November 3, 2017
In today’s organizations, leaders must be prepared to manage organizational change. Change in the workplace is inevitable, and the effective management of a change initiative plays a large role in transformative success.
To start, leaders should recognize the types of change that may occur. As explained in AMA‘s Change Management Workshop, change is generally characterized in five ways:
Evolutionary change or adaptation is slow and incremental. While the complete results could create significant change in an organization, the pace is quite slow and involves many committees and individuals to ensure less upheaval.
Developmental change enhances or corrects existing aspects of an organization, such as improving a skill or process. This type of change should cause little stress as long as the rationale is understood by employees.
Transitional change seeks to achieve a desired state that is different from the existing one. This is a little more intrusive than developmental change since it replaces existing processes with something completely new.
Drastic action or revolutionary change is immediate and forced on the organization in the face of a significant event. Mandated regulatory change or the introduction of advanced technology are examples of drastic changes.
Transformational change is radical, requiring a significant shift in assumptions made by the organization and all employees. The transformation results in an organization that differs significantly in terms of structure, process, culture, and strategy from where it began.
As leaders of change in the workplace, we provide direction and help our organizations understand the nature of change and reason for it. Your role in leading change depends on factors such as the level of authority and influence you have over the change and the nature of the change.
Organizational change management is multifaceted and involves many elements. But among them, our primary responsibility and objective is to manage the scope and speed of change for the people we lead. This is where we have the most impact, and all other elements of managing change are part of being able to do this effectively.
To successfully manage organizational change, leaders need to understand that individuals deal with change at different rates. Too much change in a short time can result in feelings of change overload. Leaders must help teams make a change with minimum disruption and stress. To do so, we need to ask:
Some common challenges of managing workplace change are listed here, along with tips on how to handle them: