The evidence of change has never been more apparent then as witnessed in the health care industry at present time. Both internal and external influences are serving to create a rapidly evolving health care marketplace that requires health care organizations to not only recognize change but be willing to incorporate a learning culture that is proactive to continuous change (Spector, 2010). The successful implementation of change is highly dependent upon how change is introduced, applied, and supported that enables old processes to be dismissed, new ideas are introduced, and a new vision that includes desired changes is accepted by all employees that it will influence (Spector, 2010).
The owners of the Concord Bookshop viewed change as a stand-alone process for improving their business or the introduction of a business solution (Spector, 2010). The real application of change has to do with involving people to change a process, technology, or even organizational wide change modalities. Instead, the owners and board directed change and assumed that if it was mandated then change would be automatic (Spector, 2010). Communication
A critical phase that was overlooked by Concord Bookshop is communication planning. Analytical assessments and the recognition of what changes are needed is a valid starting point, but if these changes are not communicated effectively then changes will be met with great resistance and confusion by employees, vendors, and most importantly customers (Spector, 2010). Awareness must be communicated that identifies the reason for change and the downside if change is not implemented (Spector, 2010).
This awareness depends on ensuring that the communication applied is specifically designed for the audience it is intended. Communication of change will be delivered differently to front-line employees than it would be to upper management and still different to vendors and customers. The owners of the Concord Bookshop communicated only to inform that change has taken place without giving anyone a chance to understand why change is needed in the first place. Sponsorship
A buy-in by those most capable of implementing change is vital to ensuring a high level of change management and successful change (Spector, 2010). This is not the same as supporting change but instead is the active role of senior business leaders in involved in active participation that results in evidence of change. Management acting as agents of change can lead from the front and help identify problems, communicate, and create positive change environments. This is also an avenue to ensure the vision and direction of change is maintained throughout the change process (Spector, 2010). Resistance
No matter how well the communication and sponsorship of change implementation processes is applied; there is always a level of resistance. This resistance must be managed in a proactive and timely manner (Spector, 2010). Change agents, teams, and leaders must recognize change resistance and apply proper processes and tools to support change implementation in all phases of change in an organization.
The Concord Bookshop did not consider employee resistance to change and went as far as to disregard communication stating the reasons for resistance. A business that view employees as a liability and a cost, fail to see employees as human capital and assets. This view is counter to how vendors and customers view them (Spector, 2010).
The Concord Bookshop represents an excellent example of how not to attempt change. If employees would have been included in the early stages of analysis to define the change required, they would have created a proactive change management environment (Spector, 2010). Instead, the surprise of change that was perpetuated upon the employees was met with across the board resistance, bewilderment, anger, and derision that resulted in the loss of many highly qualified employees and management. These factors created a failure of change management where the loss of employees and resulting customers would cost the company far more than if they had taken the time to implement change management process correctly to begin with (Spector, 2010).
Spector, B. (2010). Implementing organizational change: Theory into practice (2nd ed). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.