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This article is the second in an arrangement on organization effectiveness.*
In the past paper we demonstrated how to recognize necessary changes in an organization’s strategies, structures, and individuals forms by applying a gap analysis and a model of viability.
Since we have pinpointed what changes need to happen, we should direct our concentration toward the procedure of successful planned change.
The motivation behind this article is to encourage its readers to consider a roadmap of planned change that will direct them in their future change efforts.
We will offer several systems that will control the reader to successfully execute planned change inside organizations.
Planned Versus Reactive Change
Perhaps it appears to be strange that I have utilized “planned” in relation to the word change.
For the reasons for this article, it is important to recognize the contrasts amongst planned and reactive change.
Planned change is intentional.
It is outlined and executed in a convenient fashion in anticipation of future occasions. Usually proactive, planned change infers building up a dream of the way things could be because of either external or internal forces.
Reactive change, then again, is usually ad hoc, a piecemeal reaction to occasions as they happen with no earlier idea.
Prologue to Change Phases
Kurt Lewin was a German conceived clinician who emigrated to the United States in 1933. Thought to be the father of social brain research, Lewin was one of the first to think about gathering dynamics and organization advancement.
Among his many commitments is a roadmap of planned change which encompasses three stages:
There is much we can learn from this roadmap as we attempt to make changes in our own organizations.
Unfreezing is the phase which prepares the organization for change.
This is the first and perhaps the most important phase as the organization formulates the change initiative and evoke participation from the individuals will’s identity affected.
There are three fundamental aspects to the unfreezing phase:
- (1) disconfirmation.
- (2) intellectual dissonance which leads to learning anxiety.
- (3) creation of psychological safety.
According to Schein (2002), all learning and change efforts start with some form of disconfirmation, that is, feedback to the organization’s individuals about the organization’s present performance.
This feedback could be because of changes in the earth or to internal changes expected to increase the organization’s capabilities and make it more aggressive.
The important point here is that when the information is exhibited, it must be something that the organizational individuals interface with and care about; it must create enough “pain” that the organization will experience the way toward changing rather than remain in its present state.
The impacts of disconfirmation toss the organization’s individuals into what is called intellectual dissonance.
Psychological dissonance is an uncomfortable inclination caused by holding two contradictory ideas simultaneously.
The hypothesis of psychological dissonance suggests that individuals have a motivational drive to decrease dissonance either by changing their attitudes, convictions, and behaviors, or by legitimizing and rationalizing their attitudes, convictions, and behaviors.
Psychological dissonance frequently leads to a protective reaction called “learning anxiety.”
When we go into another learning procedure, we frequently feel a feeling of anxiety towards the loss of our adequacy, our confidence and our way of life as it relates to our work. Learning anxiety is the primary cause of protective reactions to change and where the real work of unfreezing lies.
Keeping in mind the end goal to get the organization’s individuals to accept and see the information as valid and relevant, the leaders of a change initiative need to balance the potential threat of the new information with a feeling of “psychological safety.”
Usually this can be accomplished by incorporating the organization’s individuals in the action/transition phase of planned change.
The second phase is called the action or transition phase.
This phase includes mediating in the organization’s frameworks to grow new behaviors, values, and attitudes.
Amid this phase it is important to create small wins for the time being while also giving continual communication of the overall goal.
Moreover, quite a bit of this phase comprises of reframing the change effort in a way that allows the organization’s individuals to embrace the new standards of performance while maintaining their character and confidence.
Outstanding amongst other ways to encourage organizational individuals to embrace change is to demonstrate the coveted behaviors.
Consider that 83% of the information we get is filtered all through sight, tutors help display the coveted behaviors as well as help create a feeling of psychological safety.
This is the reason leadership and mentorship programs are so vital while actualizing planned change.
The third phase is the refreezing phase which institutionalizes the changes into the organization’s way of life.
The easiest technique for refreezing the changes is to create approaches and methodology that reinforce the coveted behaviors.
It is important to note, in any case, that these changes must be compatible with the organization’s center values and mission.
Something else, organizational individuals will have trouble accepting and adopting the new strategies and the changes will have no permanence.
Next we will examine several methods for navigating the unfreezing, action/transition, and refreezing stages of change.
Methods for Unfreezing Phase
Create a feeling of earnestness.
This is the initial step sketched out in Kotter’s Leading Change (1996), and it is perhaps the most important advance in the entire procedure.
Creating a feeling of direness, or an emergency, galvanizes the organization towards advancing the change effort.
Utilize hard facts and data to interface the change effort to the present capacity of the organization.
Introduce a clear photo of the organizational results for not changing.
Offer a Vision.
All organization individuals want to be part of something that motivates them.
Creating a dream that leads to the heart of the mission and values of the organization will encourage individuals to participate.
Systems for Action/Transition Phase
Get Constituents Involved. Including the individuals who are most affected by the change and giving them an important part in the process sends a solid message of transparency and receptiveness by the supporters of the change effort.
- Having a voice in what happens enables constituents, giving them a sentiment of control in a generally uncontrollable situation.
- They are also more prone to help create arrangements when setbacks happen or inconvenience spots arise amid the change initiative.
- Create First Steps.
- Make it easy to move by creating fast achievable goals.
This constructs energy and shows others that the change effort is probably going to succeed.
Having coaches in place allows others to recognize somebody to approach when they have inquiries or concerns.
Make beyond any doubt the coaches not just understand their parts and the phases of change, yet that they are also are able to help other people through the change procedure.
Methods for Refreezing Phase
Reward. Work in rewards for the coveted behaviors.
These can be small and straightforward, similar to individual blessing certificates, or large, similar to a trek for a whole department.
Create Rites of Passage
Create rituals that celebrate the changes and imply the burial of the old ways of getting things done.
Try not to underestimate the significance of rituals – they can be an intense draw to create conclusion and a significant advance toward the future vision of the organization.
Socialization the Changes
As specified before, it is important to institutionalize the changes by creating imbedding them into the formal frameworks and structures. Be that as it may, don’t stop there – incorporate it with the social fabric of the organization by constantly communicating the advantages and the vision of change.
Measure of Time
The greater the change initiative, the more it takes to finish the phases of the change cycle. All the phases are necessary when an organization is creating any kind of change effort to enhance its viability.
The change effort could include actualizing a leadership advancement program, rebuilding, progression planning, or addressing basic leadership in a team or department.
Regardless of the situation, Lewin’s three-phase roadmap speaks to the necessary stages an organization must traverse to create successful planned change.