Change Management: Concepts about Learning Organizations
Change management entails thoughtful planning, sensitive implementation and involvement of the people affected by the change. Since managing change in organizations requires adhering to personal as well as the organizational needs of the people involved in the change, it should be holistic, achievable and measurable. Utilizing these principles of change will require reevaluating how we propose change management strategies as it relates to business decisions and processes. If you force change on people, problems will arise and resistance to change processes will build (businessballs.com).
Before starting organizational change, ask these questions: what do we want to achieve with this change? Why; and how will we know that the change has been achieved? Who is affected by this change and how will they react to it? How much of this change can we achieve ourselves and what part of the change do we need help with? These aspects relate strongly to the management of personal as well as organizational change (businessballs.com).
Change needs to be understood and managed in a way that people can cope effectively with and adjust to. Kotter’s eight step process for leading change has helped organizations lead change in a positive way therefore leading the way to developing life-long learning organizations. Kotters Eight Step Process for Leading Change
1. Establish a sense of urgency
2. Create a guiding coalition (teams)
3. Develop a change vision
4. Communicate the vision for buy-in
5. Empower broad base action
6. Generate short-term vision
7. Never let up
8. Incorporate change into the culture
These steps open the way for learning principles and disciplines that help create a team learning process for change in organizations. Developing Learning Organizations
Developing organizations and creating models for change is an awesome process that requires a unique focus on team building and collaboration throughout the organization. As a facilitator, you must be aware of the fine line between creative flow and dictating. If we stop working to articulate guiding ideas to improve infrastructure and apply the tools and methods embodied in the learning disciplines, the deeper learning cycle will not progress. In any project or initiative, either individually or on a team, each stage demands deliberate attention before you move to the next. Reflection about any initiative is important as it builds best practice processes that can be adapted to future processes (Senge, Ross, Smith, Roberts & Kleiner, 1994). Peter Senge developed five disciplines that facilitate learning in a team environment. These disciplines are Personal Mastery, Mental Models, Shared Vision, Team Learning and System Thinking. Each discipline holds facets of team development that is needed in organizations today. These disciplines provide lifelong learning principles that enhance organizational learning in groups or teams. Some people have an innate gift for a discipline, however; an innate gift is not the key to mastery: many people have great artistic talent but never produce any art of consequence because they do not follow a lifelong process of honing and developing their talent (Senge Ross, Smith, Roberts & Kleiner, 1994). . Managing change in organizations will require a commitment to the principles of Senge’s disciplines. According to Senge (1990), learning organizations are organizations where people continually expand their capacity to create the results they truly desire, where new and expansive patterns of thinking are nurtured, where collective aspiration is set free, and where people are continually learning to see the whole together (p.3). He goes on to say that the basic rationale for such organizations is that in situations of rapid change only those that are flexible, adaptive and...
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