Change in the Workplace:
Understanding People in Change
Reich (2000) states that change is sudden, nonlinear, and constant. Radical changes in the workplace are those changes that have a dramatic and sometimes traumatic effect on the work environment and personnel. Asking someone to take a different action than what they are used to does not mean they will want to do it. Resistance to change in the workplace means loss of productivity. As a change insurgent, it is important to get personnel to buy into change.
For change to be effective, people must understand and actively participate in the process. To successfully get personnel to buy into change, the change insurgent has to accurately and effectively convey the current state of the market. By doing this, they can convince personnel of the benefits that can be gained from the proposed change. People have a tendency to resist change. By explaining the danger of maintaining the status quo, change insurgent can impress upon personnel that success often means changing before the competition sees the need for change and that survival requires action, not reaction. Reich (2000) recommends making it "impossible for people inside the company to stay comfortable".
In almost all groups, there are always a few individuals who will adopt a complacent or cynical attitude. Complacency and resistance from a few can adversely affect the entire group. A manager must work with these individuals one-on-one. They must be convinced of the positive aspects of the change and they must be swayed to actively participate or at a minimum to at least not interfere in the change process. The key to successfully navigate through change is convincing personnel of the need for change and involving them in the change process.
To successfully manage change, one must differentiate between effective and ineffective strategies for introducing change. Surprisingly, the strategies people tend to rely on are usually the...
References: Deutschman, A. (2005, May). Change or die. [Electronic Version]. Fast Company, 94, 53-63.
Reich, R. B. (2000, October). Your job is change. [Electronic Version]. Fast Company, 39, 140-164.
Webber, A. M. (2000, June). Why can 't we get anything done? [Electronic Version]. Fast Company, 35, 168-183
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