Changes is what constant in our life. Regardless of the situation and implication, in daily life or managing organisation, we do faces changes from time to time.
Therefore, managing changes has become somehow critical for managers and leaders especially in organisation and businesses.
Though there are many ways of managing it, personally, I believe that what has been researched and founded by the academicians are meant to be there for us the practitioner, to study and use it accordingly.
What best, the implementation and usage in the practical ground is what matter most.
As changes are very common regardless of industry or size of an organization, it is crucial for leaders and managers to be ready and prepared to face them. This is important to ensure both the people and organization able to thrive during bad times.
To manage a situation, it is best to understand it for us to handle it better. Therefore, changes in organization which involves the people, can be understood better by further studying Lewin’s change model.
Lewin’s change model was developed by Kurt Lewis back in 1940’s which still valid for us to use in order to understand changes. The model explains how the process of changes can happen.
The process summarize as below.
(Source illustration: Moodle @ HTW Berlin)
Unfreeze is the process where we unlearn past behaviors while creating the awareness on the needs of changes. As the more we have the desire to change and understand the need to change, the more motivated we are about change.
Change is the most difficult and time consuming period as we learn the new ways of thinking, new process, new culture and many more. This is the crucial process which will determine either we can move on to the next step or not. This time is when we struggle the most. The more prepared we are towards changes, the easier this step will be.
(Re)freezing is the phase where changes were accepted and it starts to become a norm. This is the time where we solidify the new state and stick to it. All necessary measures must be taken into account as we do not want to fall back to the earlier(old) state. This process will involve reinforcing and measuring behavioral change.
As in business organisation, training and development is only part of the many needs in support to changes adaptation. But, WHY do employees resist to change?
There are many reasons on why employees resist to change. Below are some of the common causes:
- Satisfaction with the status quo
- Perception of change as personal threat
- View the cost of change is weighing out the benefit
- Belief that management is mishandling the process
- Change effort is not likely to succeed
The success of any changes basically comes in many factors which later needs many considerations and plans.
In practice, as we may want o make changes, the first step is to ensure readiness and re-education process for the whole team to unlearn. There will be a need of having a kind of campaign and suitable strategy must be in place. Though we may not be able to reach out 100%, at least the majority of the group need to be ready to take off to unlearn.
Then, as changes takes place, a lot of energy and resources will be needed and therefore, collaboration and association of many parties are needed. Changes need the commitment and participation not only from internal support but external support too.
A simple and real situation can be seen in recent situation. It shows how Malaysian is reacting towards changes that is now lead by the new government. Imagine the challenge that they are facing, as we ourselves struggle with adapting changes as simple as in our routine and family matters.
We believe that the move towards changes for something better will be much better as it moves on.
Happy learning everyone!
Text: Noraminah Omar
*THIS ARTICLE IS A COMPILATION OF MY CLASS NOTES under the topic of Training & Development, a module part to a Certification for Human Resource Officer.