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The world we live in is full of uncertainties, the only certain is change. Change in simple words is to make something different from what it is. The very existence of our society can be attributed to an unwitting caveman who discovered fire and changed the way we ate. The discovery of the wheel changed the way we thought; the invention of electricity changed our lifestyle completely. Throughout the ages we have seen men trying to change things in order to make them better over and over again.
We have seen borders change, weather patterns change, governments change, policies change and even constitutions change. Human minds, tastes and preferences, moods and emotions all change almost every other hour. The universal law of the world that we do business in is that change is the only constant, so how can business be above it? When we talk of business’ there are several kinds of changes that we may encounter and have to deal with in order to successfully operate.
These changes maybe Internal (example – change in company policy) or external (example change in consumer tastes. ) The business will only be successful in its ventures if the management and executive body can respond well to the kind of change that is prevalent in the company. In preparation for this change, you must be able to identify the various kinds of changes that can occur in a business and recognize which one it is that is affecting your business.
A change in manage occurs when existing employees move on to different organizations, leaving a vacancy that needs to be filled before the company can move forward.
In some case, the management may come to the decision that a new manager is needed and the firm will make arrangements to replace the existing executive. When a managerial change takes place it changes the whole working environment changes either for the better or the worse, but a change is definite. This happens as there is now a new person with new, different methods taking charge.
Even if his methods are the same as his predecessor his performance may vary greatly. A change in management should be treated as an important time within the company, and the right candidate should be put in place to insure that the company can continue successfully. Moreover while the candidate is finalized it should be known exactly what his methods would be, and then thought should be given as to whether these methods fit in to the existing organizational culture or not.
It is possible in the case of business that a company may be left behind as the industry it operates in changes. These kinds of changes are caused mainly by changes in the competing firm’s product, technological advancements by competitor companies, changes in taste in preferences of consumers etc. To tackle changes of this kind managers must always be up to date and aware of any product changes in your marketplace, what the competition is doing and what new problems your customers are facing that require innovation on your part.
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To be able to remain competitive in the marketplace, you not only have to adapt to the changing needs of you customers but there is also a need to work hard in order to research and develop so that you firm remains ahead of the existing competition even when they release new products.
With the advent of newer and unique advertising mediums becoming available the field of marketing has changed significantly. There was a time (early 20th century) when the radio was the most popular form of advertising.
Then around the middle of the 20th century came the great television. We see that now in the beginning of the 21st century the internet is a preferred network to reach out to people. With the rising Facebook phenomenon and rise in other social networking site millions of potential customers are available to business’ without any cost, all that you need is the correct chain message to get your product going. To deal with these kinds of changes a firm must always be ready to explore new territory and should always take advantage of any new advertising material available to it.
The Solution The solution to dealing with doing business in an ever-changing environment is not to eliminate or finish off the change; it is to make your firm immune to it. For this many methods maybe used here is what we regard as the most basic. The change management Iceberg The iceberg signifies that the tip (quality, cost and time) are the only factors we consider usually when dealing with change. The model believes that it is not enough to do so. This model believes that we must consider all other factors such as the people involved in the change as well.
According to this model those people are :
– Opponents- they have a general negative attitudes towards change the management must deal with them carefully when implementing changes.
Promoters – on the other hand have a positive outlook on change, they will assist the management in bringing the change about.
Hidden Opponents – Have a negative outlook but refuse to show it. The management needs to be perceptive in order to find and deal with these people.
Potential Promoters- Potential promoters have a generic positive attitude towards change, but somehow they seem unconvinced about it this time.
The management must be able to convince these potential promoters and make them promoters of change. Hence we see that by identifying the various kinds of people in the workspace we are able to smooth out the process of change. Experiment In April 2006 an experiment was conducted in Washington DC. Two small consulting firms, both of which operated out of similar sized offices, were asked to rearrange the seating arrangement of desks and cubicles in a way that would allow at least 4 more employees to work in the same area.
The methods to create space used by both the companies were the same. Both made desks and cubicles smaller reduced cupboard space etc. The only difference was that before the changes were implemented in company A, a 2 hour long change adaptation meeting was carried out. The meeting covered the very basics of the new arrangement system, like where files would be put among other things. Company B however did not see it as necessary to carry out any such thing. The results were shocking. There was a glaring difference in the profits for the quarter between company A and company B.
Company A had done 10% better than it had in its last quarter; employee morale was higher than it had ever been. Company B on the other hand had done 5% worse than it had in its previous quarter, and employees were quarrelling because of the new arrangement and overall morale was low, and to think this was all because of a 2 hour meeting. If this experiment does not make the fact that change management is integral to a company’s success clear enough here are a few other examples:- British Airways Back in 1981, British Airways brought on board a new chairperson.
When this chairperson started, he noticed that the company was very inefficient and was wasting a lot of valuable resources. To make the organization more profitable, this chairperson decided to restructure the entire organization. He realized that the best way to do this was through change methodology management plan. Systematically, the company began reducing their workforce. But, before they did this, through his change management leadership, the chairman gave the company the reasons for the restructuring and privatization of the company in order to prepare them for the upcoming change.
Thus, through leadership and communication, he directed his company through a difficult time that could have been disastrous without effective change management resistance communication. California State University While the 1980s may seem like a long time ago, a more recent example can be at California State University (CSU). Any IT system change that happens at the main campus has to go through every satellite campus, meaning those 23 campuses and thousands of employees, staff, and students must adapt their IT systems as well.
Dealing with change at a smaller organization can be a nightmare by itself; it’s worse at a larger organization like CSU. But, instead of merely throwing their hands up in disgust, the IT department decided to institute an automated change management system. Using Cisco’s Pace functionality, the company can now make upgrades that will automatically make changes to the entire system. And, to make their change management strategy even more effective, they are now defining who can use what system and what changes they can make to their designated area.
Their change management strategy considered the human factor and not only included the automated system, but also defined roles of change so that it would minimize the confusion and issues when a change has to be instituted. Conclusion Through the arguments presented in this essay and through human nature itself I think it is easy to grasp that change is the only constant. In conclusion we would like to some up by saying that it is crucial to the success of business that a change that is taking place, internal or external, is recognized by the company and appropriate change management is put in place.
The examples mentioned are taken from http://www.brighthub.com/office/project-management/articles/55056.aspx
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