It seems that change is all about us. The rate of change threatens to overwhelm us—everywhere we look—affecting everything we do both at home and at the office. This paper isn't about change. It's about how change impacts each and every one of us and how we react to it. It's about how we choose to handle change. It's about ways to influence our own future during change. It's about how we can become our own agent of change and not a victim of change.
I decided to write this paper after I encountered an old acquaintance. He was a graphic artist. Now he was selling cars while he looked for another job. He commented that his entire profession had changed. The technology had changed, the application had changed, and the way corporations sourced the work had changed. He had taken a break from his 30-year career to try something different in Florida. When he returned to Illinois to his previous company, he found that they no longer needed him or anybody like him. He looked around and found that he was no longer relevant. He believed he was a victim of change.
Shortly after this I was facilitating a CIRM review session. Two of the attendees had worked for the same company for about 25 years. The company had ended its 116-year life by being acquired piece by piece until there was nothing left. They were now scrambling to find a new way of life and work.
In both cases, the individuals did not understand the change or the change process. They did not seem to know what had happened or what to do about it. They did not have a personal change management plan.
Each of us faces the effects of change every day in our lives just as these individuals have. How well we get through the change depends on whether or not we can influence the change—how much we can influence our own future. Will we be victims of the change or change agents helping to manage the change in our lives?
In order to become change agents and take charge of our change, we need to understand the process of change, the role we play in the change process, and how to apply this knowledge to our change. Therefore, this paper is written for you. It will provide you with a fundamental understanding of the change process using a basic but robust change model and ways to apply this understanding to your individual change. After attending this session you should be able to:
1. Identify the change issues and how they affect you.
2. Describe the key actions required during a change
3. Define the your personal change management plan.
THE PROCESS OF CHANGE
Downsizing, rightsizing, technology, and economy the internal and external forces of change are continuous. They apply pressure against all organizations to change or cease to exist. In a recent article the authors identified two kinds of change, an economic change and an organizational change. The first is highly directive and exists because of a firm belief in the organization as mechanism myth. The second is based upon the belief that change is best executed through a cultural transformation.
Of course, both of these change approaches may be combined for maximum effect. And in many cases all of these approaches and their combinations can and will fail without people like you taking ownership of the change.
Change is a process, not a project and not a single event. Simply, it takes us from our current state through the transition or delta to the new or desired state.
To Be Continued
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