Preview

Change without pain ,Abrahamson E. (2004) Harvard Business School Press

Good Essays
Open Document
Open Document
3298 Words
Grammar
Grammar
Plagiarism
Plagiarism
Writing
Writing
Score
Score
Change without pain ,Abrahamson E. (2004) Harvard Business School Press
Organizations have to change to stay alive. That's a given. But change doesn't always have to create anguish. Sometimes change is more effective when it hurts less. That's where a new approach to change – dynamic stability – comes in. Here s how it works.
BY ERIC ABRAHAMSON
HO HASN'T HEARD THE MANTRA: change or perish? It's a corporate cliché by now. And like many clichés, it happens to be true. But so, too, is its unhappy corollary: many companies change and perish. Change is so disruptive it can tear organizations apart.
Over the past ten years, I have been studying how companies change, and my research suggests a counterintuitive imperative. To change successfully, companies should stop changing all the time. Instead, they should intersperse major change initiatives among carefully paced periods of smaller, organic change, using processes I call tinkering and kludging. By doing so, companies can manage overall change with an approach called dynamic stability. To be sure, achieving dynamic stability is more difficult than ramming big, hairy, audacious changes through an organization, in much the same way that it is more difficult to end a war with negotiations than with an atomic bomb. But dynamic stability has the great advantage of leaving survivors. It allows change without fatal pain.
The Problem with Change
Change, as it is usually orchestrated, creates initiative overload and organizational chaos, both of which provoke strong resistance from the people most affected. Traveling from company to company in my research, I repeatedly encountered more and more "permafrost" organizations, where change-fatigued middle managers froze out initiatives introduced by the 20-somethings below them and the senior managers above them who were hot for change.
Their resistance found its voice in an aggressive cynicism. People spoke about change programs in angry, often offensive language, and Dilbert cartoons festooned almost every office

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Satisfactory Essays

    In order to move forward as an organisation it is important for change to be accepted. Without resistance that would not be a possible option. Granted this may be a risk, but in this modern day and age risks are complimentary to success. However having said that, the challenge is to find the right balance between change and stability: avoiding the dysfunctionality of too much change while ensuring stability does not become stagnation.…

    • 479 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Better Essays

    As clearly stated in the article Managing Change Successfully by Eileen Brownell (Sep/Oct, 2000), “Change is inevitable.” Within every company in every industry, change exhibits growth. Without change, companies will become obsolete. With technology continually changing, organizations have restructured the inner-workings of the business. Organizations need to structure the way employees communicate and work together to achieve the underlining goals of the company.…

    • 986 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Paradoxical thinking

    • 1777 Words
    • 7 Pages

    Change and flexibility are seen as essential components of successful organizations in turbulent environments with strong competition and may be even more important in times of tumultuous crises. Organizations need to run fast to keep up with the numerous and intensive changes…

    • 1777 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Change Initiative

    • 1267 Words
    • 6 Pages

    Managing change requires a vision which supports a renewal process (Moran & Brightman, 2001). Change doesn’t (or shouldn’t) occur for the sake of change. The stress which change places upon an organization isn’t likely to justify the price in terms of its effect on the people which make up the organization. Rather, change should be gauged in terms of its resultant ability to adapt to the needs of the organization’s external and internal customers (Burke, 2002). This should serve as…

    • 1267 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Better Essays

    In this age of global competition and advancing technologies, no organization can afford to remain stagnant. Change is something that everyone experiences daily through smooth or rocky transformations. The changes and innovations are requests from management, supervisors, investors, associates, staff, suppliers, customers, and the government. Although changes, which lead to improvements, can be initiated by anyone, they can often be met with resistance. Because of the resistance factor, businesses should not focus on how to eliminate change. Instead they should focus on how to facilitate change and how to make it a positive experience for the entire organization. Of course, as the world becomes more complex, companies need to improve technologically.…

    • 1788 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    The purpose of this book is to make us see that nearly all-operating prescriptions for creating large-scale corporate change are nothing but myths and that changes do not happen from one day to another by a miracle, the change from good to great is the result of a successful plan who is composed of steps, so that the mass of people would gain confidence from the successes, not just the words.…

    • 2029 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    Change Management, if implemented well, has the ability to make transitions positive, possible and profitable. It goes without saying that change is a part of life. From the moment we are born until the moment we pass away, change is occurring in us and around us. That being the case, it needs to be clearly stated that organizations, companies and institutions are much like individuals. No organization is able to exist without the people that work within their walls or the clients that utilize their services or products. If change is inevitable and constant then, why do so many people resist change? I would argue that while some people may be resistant to change, they are more likely to resist the act of being changed. I will discuss why people resist being changed. I will also talk about why some organizations are successful in the art of change management and why some organizations fail miserably. Finally, I will look at the impact of change management on project success or failure using case studies and personal experience. Change is indeed a part of life and change management needs to be recognized as having a significant role in success of any project.…

    • 2603 Words
    • 11 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    Change is inevitable. It happens every day. As hard as change may be, it could be beneficial for organizations in an ever changing world. What might be popular today could be different tomorrow so it is important for organizations to adapt to these necessary changes. In most cases, people tend to believe that a change would mean something negative, such as downsizing, layoffs or a decrease in pay. In taking that chance to change, the result could develop into something hugely successful.…

    • 821 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    In today’s fast evolving world that is always looking out for changing so frequently, if any organization is there which thinks to get this pace slow would be profoundly disappointed. In fact organizations should embrace change to their system, as without change there might be some chances that businesses lose the competitive edge in the market and they would fail meeting the customer’s expectations who are the loyal customers. Organization often bring change to their system because of few listed reasons:…

    • 797 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    So far, we have identified reasons and factors for resistance to change, and even positive factors of change. Change is a common in the new business world, whereas the world has slowly merged in to a competitive and cutthroat global economic environment. This leads to changes within every industry, because without change, the competition will leave you struggling to survive. The concept of change management is something in nearly every business today, but how businesses manage this change varies dependent upon the business, the change, and the people involved. One of the biggest factors in change and change management depends on how much people within the organization understand the change process (Mind Tools, 2012).…

    • 2003 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    More and more organizations today face a dynamic and changing environment. This, in turn, is requiring these organizations to adapt. "Change or die!" is the rallying cry among today's managers worldwide. Exactly, if organizations do not embrace change that will die, the company will go bankrupt.…

    • 4615 Words
    • 16 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Organizational changes effort often run into some form of human resistance. This article describes various causes for resistance to change: people may think they will lose something of value as a result; people don't understand its implications and perceive that it might cost them much more than they will gain; people fear they will not be able to develop the new skills and behavior that will be required of them.…

    • 536 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    By any objective measure, the amount of important, frequently distressing, change in organizations has grown enormously over the last two decades (Kotter, 1996). Jeffrey M. Hiatt, CEO of Prosci Inc., (as cited by Gibson, Ivancevich, Donnelly &ump; Konopaske, 2009, p. 481) explained, “thirty years ago, a foturne 100 probably had one or two enterprisewide change intitiatives goiong on; today that number is proably between 20 and 25.” The speed of global, economic, and techological development makes change an ineveitable element of organiztional life. Change is a pervasive, perisitent, and permenant condition for all organizations (Gibson, et al., 2009).…

    • 1330 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    The most common forms of organizational change are automation and rationalization. These relatively slow-moving and slow-changing strategies present modest returns but little risk. Faster and more comprehensive change—such as redesign and paradigm shifts—carries high rewards but offers substantial chances of failure.…

    • 1254 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Most of us fear change. Even when our minds say change is normal, our stomachs quiver at the prospect. But for strategists and managers today, there is no…

    • 13250 Words
    • 53 Pages
    Good Essays

Related Topics