Organisations are highly specialized systems and people working within the organisations are generally cynical to change in the work environment as they don’t want to get into uncharted territory. It is the natural tendency of human being to live in their comfort zone and no one likes to be comfortable being uncomfortable even for a short duration (during the change process). But, for organisations to survive and succeed in the current environment change is no longer optional. Organisations have to learn to love change to stay ahead of competition.
Definition – Change management is about moving from one state to another, specifically, from the problem state to the solved state (Jung, 2001). But, the organisational terminology for change management can be varied and ‘change’ may be used under different terms. E.g. when a company talks about re-engineering, restructuring, promoting cultural transformation, or keeping pace with the industry, then it is talking about change. Lewin (1951) conceptualized that change can occur at three levels.
Change can be further classified as planned and emergent. When change is deliberate and is a product of conscious reasoning and actions is supposed to be planned. Emergent change is a direct contract to this and unfolds in an apparently spontaneous and unplanned way.
Change is mostly driven by circumstances and always takes place with a particular goal in mind. Some of the common drivers of change are, to keep pace with the changing environment, to beat competition, technological changes to improve process efficiency etc. No matter what the driver for change is, the goal of the whole process is to lead the organisation into a future state which is different from the current state under which the organisation operates. (Nicols, 2006) The scope and scale of change can vary. E.g. Change can be limited a particular department (operations, marketing etc.) or it might affect the whole organisation, it might relate to only a group of people or might affect every employee in the organisation.
Irrespective of its nature, change has to be initiated, driven and implemented by someone. This is where leadership fits into the change management process. It has been found that organisations that have been successful in coping with change have strong leadership that guides the team through a series of initial steps that set the stage for success (Nadler,
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