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THE RELEVANCE ON THE STUDY OF CHANGE
Our era is a period of change and this is not unusual in the history of mankind. This is true for societies, individuals and for organisations. In today's rapidly changing, highly competitive environment, the ability to change rapidly, efficiently, and almost continually will distinguish the winners from the losers. Most of us are averse to change and we tend to prefer to do things in the way in which we are used to doing them. Unfortunately, everything around is changing, sometimes very slowly and sometimes quicker than anticipated, therefore bringing new experiences that can be enjoyed and at times those that would be rather be avoided. Major changes typically involve many different types and levels of personal loss for the people in question. For example, change always requires the effort to learn the new, which is a loss in terms of time and energy that could have been used elsewhere. One of Charles Darwin famous quotes says that “it is not the strongest species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the ones who are most responsive to change.” Although some may welcome the learning opportunity, many of us do not want to invest that time and energy unless we are dissatisfied with the current arrangements or see powerful advantages to the proposed change. People, societies and organisations thus will continue to be judged upon their ability to effectively and efficiently manage change. It is against this background that the relevance of the study of change will be explored in this paper.
Definition of change and change agents
Change is an act or process through which something becomes different become or make different. The Free on Line Dictionary defines change as to become different, or make something or somebody different. The study of change becomes important as it helps bring out the change agents that surround people, societies and organisations. A change agent on the other hand is ‘an event, organisation, material thing that acts as a catalyst for change.’ A change agent consequently alters human capability or organizational systems to achieve a higher degree of output or self actualization. The result of change agent activity thus is to enable people to do more, or find a new and better perspective on life. Change agents can be in form of death, promotions at work, transfer to a new school marriage and many other experiences for individual people.
Change can be for the better or for the worst, depending on how one views it. Change has an adjustment period which varies on the individual. It is uncomfortable, for changing from one state to the next upsets our control over outcomes. Change can have a ripping effect on those who fail to let go and a good outcome for those flexible to it. For example, a roller coaster ride can be a nightmare to one yet on the other hand fun if one knows when to lean and create new balance within the change. Change is needed when all the props and practices of the past no longer work. Through the study of change individuals and organisations realise the inevitability of change and that they do not grow in retreat, but through endurance. They benefit new ways of thinking thus the study helps in identifying and knowing how to manage change.
Individual and Change
Although change can be awkward at first, people must be enlightened on that, it is a muscle that develops to abundantly enjoy the dynamics of the life set before us. Change calls own strength beyond anyone of us and push one to do their personal best. Change is natural and good, but people's reaction to change is unpredictable and irrational. It is through the study of change that people comes to know about how it can be managed rightfully.
Resistance to change comes from a fear of the unknown or an expectation of loss. The front-end of an individual's resistance to change is how...
References: 2. Nilakant V and Ramnarayan S, Change Management: Altering mindsets in a Global Context, Sage Publications, London, 2009.
3. Paton R.A and McCalman J, Change Management: A guide to effective implementation, 3rd Edition, Sage Publications, London, 2008.
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