Most Difficult Part of Organizational Change:

Week 4 Discussion Board.

Most Difficult Part of Organizational Change:

From what you have read about organizational change and your personal experience at work, what is the most difficult part of making a significant organizational change?

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I am copying some of my classmates posts for you to get an idea what you should talk about.

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Good morning everyone,

One thing that really stuck out at me was Kotter’s 8th error, not anchoring changes in the corporation’s culture. In this error, kotter states that “Until new behaviors are rooted in social norms and shared values, they are subject to degradation as soon as the pressure for change is removed” (Kotter, 2007). I can relate this to my own work experience as many organizations tend to forget this error, and people soon return to their own habits subtly so the degradation of new behaviors sometimes goes unnoticed. I think that this is the most difficult part of organizational change as turnover simply exists, and people tend to go back to what works easiest or is most convenient for them.

Kotter describes ways to overcome this error, yet I haven’t seen these performed in any organizations I’ve been a part of. He says that we need to show people how new behaviors and attitudes improve the organizations performance, and successors of management need to represent the new approach to change (Kotter, 2007). In my own experience, organizations do not take the time to teach employees how the new behaviors or attitudes effect performance. In addition, management successors usually have a system that was effective to get them to the level of management, and they do not want to stray away from this system, so it’s up to an organizations leader to instill that new managers personify the change efforts. Thank you for taking the time to read my post!

Kotter, J. (2007, January). Leading Change Why Transformation Efforts Fail. Harvard Business Review, 85(1), 96-103

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Instinctively, the first challenge which comes to mind during organizational change is removing roadblocks. Successful leaders can navigate the obstacles; however, as Kotter references the “elephant appears to be blocking the path.” It is no easy feat to move an elephant nor some obstacles which arise during change. Even the most committed leader questions their research, guidance, and overall vision while circumnavigating the elephant. Some of the greatest roadblocks are often individuals in leadership positions who speak unfavorable of the direction of the organization or those within the company who feel the change is being imposed on them. Having been a part of leading organizational change in recent years, the hurdles in the form of open positions, changes in the economy, Covid-19, and state policy changes, have created considerable challenges in continuing toward the new vision of the organization.

Another aspect, posing a unique challenge, is building a culture of change based in the organization’s values. Rather than delivering a message of continues change, developing a culture based in a vision and company values will create a more pliable environment in which transformation happens organically. This concept is noted in Kotter’s 8th step of transforming organizations. Jim Hemerling takes the idea further in his five ways to empower people in a time when companies are consistently in transformation. Hemerling suggests that companies no longer go through seasons of change but are in a continuous state of change. He recommends focusing on the people to build a culture which change can flourish. His five points include inspiring through purpose, go all in-not just cutting and reformatting positions-work toward growth, provide employees the capabilities to succeed, promote a culture of continuous learning, and as a leader of the change listen and receive feedback to lead “inclusively.” Successful transformations I have witnessed have been routed in company values focused on the people. This is a tremendous challenge; however, the cultural shift leads those within the organization to having a stronger ownership of the vision and the success of the business.

Thank you for reading this week. I look forward to your insights on the challenges of change.

References:

Hemerling, J. “Five ways to lead in an era of constant change” TedX. Retrieved from: https://video.search.yahoo.com/search/video?fr=mcafee&p=Ted+Talks+about+organizational+change#id=4&vid=3b2f375b0e5162332b458850b749b54e&action=click

Kotter, J. P. (2007, January). Leading Change: Why Transformation Efforts Fail. Harvard Business Review,

96-103. Retrieved from www.hbr.org

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Good evening,

As it pertains to organizational change, in my experience it is the initial step of deciding to make the change that can be the most difficult. We understand that we need to make the change to remain competitive in the market and adapt to the current economic climate. But, in many circumstances, we tend to get set in our ways and the idea of change is daunting. The idea of change is daunting due to the impact that it will make (positive or negative), and the domino effect that the organizational change will cause. Understanding the bigger picture and overall future impact the change will make, will make the effort that goes into an organizational change worth it in the end. As Kotter explains in Leading Change: Why Transformation Efforts Fail (Kotter 2007), “Phase one can sound easy. It is not. Sometimes executives underestimate how hard it can be to drive people out of their comfort zones.” (Kotter 2007, p. 97)

The division I work in at Ecolab, recently went through a substantial organizational change in our field operations. Our field operations team consists of many tenured associates, who are not too keen on change. Our field managers now have new roles and responsibilities which have pushed them out of the comfort zones, more now so than ever before in their careers. To ensure that this change would be successful overall, this organizational change was piloted first in one region before it was rolled out to the rest of the country. This was imperative to ensure that this change that would push people out of their comfort zones, would be beneficial to the business and would not make some of our long standing associates leave the company or division due to this change.

Overall, I think it is all about the planning during the initial step ,while can be difficult, is the most important step of an organizational change. It sets the tone for the steps to follow during the organizational change.

Thanks,

Kotter, John P. “Leading Change: Why Transformation Efforts Fail.” The Principles and Practice of Change, 2007, pp. 96–103.

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