| Key notions/ ideas/ points
InertiaWhy is it difficult to change?
| To understand why there is organisational inertia and why it is difficult to change, it is necessary to first identify them so that they can be individually addressed. This can be done by categorising the inertias identified into ‘socio-technical’, ‘cultural’, ‘political’ and ‘economical’ with the ‘today’ and ‘tomorrow’ scenarios mapped out for each category. (refer to Appendix A for notes on the various type of organisation inertia)When the social and technical factors do not create conditions that are necessary for joint optimisation, it will create resistance to change. Therefore, by identifying the socio-technical inertias, it will allow the change management team to improve/ train the areas/ skillsets that are lacking. Also, as culture is often deeply entrenched, cultural inertia tend to cause people to react defensively and do not see a need to respond to a change in the environment. Thus, a clear communication of the ‘why’ and the expected desired behaviours of the change initiative is necessary for the sceptics.Change inevitably involves winners and losers. Some will gain resources and prestige and others will be lessened and this will result in a tussle of political inertia. Thus, to counter against this, management should encourage buying in to the change initiative with the identified political groups and form coalitions so as to create ownership and reduce their resistance. Finally. To overcome the lack of resources that may hinder the change process, management needs to address this economical inertia through heavy investment or changing the cost centres to profit centres.
| In my organisation, it is mandatory that the CEO is changed every three years. With every change in reign, there will bound to be organisation-wide changes in terms of top management team’s profile/information systems and performance measurement tools. Recently, the organisation reviewed its corporate strategy and aligned the balanced scorecard (BSC) to it. Although the people are familiar with the expectations of change, it was still unavoidable that there was resistance to change. Had the change management team consciously made an effort to identify the inertia, manage the change process and apply the right change tactics, the change process might have been a smoother transition.From the organisation inertia perspective, management should have realised that people are not familiar with using the BSC as a form of performance evaluation tool and send them for training. In addition, to overcome cultural inertia, it was necessary to communicate clearly why the BSC was an equitable performance evaluation. Also, through identifying the political groups and early buy-ins with the department heads will also help.
| Process How does change unfold over time, what are the change stages?
| The change process starts with the recognition of a need to re-engineer businesses. Business Process Re-engineering (BPR) helps rethink and radically redesign an organisation’s existing resources to better support the organisation’s mission and reduce costs. Only after the organisation rethinks what it should be doing, does it go on to decide how best to do it.One such change process is the ‘Change Curve’. The stages that the Change Curve goes through are namely; ‘shock’, ‘denial’, ‘awareness’, ‘acceptance’, ‘testing’, ‘search for meaning’ and ‘integration. (refer to Appendix B for notes on the stages of the Change Curve)With knowledge of the Change Curve, the manager can plan how to minimise the negative impact of the change and help people adapt more quickly to it with the aim is to make the curve shallower and narrower. For instance, in the first two stages people need information to understand what is happening, and need to know how to get help. This is a critical stage for clear and frequent communication and ensuring that support is readily available to help...
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