Coping Change, people embrace concept. We, part, creatures habit follow daily routines. When change occurs, activities thought patterns disrupted. Describe a situation resistant change identified areas: a.
One of the most well-known quotes from Ancient Greece belongs to Heraclitus who said the "Nothing is constant in life but change." People have a natural tendency to resist change as a means of self-preservation and regard it as having most often a negative impact on one's existence. This is particularly true in changes that occur in the professional life or the personal / emotional environment.
Experience has proven that change always opens a new direction in life and a new path to follow. However, there are situations in which all people do not embrace change and their reluctance in fact represents their most important shortfall. I noticed this several months ago at the workplace, when a new informational system was decided to be implemented. One of the senior colleagues that has been with the company for more than ten years constantly opposes this change and even threatening to leave the position.
The major issue with the colleague is that he has a low tolerance for change. The department he is leading is his own creation and developed it in his career with the company. He joined the company in his mid fifties particularly because of his valued qualities as an organized and overall thinker, qualities senior management believed were crucial for the establishment and development of an entire new department. In time, that department grew and adapted to a somewhat slow pace of evolution in the respective field of activity. However, as the area of business increased for the company, more and more responsibility was laid on his department and the speed of the adaptation process had to increase severely in order to keep up with both internal and external demands. Eventually, it was decided that a new informational system that would ensure a more accurate and faster registration of information was needed.
The change that determined the outbreak of my colleague and betrayed his low appreciation of change as a process was the expansion of the company and therefore the need to further communicate internationally and liaise with similar departments from oversees, an issue that implied the change in the informational system and in the internal procedures of the department. It can be said that from an analytical perspective, the factor that determined the change was external. Even so, this factor triggered an internal, emotional factor as well that determined a practical rejection of the change and the process it entailed. Similar to other changes that took place in the beginning of the 1990s, the reorientation of the company demanded that a bigger and wider vision of our activity needed to be taken into account and embraced in order to be able to face the competition (Flexstudy, n.d.). This additional external factor that influenced directly the overall working environment, indirectly impacted the assessment of the directions people and especially management had to turn. My colleague however decided not to embrace the change, but rather to resist making changes at the professional level and at the same time in his own mentality.
Another aspect that can be pointed out related to this example is the fact that he views the change as being unnecessary and not benefic for the company. In its beginnings, the company had a clear focus on the traditional market. Yet, as market demands changed and in order to maintain its status ahead of other competitors, the company had to search alternatives and eventually alter and change its initial development directions. My colleague is convinced that these changes are not necessary and would not bring added value to the work being done by the company and his department in particular. In this case, there is also the issue of change against mentalities and against traditional best practices. People and organizational structures are reluctant to change also due to a long tradition of processes that have been done in a certain way which, in certain conditions, function to perfection. However, if the conditions change, people as well as structures need to adapt.
Kotter's theory for change provides a very good roadmap for envisaging change, being prepared for the process, and benefiting as best as possible from that change. My colleague's resistance to change could have been overcome by following the steps provided by Kotter (Time for change.org, 2014). The first aspect would have been to acknowledge that change is necessary, not in particular for him as a person, but for the environment in which he activated. Understanding the reasons for why change can happen as a result of an external factor is crucial for the success of the process because it allows the ability to embrace the change as an internal process, rather than as something imposed from outside or inflicted upon one self and thus changing their personal perception (Baack, 2012).
A second step would have been to interact with the rest of the management and understand the change in order to implement it together as an organization. It is important because this type of approach would trigger cooperation and even possible adaptations of this change to mutually benefit all parties involved, including my colleague whose concerns could be addressed. However, if he decides not to adapt to change, the possibility of having a mutual consideration of everyone's needs is non-existent.
Another step that can be made is to make short-term milestones, that is to adapt in a methodical pace so that both from a mentality point-of-view as well as process wise, the shift would not be that brutal and would allow not only my colleague to adapt but also his own team (Penn University, 2008). Short-term achievements have also the role of motivating people and keeping them vividly interested in the process while at the same time providing them with a palpable sense of how change is reflected in their practical activities. Thus, making sure that my colleague sees the benefits (less work, less room for human error, more interaction with the global teams, more communication, and a better sense of coordination of activities across the entire company) and can ponder on them before rejecting them as being the process of change.
Keeping people involved in the process is also a crucial part in succeeding to change. The endeavor needs to be understood and adopted by the employees and at all times the results of the process need to be disseminated to as many interested parties as possible inside the organization as this allows more visibility of the change and increased interest to take part in it rather than walk away from it.
Finally, a crucial aspect in how change can be done is to always allow for the practical results of the process to be visible to people in order for these people and employees to change their own mentality and view that change as an improvement. In my colleague's case, the implementation of the new informational system can have results immediately, which are easily quantifiable. However, these results depend on the performance of his team as well and how they in turn respond to the technical trainings and apply them in their day-to-day activities (Baack, 2012). However, if he saw other teams perform as a result of this change, he would be less reluctant to consider this process as negative.
For this particular case, senior management need to introduce my colleague to other teams from oversees that have already implemented the project and he needs to be integrated in certain training sessions with them in order to understand the change and the need for it. Secondly, he will be explained why the change is important so that he can focus on the bigger picture…