Change is inevitable. Currently, the world has been reduced to a virtual village due to changes in technology. People from different countries can communicate with each other in real-time due to advanced innovations and technology. A majority of the world’s population can be referred to as ‘digital’ as they use digital technology on a daily basis. Many organizations have been caught up in change management, with many using mergers and acquisitions to remain relevant (Buono & Nurick 19).
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Whether the change affects processes, staff, or the nature of the business, it has to be handled well to ensure efficiency and continued profitability (Buono & Nurick 19). It is important that proper management of the change process is ensured so as to get the desired results. Indeed, managing change is difficult and has to be planned properly. This essay presents an analysis of the article “Managing Execution Risks of Change Initiative” by Kambil Ajit, published in The Wall Street Journal.
Kambil states that managing change involves a number of risks (1). Some of the challenges associated with change include resource acquisitions, alignment, and social risks. In addition, a majority of executives who have pursued key transformations claim that top management has to embrace the change to allow a smooth transition. The two sources are connected through the concept of employee ownership. However, it is also important that the employees appreciate the decisions of their bosses. When trying to manage one’s boss, one has to understand some of the decisions made, particularly in regards to change management (Gabarro & Kotter 98).
The given premise goes hand-in-hand with what Kambil proposes. Kambil states that effective communication plays a prominent role in implementing change, and it is a flexible communication strategy that will help employees manage and understand their bosses’ decisions better. The author agrees that different employees have different reactions to change. Therefore, targeted communication is very important. Kambil notes that the use of incentives has become very common in persuading employees to accept change.
Change is a process. This statement is confirmed by Kambil, who claims that change management involves three distinct activities that aim to influence behavior methodologies, change intermediaries, and instill discipline. Indeed, one can argue that successful transformation requires the stated three aspects. According to Kerber, who supports the concepts proposed by Kambil, rethinking organizational change management would make the process easier (23).
Thus, while trying to influence behavior methodologies, change intermediaries, and instill discipline, the management should also create a capacity for change within their taskforce (Kerber 23). Kambil and Kerber both support the ideology that change in organizations can be a smooth and easy transition, unlike what is commonly believed.
According to Kambil, transformation is possible if the employees are united and fully engaged in the change program. The statement supports Buono and Nurick’s argument on human resources reaction to mergers and acquisitions (20). Additionally, discipline is a vital aspect of the change program. It can be argued that to ensure successful change management, employees have to be trained on the same. The argument is supported by Kambil, who claims that such training should be targeted and customized to fit the needs of the different departments in the organization in order to be successful.
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Risks of Change Management
Below are some of the risks associated with the execution of change management in any organization:
Kambil argues that resource acquisition is one of the risks associated with change management. It can be argued that an inadequate budget is a key challenge in any change process. This may make the implementation of the change slow and ineffective. Issues of budgeting in change management have to be addressed by both the finance and the Human Resource department. It is common to find that changes also lead to the letting go of some employees in order to save on costs. In such cases, it is important to explain the process to the employees before the change is implemented. In cases with no budgetary restrictions, professionals can be hired to help the whole organization embrace the change that is to be implemented.
Misalignment is also a risk associated with the change process. In many instances, change efforts require configuration and sponsorship from different stakeholders. Aligning stakeholder’s interests with the change process can help ensure a smooth transition. Additionally, a suitable governance structure makes the change initiative successful. The process is likely to fail if the governance procedures within the company are unsuitable.
It suffices to mention that any type of change will attract uncertainty and ambiguity. The company may not know what they want when outlining their strategic plans, and the changes that are to be implemented might also mean changing their strategic plan. The change initiatives may also be costly. Kambil insists that all these factors have to be considered when thinking about misalignment. In turn, the change process will be highly successful.
A majority of management officials usually hinder the change process due to personal behavior. It is important that change is made part of the organizational culture to avoid such challenges in the future. There are various ways in which change can be included in an organization’s culture. Indeed, a feeling of normalcy should be avoided to ensure employees are open-minded towards change. This can be done through training and refresher courses on the company’s strategic plan. Having said so, it is important to ensure that the strategic plans associated with the different departments in the company are flexible. Flexibility ensures that social issues that come up during any change management process are easily resolved.
The article selected for review implies that the management of many companies in the 21st century does not know their roles in their respective organizations in regards to change management. The article also emphasizes the need for change leaders to embrace transitions first to cultivate an environment of adaptability. In turn, other employees will embrace the change as well. In addition to the stated, people who lead the change process in organizations in the 21st century should reorganize the talents and abilities of their team groups in order to minimize some of the risks associated with organizational change. Kambil explains that communications are very crucial in change management. However, communication should be timely, consistent, and personal.
In conclusion, whereas inadequate budgets are the main challenge in the implementation of change in an organization, attitude and behavior affect the success of the proposed change. Indeed, there are many other factors that could hinder the success of the proposed change, but the two mentioned concepts can be linked to the other factors. Indeed, executives require sufficient resources to lessen execution risk.
Secondly, leaders need to reduce stakeholder misalignment when implementing change processes to ensure a successful transition. Operative governance that aids in the change initiative is also crucial. Additionally, the people driving the change should anticipate social risks that might be tied to the organizational culture. However, the preparation and inclusion of all stakeholders in the change process will make it highly successful. It is important to note that timely and specific communication is also required to ensure successful transitions.
Buono, Anthony F. and Aaron J. Nurick. “Intervening in the Middle: Coping Strategies in Mergers and Acquisitions.” Human Resource Planning, vol. 15, no. 2, 1992, pp. 19-33.
Gabarro, J. John and John P. Kotter. Managing Your Boss. Harvard Business Review, 1980.
Kambil, Ajit. “Managing the Execution Risks of Change Initiatives.” The Wall Street Journal. 2018. Web.
Kerber, Kenneth. “Rethinking Organizational Change: Reframing the Challenge of Change Management.” Organizational Development Journal, vol. 23, no. 3, 2005, pp. 23-37.