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Informative Articles

2005 Economic Update: Industry Specific 2005 Total Compensation Budget Predictions
What’s in store for 2006? Research organizations have made their predictions, but unstable oil prices can cause even the most positive projections to take a drastic turn. According to Michael Maciekowich, National Director of Astron...

Best Practice Benchmarking - The path to Excellence
Today benchmarking is an essential ingredient in strategic planning and operational improvement. Long-range strategies if not survival require organizations to continuously change and adapt to the known marketplace of today and the expected...

Public Relations – Defining Your Organization from the Inside Out
What do your customers say about your company? Would you let your major competitor control your sales strategy? Public relations is an inevitable consequence of being in business. Whether you like it or not, your corporate image evolves...

Tales from the Corporate Frontlines: Try, Try, Again
This article relates to the Career Opportunities competency and explores issues such as internal growth opportunities, potential for advancement, career development importance, and the relationship between job performance and career advancement....

What Are We Teaching PR Students?
How to do brochures, throw parties, talk to reporters and write press releases? Or, are we teaching them what PR’s fundamental premise says we should be teaching them? In so many words, whether they go to work for a business, non-profit,...

 
7 Essential Elements of Leading Change

In my practice as an organizational effectiveness consultant, the most frequent phone call I receive involves clients and prospective clients asking how to overcome resistance to change in their organizations.

Throughout my book, Strategic Organizational Change, I recommend a strategy-driven approach to planning and implementing change. Unfortunately, many organizations do not follow a systematic approach (my approach or anybody else's) for planning and implementing change.

An Unworkable "Plan"

Most organizations still attempt the following "plan" for organizational change:

1. senior management determines that a change is needed 2. the CEO announces the change to "the troops"

Needless to say, this "plan" is inviting resistance.

Seven Essential Change Elements

In the unworkable plan above, senior management has failed to consider the following seven essential elements for successful organizational change:

1. Involve the people who will be affecting (and affected by) the change. Get their input. Workers are a valuable source of information for management decision making. Today's workers want to be part of what's happening. (No buy-in from these folks guarantees resistance.)

2. Communicate a good reason for the change. Human beings can change quickly when they see a way to maximize benefits and/or minimize threats. Make sure the change is seen as relevant and strategy-driven. (Busy people will resist changes that they see as irrelevant.)

3. Designate a champion for the change. A senior executive does not have to take the champion role. In fact, it might be better to find someone the workers can relate to. (Natural leaders, many times in unofficial roles, exist throughout every organization. Take advantage of their


leadership ability.)

4. Create a transition management team. This cross-functional team can provide emotional support as well as practical ideas for change leaders. (Remember, no one individual is charismatic or talented enough to effectively implement an organizational change single-handedly.)

5. Provide training in new skills, behaviors, and values. If workers fear a loss of competency, they will resist change. They will revert back to the old skills, behaviors, and values when they feel threatened. (Change invariably involves a threat to one's current sense of competency.)

6. Bring in outside help. This sounds like a self-serving comment since I am an independent consultant, but the external consultant can play a critical role. An outsider brings a fresh perspective. An outside consultant doesn't have an "axe to grind." (And realistically, most senior managers are not trained in leading or facilitating organizational change.)

7. Reward people. Remember, whatever behaviors you reward, you get more of. Rewards do not have to be in the form of cash. Acknowledgement, praise, new job assignments, or additional decision-making authority can be more powerful motivators than cash. (In every successful organizational change, people are the essential factor.)
About the Author

Dr. Mike Beitler is the author of "Strategic Organizational Change" and "Strategic Organizational Learning". His books are used at General Motors, Coca-Cola, IBM, Wachovia, BASF, Glaxo Smith Kline, Daimler-Chrysler, and many more great companies. His work is written for practitioners who need real-world tools and strategies to be truly effective in their organizations. Find more info on Mike and his work at http://www.mikebeitler.com/

 

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Strategic Planning Society: Strategy Development and Implementation.
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Business Publications related to Corporate Strategic Planning.
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