Addressing the fundamentals of organisational change ssPresentation Transcript
The critical adjustments made by the organisation to
organisational structure, operations and processes are
all carried out in order to align the business activities to
the market, as well as among other considerations to
support the need to successfully implement strategy,
improve efficiencies, and secure investor returns.
In order for such ambitions to be reached there is the
crucial issue of perception to consider. Leadership
perceptions are known to impact on employee
behaviour in both a positive and negative manner, and
thus can influence and determine the culture of the
organisation. Perceptions also impact on the strategy-
making process, seen by the weight of consideration and
importance that leadership place on potential strategic
Delivering the Fundamentals ambitions. It therefore comes as no surprise that the
of Organisational Change individual and collective perceptions fostered by senior
By Clive G Holt executives do have a significant impact on how the
organisational change process is managed, and what the
Director / Managing Consultant PROESCE
final outcome will look like.
With business and the market place forever changing,
In addition to leadership perception, we also need to
the far sighted organisation will always retain an open
look closely at available leadership competency.
mind on the issues and actions of organisational change.
Competency here refers to the characteristics and
They do so if only to adapt and respond to what is
measurable patterns of behaviour, knowledge, situation
happening across their industry environments. From a
awareness and skill that leadership can contribute and
leadership perspective the successful implementation of
deliver to the organisation change process. The available
‘change’ is seen as an essential mechanism that closes
breadth and depth of executive competency will
the gap between thought and action and strategy and
determine the height of the ‘barrier of complexity’ that
routinely needs to be scaled by the company executives
and staff in order to manage the change management
programme to a satisfactory conclusion as well as Transitional Change
dictating the pace at which the change progress can be
implemented. The ‘transitional change’ approach is concerned with
moving away from current working practices to
When we examine change applications and OD embarking upon and embracing a new way of operating.
methodology today we discover that modern Transitional change begins at the point where
management theory of best practice and knowledge leadership recognize a problem exists or that a business
management principles have become embedded into opportunity has been identified that the organisation is
organisational and development frameworks. In this not able to action or take
article we identify three framework styles that can be ‘’Within this social system, advantage of correctly. The
adopted as the roadmap for change: Organisational there are a number of driving requirement of leadership
Developmental Change, Organisational Transitional and restraining forces that therefore is to replace the
Change and Organisational Transformation Change. maintain the status quo of the existing ways of operating
organisation. It is the individual with an entirely new
make up and design of these approach which is
Developmental Change systems that give the altogether something
organisation its unique different to that which lay
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The application and attention of this approach focuses before.
on improving or correcting what already exists within
the organisational environment. The objective is to Research completed by Harris and Beckhard (1987)
improve efficiency and performance. The themes and describes three stages in transitional change – ‘old state’
applications used are designed to enhance employee transitional state’ and ‘new state’. Harris and Beckhards’
motivation through continuous growth and competency findings concluded that the attention of leadership is to
development programmes designed to raise be firmly fixed on managing the ‘transitional stage’.
performance levels. Developmental change does not Leaders however typically interpret the transitional
seek to introduce major new processes into the work stage as a programme of projects that are designed
place, and the culture and values of the organisation around available budget and time-lines. Embarking on
remain unaltered. project management exercises does offer an improved
success rate when human resource issues are at a necessary to ensure the new emerging organisation’s
minimum. The complexity and emotional diversity reforms will be balanced and aligned to carry out the
surrounding ‘people’ issues draws the project team in a duties and functions that is expected of it.
number of directions resulting in the project often
becoming difficult to conduct and manage.
At the very heart of the organisation lies its ‘social
systems’. These are the processes by which the The impact human and cultural issues have on
organisation operates and conducts its business affairs. organisational change describes and highlights the
Within this social system there are a number of driving difference in application between ‘transitional change’
and restraining forces that maintain the status quo of and ‘transformational change’.
the organisation. It is the individual make up and design
of these systems that give the organisation its unique The key drivers in ‘transformation change’ are human
characteristics that are often referred to as the DNA of and cultural driven due to the fact that the approach of
the company. In order to successfully manage the change adopted is often far reaching and radical by
‘transitional’ stage leadership needs to identify the virtue of the fact that transformational change requires
restraining and driving forces that secure the a shift of culture, behaviour and mindset.
equilibrium, and to change one or other to create an
imbalance. Once the imbalance has been created the To ensure successful transformation change there are a
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organisational system can now be adjusted to a new set number of steps leadership and OD programme
of driving and restraining applications which will be used managers can adopt:
throughout the transitional stage.
Establish a true sense of urgency that is founded
It is in the design and how these new driving and upon sound considerations rather than fiction.
restraining forces are managed and controlled that the Form a strong coalition that will guide the
success of the transitional stage will be measured. As process.
the transitional stage of the change process draws to
completion the role of senior leadership is to now Create a vision that is clearly understood by all
consider the design of the new social system - the forces levels.
of equilibrium (the new corporate DNA) that will be
Empower others within the organisation at all and what changes have they introduced rather than
levels to act on that vision. embark upon new concepts and initiatives which are
Plan, create and communicate short term wins perhaps better suited to their own organisational needs.
and review and consolidate change
improvement. What is of prime importance is that leadership clearly
know and understand what has influenced their thinking
In practice all three processes of change can be – internal operational dysfunction, competitive activity,
occurring within the organisation at the same time media reports on industry change, stakeholder pressure
etc.. To simply assume organisational change is essential
for long term growth or to disguise leadership
Identifying and Defining the
dysfunction is not reason enough to embark on such an
Change Strategy. exercise, especially if the consequences and impact are
to be far reaching and costly.
The drive to clearly identify and define strategies that
are designed to support organisational change has not
The Processes: Leadership needs to also consider
always been focused or drawn leadership attention
carefully the type and degree of change they feel is
necessary, and balance that need, to defined outcomes,
cost and specific benefits. A number of essential and far
The initial concept and need for change.
reaching questions need to be asked. Where is the
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The process of organisational change.
attention being directed? What are we looking to
Work practices and procedures.
achieve? Who is to lead the programme? How long
with the process take? What will be consequences?
The Initial Concept: The initial awareness by leaders What does a successful change programme look like?
of a need to change may either be in a response to How much will it cost?
internal or external influences or in a personal belief
that change is required or essential. The focus of the need to change is maybe found in
human resources, tasks relating to products and
The increasing complexity and the resultant levels of services, administration or new technology. In the case
uncertainty of global market activities have led some of new technology a number of additional strategic
organisations to base their change management objectives need to be considered: market objectives,
programme on structure imitation – who is successful
cost objectives, stakeholder involvement, product towards the fundamentals of organisation change - the
quality objectives and operating control objectives. initial points of thought and consideration that need to
be addressed. Unfortunately these initial steps are so
Work Practices: On completion of the organisational often overlooked by leadership. What would be your
change programme a number of new systems of initial points of reference if you were called upon to be a
operation will now emerge. The hidden danger at this change agent for your organisation? How and where
stage is the implementation by leadership and staff of would you begin?
emergency contingencies that can compromise the
overall change outcomes. For example where a new
process or system is regarded as non-performing there PROESCE
may be a tendency to revert back to traditional Organisation and Leadership Development Consultants
methods. Such an action can cause conflict and
confusion across all levels of staff, and threaten new For further information on Organisation & Leadership
working practices operating in other areas of the system training and development visit our website:
and organisation. www.proesce.com or email us at
It is during these early days that continuous review and
assessment of systems and procedures needs to be
conducted and the findings discussed and acted upon. It
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is through this review process that new beliefs and
customs in the work place begin to formulate.
A casual reflection of organisational change in the minds
of senior corporate leaders demonstrates that the need
to adapt to internal and external conditions is a
requirement that many organisations cannot afford to
ignore. What is more crucial is the sober consideration