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Managing Change
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The world is changing, every aspect of it, and it is chang­ing quickly. Politics, technology, global markets, eco­nomics, information systems, society, the environment, and the structure of business and industry are all chang­ing. Individuals must change as well; today's business environment demands it.


According to Beck, in the pre-1918 era, the four en­gines that ran the economy were textiles, coal, steel, and the railroads. The key factor of cheap steel influenced these economic mainstays of our nation. The infrastruc­ture in place to facilitate the economy included railroads, shipping, and the telegraph. From 1918 to 1981, we were deep into the mass-manufacturing era. Automobiles, machine tools, housing, and retail became the primary economic products. Cheap energy made mass manufac­turing possible, and a solid infrastructure of highways, airports, and telephones facilitated these businesses. From 1981 to the 1990s, the key factor if industry was cheap microchips. Satellites, fiber optics, networks, and broadcasting were they key infrastructure items, which contributed to the opening of semiconductor, medical, communications, and instrumentation economies. The mid-1990s brought cheap storage, and infrastructure items such as information highways, databases, and ac­cess systems are leading to increases in biotechnology, intelligent systems, new materials, and information



The rate of change is accelerating. The speed of hu­man transportation is only one example of how rapidly the changes are taking place. Before 1890 the rate of speed was limited to the speed of the horse. The automobile multiplied speeds by two; the airplane multiplied those speeds by two hundred, and jets by even more. Today the fastest speed we know is the speed of a shuttle reentering the atmosphere at approximately 6,500 miles per hour. This only reflects the changes in the speed of human transportation. Similar rates of change are occurring in the knowledge industry, the service industries, the medi­cal industry, the communications industry, the computer industry, and every other industry.

Businesses must change to meet the new realities of this business world, and the businesses that do not change will fail. According to Senge, the average life span of a business today is less than 40 years. That means that the businesses that were beginning when you were born are either dead or dying today. Unless, that is, they have mastered the art of changing, and can change quickly! Those businesses that can and do respond to market conditions and change quickly have a strong competitive advantage.

How do they have to change? They must become flat­ter; they must have methods and procedures that are less bureaucratic. They must focus more on the cus­tomer, and emphasize providing added value in their products and services. They must integrate new tech­nology at the same time that they respond to environ­mental concerns. They must eliminate waste.


Throughout this change process, executives have the responsibility for making decisions, for being right, and for convincing others of that fact. They must lead and manage the change. The process of change impacts in­dividuals, work groups, and the organization as a. whole. No aspect of the organization is immune from change. Winning in war or business requires a winning attitude that is reflected in the organization, the people, and technology.


Individual personality will impact the ability of a business to win. It impacts the organization's develop­ment, team building, and individual behavior. Person­ality impacts how people communicate with each other, how they learn, how they experience and participate in team building, how they perform, their ability to suc­ceed, their interpersonal relationships, their motivation, their cooperation, their behavior, and their morale. It also impacts their ability to manage change, and can make or break your business relationships!

Personality is that unique part of you that makes you who you are, emotionally, mentally and spiritually in the same way genetics determines who you are physi­cally. Ultimately, your personality helps to determine how you respond in certain situations, how you make decisions, what you like, what you dislike, and even who you like or dislike.

To Be Continued

For balance of this article, click on the below link:

Lean Manufacturing Articles and click on Series 13


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