This means finding out what particular ideas or fears people have, assessing the organisation's readiness and isolating those options with which people can most easily identify.
But it is essential to take into account the organisations memories, norms and values. It is also necessary to have commitment and enthusiasm from the Top although sometimes this is still not generated down the line and change could cause aggravation.
The process outcome is a shared agenda.
Mapping the impact of change
Most change involves a three-stage process of unfreezing, changing and refreezing into a new shape or direction.
No matter how enthusiastic people may be about the aims, the process is inevitably uncomfortable. As delays occur frustrations will grow; as the change becomes reality, some earlier optimism will fade and give place to a sense of disappointment for some. Effort has to be put into sorting out the problems that, with hindsight, we now realise should have been foreseen all along. Most important of all, it brings discontinuity. People use to get things done become useless, disjointed or only usable in parts.
It is crucial, therefore to prepare people and help them through this process by providing:
The outcome is the creation of a common direction.
Creating a vision of the future
Most organisations, in the past have been designed for stability rather than change. Structures were created to ensure that regular, routine work got done consistently and that minimum disruption occurred. In the world today with constant change being normal a different approach is required.
Different organisational processes are required. Major change or a period of sustained change requires the creation of specific arrangements and training to help people cope with its effects.
The outcome of this process is enabling the capacity for change.
Creating helpful mechanisms
People need specific abilities to handle change. Conversely it will alter the competence they need to have in their work roles. In developing people's competence there are two potential benefits, namely;
The advantage is the development of appropriate levels of management competence to enable individuals to manage.
Defining and agreeing competence requirements
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