Organizations that thrive must continually adapt to shifting circumstances in the marketplace and to meet changing customer needs. Most organizations make change harder than it has to be by allowing some vectors of change to push back against the change effort.
In order to successfully execute change it is critical to know exactly where you are headed, not just at a high level, but with details that help everyone in the business understand how it affects them, their job responsibilities and their own actions. Often, businesses create a series of memos, documents, and communication vehicles that tell the employees about the change. Culture might best be defined as the set of organizational habits that currently exist, and habits are hard to change. Often organizations profess that they want to operate differently, but leave processes in place that actually inhibit those shifts. There has to be a strong link between who you want to become as an organization and who you hire to help you get there.
Organizational change happens when you understand the process, plan for the momentum shifts, and know what the next steps are.
4th Gear Consulting will help you lead change while building the capabilities that will also help you manage future changes faster than your competitors. Most people dona€™t realise that top managers also go through a change curve, but believe it or not, they are just people to. The reality is that today’s organizations were simply never designed to change proactively and deeply – they were built for discipline and efficiency, enforced through hierarchy and routinization. Change management is no longer a term that denotes only operational improvements, cost efficiencies and process re-engineering.
Experienced senior executive, both at a strategic and operational level, with strong track record in developing, driving and managing business improvement, development and change management. Hey Torben, as part or unproductive management would you include waning leadership support over time? Some aspects of organizational culture are visible on the surface, like the tip of an iceberg, while others are implicit and submerged within the organization.
The change management iceberg is visualizing the essence of change in organizations: Dealing with organizational barriers. It’s like trying to build a house without a foundation – it’ll look good for a short while, until the walls fall down! The elements fit together as an mutually reinforcing system and combine to prevent any attempt to change it.
A very timely presentation for a client that I’m mentoring, experiencing many of the elements of resistance to change. I’ve sat with the GM and we went through your 12 points and uncovered some real fundamental issues not only for the business but also for the GM to deal with in particular The Unknown! For me, there are seven traits that keep culture around, but they’re based on maturity and common sense. This graphic is excellent, very helpful as I frame discussions with my leaders on a culture change we’re working on. Kurt Lewin’s simple three-step approach, still popular since being put forward in the 1940s, says that we must first overcome the inertia that we confront when attempting to change something.
Lewin explains that people’s mindsets are “frozen” around the current approach (“we’ve always done it that way”). Secondly, we have to actively introduce the change – we can’t simply let go of something secure and try to grasp nothing; there must be a new way, new approach, or new structure to grab hold of. Thirdly, we have to then “re-freeze” mindsets around the new approach; we don’t want the old ways returning, so it’s vital that the new approach is embedded and locked in. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross became well-known for her work on grief, especially her 1969 book, “On Death and Dying,” in which she introduced the stages people typically go through when grieving a loss – which can include loss of familiar ways of working, colleagues, or responsibilities. The AKDAR model is a useful reminder about how important it is for us to take an intentional and positive approach to change processes, so that change becomes a reality and the break with the past is clear. In general, all three of these models have some common themes about change being a journey or progression over time or occurring in clear stages.
Knowledge about how to change and fostering this ability are vital to: a) building one’s own or others’ confidence in the new approach and b) embedding the new way in their behavior. Of course, in some change processes there will be those who simply cannot or will not make the change. My favorite analogy of a shorter time frame is having a goal scored against your favorite team. We live within this model most days of our lives as we digest news of varying severity, from forgetting to put the bins out to dealing with a speeding ticket. In my own field of leadership training through sailing, we are constantly dealing with change as unexpected events or conditions are foisted upon us on a fair regular basis. Using the models above in an active and dynamic scenarios can help all of us deal with professional and personal issues better.
Jon Warner is an executive coach and management consultant and in the past has been a CEO in three very different companies. ReadyToManage is your one-stop shop for world class employee and personal development resources.
According to Organizational Change Management, acquiring or merging with another company has a profound effect on organizational structure. When it comes to effectively implementing organisational change, our philosophy is that it should be both Seamless and Successful. For nearly 15 years, Calibre founder Tony Payling has worked in organisational change, particularly on post-merger integration and business transformation projects, constantly gaining new experiences and developing new insights.

Seamless means removing resistance to change or, more accurately, removing resistance to uncertainty. Without this seamless approach to change, you will lose your best employees and best customers to your competitors. Cultural alignment will increase employee productivity and increase the quality of service and experience that your employees give to your customers. This ground-up approach ensures that your organisation is positioned to be responsive to the constantly changing environment that all businesses now operate in. Contact Calibre for your complimentary initial consultation on the outstanding results that seamless and successful change will bring to your organisation. Some people have more negative experience from organizational change or perhaps have not seen any positive results from changes. Though Karr penned this with a satirical edge, his quotation holds true in today’s corporations.
As a result, there’s a mismatch between the pace of change in the external environment and the fastest possible pace of change at most organizations. Change management has become a much bigger, more interwoven part of the overall business fabric – an embedded leadership requirement that plays into everything. Leaders need to build a change platform – one that allows anyone to initiate change, recruit confederates, suggest solutions and launch experiments.
Would like to see the citations – I recognize some of the material but have a hard time placing it. Because these ingrained assumptions are tacit and below the surface, they are not easy to see or deal with, although they affect everything the organization does. That’s because an organization’s culture comprises an interlocking set of goals, roles, processes, values, communications practices, attitudes and assumptions. Is this all together what is on this iceberg or might find place somewhere under the water? I think that organizational culture is one of the most important factors to handle, along with peoples feelings of uncertainty when it comes to change. I have just used it as part of an article on culture change on my blog, linked to here of course.
Such a simple analogy about what you can see and address versus what is hidden and lurking in the depths, unless you consciously go looking for it. Their variations feel to line up with an article I recently wrote discussing how to keep open source organization culture going. And of course, this will depend not only on the person (and his or her skills and temperament to handle it) but on the changed situation he or she is facing, and how major in scale it is. So first, we have to dismantle those existing structures that reinforce the status quo – what he called the process of “unfreezing,” showing, for example, how or why something isn’t working well, creating an awareness of a better possibility. We also have to expect that the change experience will typically be confusing and uncertain. This is usually accomplished by reinforcement thinking at a personal level and by creating supporting teams and individuals who can support one another and avoid backsliding. Even when there is something new to work with and new opportunities, it is typical for us to grieve what we’ve had to let go of. It’s therefore helpful for reminding us about how we can better cope ourselves and to help other people around us deal with change if we can provide opportunities for them to use each of these building blocks. The process of breaking with the past way of doing things begins with developing awareness of why change is needed. Once people are acting a certain way they are able to take ownership of the approach – it’s much more real than simply hearing about an idea or concept. This becomes a challenging situation – how long do you try to help them and at what point do they make the decision for themselves that they simply won’t be staying with you on this journey?
Jon Warner is a prolific author, management consultant and executive coach with over 25 years experience. In order to post comments, please make sure JavaScript and Cookies are enabled, and reload the page.
The deletion of duplicate departments manages cost, yet talent from both companies can be utilized in the resulting corporate structure.
Efficient change management requires the ability to identify what causes structural change within an organization. Employees can either become frustrated with trying to please more than one manager, or employees may find ways to use opposing views by multiple managers to get what the employee needs.
For example, as fuel prices rise, customers may begin to demand more fuel-efficient vehicles. If your company was used to allowing departments to be autonomous, then a change to a centralized way of doing business will create changes in company structure.
The main thing we have learnt is that, to be effective, organisational change needs to be both Seamless and Successful. In our experience, if the transition is not seamless, your organisation will become internally focussed and your competitors will benefit from it.
Responsiveness to change will determine, more than anything else, which organisations continue to prosper and which will become irrelevant and fail. These people will probably have a more dramatic reaction to a change than other.We all react when affected by organizational change, but not in the same way or at the same time.
The thing is that the organization does not usually hear about the change until top management have been through their reaction phase. How do we get employees and middle management on board as fast as possible?Another problem that the top management has to solve is, how to handle middle management in the process.

Have participants place a film over the questionnaire and mark the top right corner with an a€?Xa€?. In most of the cases organizational-change failures are driven by … negative employee attitudes and unproductive management behavior. Likewise, organizational change efforts may flounder because of a lack of organizational focus.
How much relative effort do you think management should put towards devising cultural strategies compared to the formal strategy? Of course does every element you’ve mentioned in the iceberg matter, but with most of us, the feeling of uncertainty can make a huge impact on whether a change will succeed or not.
In many cases, individuals get caught-up in change very quickly and then try to cope on a just-in-time basis, using stratagems and tactics that are almost invented on the spot.
We don’t know how things work, processes are unfamiliar, and unexpected challenges or issues will confront us. However, job functions will be altered to fit the business model of the company, and management positions may be eliminated as well. The ability to identify the signs of oncoming organizational change can help you better prepare for the change and implement policies that will keep your company on a growth path. When employees encounter duplicate management positions, the structure of the organization needs to be altered to eliminate the excess positions and bring departments into line with the proper individual manager. If you own a car dealership known for selling large SUVs and vans, you may have to shift your focus to smaller and more fuel efficient cars. If a new department has been created to address a company demand, the company structure must change to accommodate the new group. Both words have clear meaning and clear benefits for our clients, as conveyed in this article. No matter what changes you are trying to execute, if the culture doesn't shift with them, the changes won't happen.
Since they are key communicators in the organizational change process and they are not doing a very good communication job if they themselves are heading down the change curve.
The most general lesson to be learned from the many studies is that organizational culture is the most common barriers. Although these can sometimes work well, there are a number of well thought-through approaches and models that have been developed over the years to help us understand the psychology of change and how we might better cope with it.
However, later psychologists not only saw her work to be applicable to any major change, but added other steps in the process, such as the initial “shock” phase and the addition of an “Experiment” phase. Some people need longer to process the change, but you can only move at the pace of the slowest member for so long.
This requires bringing in sales people and service technicians accustomed to selling and working on these vehicles. For example, if the backlog of archived files becomes so large that an archiving department needs to be created, that can change the flow of information in your company and have a significant effect on corporate structure. People willingly choose to get married, buy houses, have children, move overseas, etc. They are built to produce and deliver their product or service and yet, it is an organization's ability to change that ultimately determines its success. Many times top management do not realise that the rest of the organisation is starting from zero.
If you’re genuinely trying to help individuals (not simply boss them into agreeing), most people will at least try to understand. The axis can represent years, or even reach to infinity as those coping with change fail to progress.
Marketing then needs to change to target the car-buying public, and the old methods should be eliminated. This is what is called the motivational gap and is one of the biggest communication challenges in organizational change projects. They either have to be included in the process in an earlier stage or, they have to be by-passed. The best way to handle this is to give them extra support and information and security in the change.
But at some point people must be part of the new way or they cannot remain part of the team. The importance of having an effective communication systemThe first thing is to understand the difference between one-way and two-way channels, and to properly analyse the communication system that you have to day.
Part of breaking with the past is making this point clear to people – and treating those who won’t make the journey of change with dignity and respect. Not being willing to change doesn’t make someone a difficult or “bad” person, and everyone has the right to make those decisions – but of course such decisions have consequences.
When dealing with organizational change it is important to understand that the more important the message is for the target group, i.e. Dona€™t use one-way channels, such as Intranet, billboards, papers or email to first announce the change. The absence of manager presence is always a good foundation for rumours.If you have an effective communication system you have built a system that looks at channels, messages and people in the most effective way.
When you are working with organizational change you will need to have an effective communication system.

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