therefore, it becomes necessary sometimes for organisations to embrace change.
There are many reasons why an organisation may need to initiate a change. For example, technological development may require organisations to change their ways of work. The shift from the use of typewriters to computers is an example of change caused by technological development.
Economic conditions also work as a change factor. For example, organisations may reduce some of their products/services during an economic downturn. Conversely, they may open new stores and pursue other growth opportunities when the economic conditions are stable.
Change needs to be managed appropriately. A good change management plan needs to be in place in order to implement any change. Managers need to identify the barriers to change so that they can apply appropriate remedies to remove the barriers. They may find a number of tools such as Force Field Analysis and Kotter’s 8 Step Model very useful in this regard.
As mentioned above, change is a common phenomenon. Therefore, organisations should not be afraid of change. It may sometimes be necessary for organisations to be proactive in change initiation.
The article publication date: June 2016
Plunkett, W. & Attner, R. (1994) Introduction to Management. 5th edition, USA: International Thomson Publishing
Johnson, G., Scholes, K. and Whittington, R. (2006) Exploring Corporate Strategy: Text and Cases, 7th Edition, UK: Prentice Hall
Author: M Rahman
M Rahman writes extensively online with an emphasis on business management and marketing. He is a graduate of both Leeds Metropolitan University and London South Bank University.