In evaluating the
various the techniques for overcoming resistance to change, there
are six items that commonly appear as keys to successful change.
Each will be addressed from the perspective of management and
workers. They are
• vision and clarity
• analysis and anticipation
• participation and involvement
• support and empathy.
communication is a fundamental requirement for successful change.
Management is responsible for making sure that appropriate
communication mechanisms are in place and used during the course of
a change initiative. They need to examine current communication
methods for effectiveness and appropriateness. For example, the
common practice of using e-mail and memos might be viewed by workers
as being too impersonal for situations involving major change.
Managers need to be visible and accessible as change progresses. The
main thing for managers to remember in relation to communication is
JUST DO IT—frequently, openly, honestly, and personally. Let others
know that progress is being made. Also, communication is a two-way
process that involves listening as well as speaking or writing.
Workers respond much more enthusiastically if they understand what's
happening and feel like they have an opportunity to provide their
input. Workers have a responsibility to communicate among
themselves, to their supervisors, and to higher-level managers. They
need to avoid the tendency to sit back, complain, and view
themselves as victims and to become active participants in the
communication process. Managers can deal with workers' concerns only
if they know what they are.
Vision and Clarity
It is fundamentally
important for everyone to understand why change is being proposed in
the first place. How will we be more competitive? What are the
expected benefits and costs? What is the time frame? How committed
is the organization to successful implementation of this change?
What will happen in each affected area? It is entirely management's
responsibility to have a vision, clarify the vision, and communicate
and continually reinforce the vision to everyone involved. Managers
must be leaders in the change process and vision is the first step
in leadership. Workers will make better decisions regarding their
role and effort if they know the vision and understand it. If they
are not clear about the vision, workers need to continue to press
for clarity through the communication process.
Once change is
proposed, participants enter a stage of analysis and anticipation.
Management's responsibility is to analyze the broad impact of
proposed change and develop a plan of action that will lead to a
successful conclusion. In the planning process managers need to
anticipate potential problems and try to solve them before they
materialize. Managers also need to take the opportunity to
communicate with each other and with workers to avoid unnecessary,
nonproductive activity. Workers also have a responsibility to
analyze and anticipate. Once they understand the vision and need for
change, they need to look at how, specifically, it will impact them
and the rest of the organization by asking: What's in it for me?
What's in it for them? What's in it for us?
As workers analyze the impact of change, important discoveries need
to be fed back through communication channels.
To Be Continued