Concrete Experience and Reflective Observation
The 13 years of professional experience taught me that there could be a range of external pressures and complications that affect organizations’ need to change. These can range from disruptions in the market to new technologies or shifts in the preferences of customers. Any organizational change is concerned with reconsidering internal routines, which are recognizable and repetitive patterns that govern everyday processes in organizations. In my view, delivering successful and positive changes in an organization is one of the responsibilities of leaders and supervisors who must pay attention to procedures according to which an organization chooses routines for change and how alternative actions are selected. The selection of routines and the rationale for their selection represent the dynamics of change.
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The search for change is usually political because it is influenced by the extent to which the higher-standing workers in organizations exercise their roles of authority and make decisions regarding routine-associated changes. The goal of such workers is to shape the search process and the changing of selected routines. This highlights that organizations accomplish their goals by following a wide variety of interdependent routines, which work together in complicated and unpredictable ways that make it hard to identify which ones should be changed in response to external triggers.
Theories and Principles/Abstract Conceptualization
In the change management process, my leadership experience showed that the dynamics of change are linked to the range of patterns and responses to how workers in an organization feel. Understanding the patterns and outcomes of a change process is essential for leaders to avoid over-reacting among employees who fail to adapt to change initiatives. The process of change management is complex and implies a range of components, including change dynamics and change management models.
The dynamics of change represent a complex system of processes that can take place in organizations. According to the research conducted by Blanchard (2011), there are seven dynamics of change designed to assist managers in being more effective in addressing the reactions of employees to change. First, people can feel awkward and self-conscious about a change to be implemented within an organization. Second, when change is expected, employees often focus on what they have to give up. Third, Blanchard (2011) identifies the dynamics of change associated with employees feeling alone even if everyone else around them is going through the same process. In my experience, every worker is an individual and therefore feels that his or her situation is unique and special.
Fourth, it is imperative to understand that employees can only handle so much change, which means that too many shifts at once can lead to significant disruptions in the workplace. While there are inevitable and unpredictable changes such as downsizing or a merger and acquisition (M&A) are beyond control, it is essential not to introduce too many of them at once. Fifth, recognizing that workers have different levels of change readiness, which requires the understanding of individualized efforts and approaches. The sixth aspect of change dynamics is associated with the concern that there is a lack of resources that workers have. People usually believe that change implementation requires both time and effort. Even in the long run, it is targeted at reducing the workload at companies. The last change dynamics aspect is associated with workers reverting to their old behaviors when the pressure is taken from them.
Change management models have been developed over time to differentiate among various processes at organizations during change. Lewin’s change management model known as ‘unfreeze – change – refreeze’ implies making minor changes first to prepare the organization for change. The change should be solidified with the help of strategies within the culture of a company. Open discussions between supervisors and personnel are needed to influence the process of change positively.
It is also imperative to consider Kotter’s (2012) theory of change because it focuses less on change itself and more on people involved in it. By means of inspiring change momentum, supervisors or leaders develop a sense of urgency and maintain the strategy to adapt the business to the needed climate. It includes such steps as the feeling of urgency, core coalition, strategic vision, getting people on board, removing barriers, developing short-term wins, maintaining acceleration, and establishing the change.
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To summarize, change is a complex process that requires organizations to implement serious planning and management efforts to ensure their smooth integration into the established processes. In my experience, I have found that if the management is not serious about the fact that things must be done in new ways, old habits and processes will return. Even positive changes such as digitalization or other processes inevitably lead to adverse outcomes like transferring several employees to another department, which caused some opposition.
Testing and Application/Active Experimentation
I have personally witnessed the first dynamic of change defined by Blanchard (2011) when my subordinates being used to distinctly doing things. If this way is expected to change, people start to feel uncomfortable and awkward because of the struggle to eliminate past responses and learn new. In my organization, automation and digitalization of processes have elicited some awkwardness among workers. Old-school employees who had limited knowledge of using technologies were anxious about the change because they were afraid of the complications that technology use would bring. Regarding the second dynamic, as a leader, I was responsible for helping my subordinates acknowledge that the change was necessary to bring the organization to a new level and prevent frustration and irrational tension.
The concepts introduced by the researcher suggested that a leader needed to be both proactive and sensitive to the needs of employees and ensure that their perspectives are understood. Both practical and emotional support is needed in such situations to enhance the leadership position and enhance the change. In my experience, a company has once undergone a series of culture, management, and operations changes, which left workers confused and stressed and had a negative influence on productivity and overall morale. In my experience, this is true – for most changes, there is a need in learning times that influence productivity and effectiveness. Change leaders should acknowledge that disruptions can take place and offer practical support to ensure that employees feel the desired level of support from their supervisors. During my work as a leader, supervising the processes of change will remind people that there is a new direction that should remain steady and maintained long-term.
My experiences have taught me that change in an organization is never easy to implement since many variables go into their shaping. As a leader for many years, I have learned to anticipate and respond to the feelings and concerns of my subordinates regardless of how they express them. From emotional stress to practical disruptions in everyday procedures, a detailed reaction analysis is necessary for supervisors to determine which kinds of responses are the most common to prepare for them in the future. I have taught myself to remember that the success of any change process depends on the ability of a person to address both emotional and practical workplace issues, and in that order specifically.
Blanchard, K. (2011). Who killed change?: Solving the mystery of leading people through change. New York, NY: William Morrow.
Kotter, J. (2012). Leading change. Boston, MA: Harvard Business Review Press.