Change is an inevitable occurrence in any organization. The organization must develop ways to withstand the change or use it for the better of the firm. Change in an organization can be internal or external. It is the role of management to establish a strategic manner of coping with change. Transition management model relates to large-scale organizational change. It looks into what triggers organizational change and how organizations respond to these changes (Randall, 2004).
Change is something that is common to any entrepreneur. This is especially since business changes every day and yesterday’s solutions can easily become obsolete. This calls for innovation, and hence changes in the way processes are done. Change entails the goals that an organization may want to achieve, or policies set to be implemented. Transition concerns how the personnel will respond and accept or reject the new changes. It is important to note the clear distinction between change and transition. Change is the situation whereby something transforms while transition is the process that people must go through so as to become comfortable with a change. Transition may vary from one person to another.
Phases of transition
According to (Haneberg, 2005), transition is never an easy process for any organization since it involves the reaction of different people to a certain manner of doing things, for example, a new IT development. Transition involves three basic processes that are difficult to go through. First of all, transition calls for personnel to forego past traditions. This phase is referred to as the ending phase. This means letting go of the way things were; that is the status quo. This may be hard if the past processes proved successful. Transitions may also lead to uncertainties, confusion, anxiety and skepticism. This is stage is the neutral zone. During the neutral zone period, productivity of the organization reduces greatly since absenteeism increases. These two phases may prove very difficult for some of the personnel to tolerate.
Consequently, they may quit or automatically become redundant. However, some employees are more flexible and hence can move forward and work, even with the new changes in place. This phase is the beginnings stage. The employees are usually motivated, committed, and energetic and willing to learn in this stage. This phase may undermine one’s prowess in his or her profession depending on the individual’s attitude. This is common in organizations that are stern on mistakes, and hence the consequences are harsh.
How to manage Transition
Leaders should attempt to describe briefly what a certain change entails and provide one or two reasons on why the change is needed in that organization. This goes a long to boost employee morale. There should also be predetermined timelines as to when the changes will take effect. A clear description of what is changing, that is, what will be foregone, is also critical. This also means making the personnel aware of what role they will have with the implementation of the new changes.
Leaders should also call for new and positive attitudes towards any new changes. Provision of an award system or a taskforce to motivate other employees may also go a long way in boosting the employee morale. The management should also help the personnel to let go of the past. They can then overcome the status quo by providing incentives to show them that the organization has their interests at heart. The new beginnings stage can be managed through the four P’s: purpose, picture, plan and part. This means a thorough explanation to personnel on the need for change, a vision of what good things the change may bring, a detailed plan of how the change will be implemented, and an allocation to each person a part to play (Bridges & Bridges, 2012).
Organizations can achieve a higher acceptance rate of the changes they implement if they paint a picture of what the future might be holding. Leaders can help the personnel to set personal goals for their work. Similarly, provision of training to teams and individuals goes a long way to instill new values, attitudes and skills. The organization may choose to acknowledge individuals and groups through public displays and company parties.
The challenge of the status quo can be addressed by the leaders through sympathetic acknowledgement of intangible losses, identification of the ripple effects of change, and description of the change in great detail. This encourages acceptance of a new change and letting go of past traditions. Managers should acknowledge the past as a legacy that paved way for the present and the future changes to come. Some of the past rituals may be incorporated into the new changes just to acclimatize the personnel with the new changes.
Things to Avoid when Making Transitions
The organization should, at all costs, communicate the notice of a change through an organization’s meeting and not through an internal memo or organizational chart. It is not advisable to assemble a model team that then acts as a guide to other employees. This greatly undermines employees’ morale and creates divisions among the personnel. Employees should also not be coerced, threatened or otherwise so as to accept the changes.
Bridges, W., & Bridges,. M. (n. d.). Leader to Leader – Leader To Leader Journal. Frances
Hesselbein Leadership Institute. Retrieved October 22, 2012, from
http://www. hesselbeininstitute. org/knowledgecenter/journal. aspx? ArticleID= 28
Haneberg, L. (2005). Organization Development Basics. Alexandria, VA: ASTD Press.
Randall, J. (2004). Managing Change, Changing Managers. London: Routledge.