Thursday, July 31, 2008

Change Management

At any one time or the other, especially in the current climate of mergers and acquisitions, businesses will have to undergo change. And when this happened, we are constantly told to accept and embrace the change.

Some justifications given may include reasons for business survival, to improve efficiency, for competitive advantage, or simply responding to external factors like opportunities and threats. Many will say that you have to be leaner and faster to create more growth and profit. Does this sound familiar? How would you react to this change if it happens to you ?

If you have just been given the task of leading change in your organization, your first task should be to create a vision for the first 100 days. This needs to be something that you can articulate in one sentence, explaining what your organization will become and by when.

One question you must ask yourself is whether your new vision statement inspires YOU. If it does not, how can you expect it to inspire others?

Change is emotional, and people will respond to it differently at different stages. Start by getting connected within your organization. Mobilize your staff, remove barriers, see through the politics and bring the vision to life.

These may sound easy, but they are actually something that can be done only in a climate of trust, collaboration and creativity. Communication is crucial. Communicate with your staff the hard facts too, even if it’s hard to swallow. Be transparent, or else the issue can be blown out of proportion.

Expect some people to push or even fight back. They can deny or reject your ideas or requests by blatantly refusing to cooperate or, perhaps, some can also choose to agree to something at first (even though he was not interested right from the beginning), but later never quite finding the time to follow it through.

It could also be useful to identify people who really support the change and give them positions of influence – to champion your cause.

Likewise, you must identify the most influential resistors to find out why they are against the change, and work out how to win them over. It can be a big mistake to simply ignore, cut off or fight these “troublemakers”.
Never underrate them as they could be crucial individuals that if you can win them over, they can become your most powerful allies. What you may want to do is to respond to them professionally and effectively – for the benefit of the organization.

Create your vision with your management team, communicate it to everyone and then set up small teams throughout the organization to work on specific problem areas.

Small teams working on change projects will be noticed quickly, which will then help to build the momentum that you need to get "the ball rolling".

No doubt that some change is inevitable. But if you manage to handle it well with proper planning, execution and follow ups, it’ll be a smooth sailing one. InsyaAllah.


Khairul Faizi said...


Your best resistors within your unit can be your best allies and I couldn't agree more.

The functions as our cross checkers, winning them is a bit hard since they are already hard on the arse but assigning the right functions according to their preference, capability and skills do straighten things up.

Other then that, current corporation do have to concerntrate more on "yamazumi" or job balancing to ensure that inefficient or non value added task can be eliminate and manpowers are evenly spread according to jobloads. This "yamazumi" cannot be done a one time thingy but must be overview throughout the calendar year.

SAS said...

Thanks Sdr Khairul. Appreciate ur comments.