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Change Management

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Change Management ­MGMT625
VU
LESSON # 29
COMMUNICATING CHANGE
Of all, communication is perhaps the most complex human and organizational phenomenon. So
communication change, what it is intended to achieve or what is involved in the communication process
and the way to communicate is in fact a very complex one. The effective communication of vision,
mission and strategic intent down to lower tiers of or all across organization is not a simple and easier
task. It may be important to clarify and simplify further the priorities of the strategy. One approach is to
emphasise a limited number of key components or aspects of strategy rather than to communicate the
strategy with overall complexity and ramification. The choices of media also vary from employing
techniques such as face-to-face, one-to-one, through routine bulletins and notice boards and circulars
around the organization. The involvement of members of organization in the strategy development
process or planning strategic change is also, in itself is means of communication and can be very
effective. Communication needs to be seen as a two-way process. Feedback on communication is
important, particularly if the changes to be introduced are difficult to understand or threatening or if it is
critically important to get the changes right. One such effective technique to get feed back is through
focus group employed by senior executives to see the implementation and acceptance of change. Another
powerful technique is the use of grapevine (informal communication) which takes the form of gossips,
rumours and storytelling. Now senior executive wants to control and manage the grapevine in the best
interests of the organization.
·  Change Tactics
There are also some very specific tactics of change which might be employed to facilitate change
process
i) Timings
The importance of timing is often neglected in thinking about strategic change. Timing also refers to
choosing the right time tactically to promote change. For example the greater the degree of change the
more it may be useful to build on actual or perceived crisis. If members of the organization perceive a
higher risk in maintaining the status quo than in changing it, they are more likely to change. Another
important tactic for acceptance or rejection of change is the sequence of events; or how the change is
introduced, piecemeal or as a whole and which should come first and which should come later.
ii) Dismissals, Job Losses and Delayering
Change programmes are often associated with job losses, from the closure of units of the organization,
with hundreds or thousands of job losses, to the removal senior executives or even chief executive. For
example this becomes so especially if the organization is in its drive for automation, resulting in the
removal of the whole layers of management and hierarchy. It was during 1990s when larger MNCs were
going for mergers, restructuring and outsourcing that thousands of employees lost their jobs out of
change in strategy. Therefore the tactical choice of where job losses should take place related to the
change programme
iii) Visible Short Term Wins
Strategy may be conceived of as having to do with long term direction and major decisions. Nonetheless
what is essential is to have the implementation of strategy is that change programme should have
detailed action plans and tasks associated with strategy. For example a retail chain developing a new
store concept and demonstrating its success in the market may need short term wins like the effective
breaking down of working of old ways and the demonstration of better ways; the speeding up of
decisions by doing away with committees and introducing clearly defined job responsibilities, and so
on.
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Change Management ­MGMT625
VU
iv)
Promoting Winners & Heroes
Change most of the time result in creating either winners or losers. It is not considered win-win for
every one. What is needed by senior leadership is to promote winners and heroes as symbol of high
performers so that this may create a culture of high performance. Success stories are propagated
amongst managers for their mind and behavioural programming and repeat success. This in overall is
considered important tactic in the implementation of strategy.
References:
This lecture is based on Chapter 11, Managing Strategic change of Exploring Corporate Strategy written
by Johnson & Johnson. 10th edition.
For change in organization culture see further www.soi.org
For MOUND model see Alex Miller's book on Strategic Management 4th edition
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