Change is a constant in life within and outside of organizations. Organizational change may look simple on paper but turns out to be a lot more complicated in reality. The reason for this duality is that corporate organizations have a lot of inertia, which is also momentum, but a kind of momentum that uses its energy to keep things the way they are, in resistance to change.
Within organizations are time-honored procedures for carrying out key functions, traditional measurements, longstanding customs and conventions for handling routine decisions that tend to resist change even if employees are generally supportive of management’s desire to find new ways of doing things. In order to overcome the inertia within organizations, leadership must forge alliances with employees, realizing that employees have to understand why as well as what changes are necessary. Many companies are effective at forging the necessary alliances while others are not effective.
The ones that are not effective are the ones in which management thinks employees are obstacles rather than partners in change. The organizations that are effective at forging the necessary alliances are the ones that realize that there is more to change than making decrees with the expectation that employees will simply obey commands. Organizations successful at making change realize that there are key areas in which they must perform extremely well. This paper will discuss some of these key areas in relationship to a change management plan for CrysTel Telecommunications in the simulation Building a Culture for Sustaining Change.
CrysTel Telecommunications has undergone lots of change since its inception and has experienced some degree of success managing change. CrysTel has a workforce of 2,500 employees and annual earnings of $200 Million. The company’s main product line includes date cables, wireless solutions, and network development. Recently, the company has been encountering frequent technological advancements and has diversified to include unconventional services such as Cooper Interconnectivity, Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA), General Packet Radio Services (GPRS), and other real-time solutions. Change Model
According to research, organizations that have experienced long-term success at implementing organizational change have several key factors in common. At the top of the list of key factors is leadership. Studies of the various types of leadership models have revealed that there are two popular types of leaders: transactional and charismatic. Although theorist do not agree on any one best type of leader, studies indicate that charismatic leaders are viewed as more effective leaders for change by both supervisors and followers, and had followers who exerted more effort and reported higher levels of job satisfaction than non-charismatic leaders.
(Krietner & Kinicki, 2004) The Charismatic Model of Leadership shows that organizational culture is a key precursor of charismatic leadership and that long-term financial performance is highest for organizations with an adaptive culture. Organizations with adaptive cultures anticipate and adapt to environmental changes and focus on leadership that emphasizes the importance of service to customers, stockholders, and employees. (Krietner & Kinicki, 2004) Leadership Leadership may come from people throughout the organization and not just top managers.
However, leaders must have the power and influence to make the mission or vision a reality. Given their positions of authority, founders and top managers are often able to impose their own wills on the organization. It is important to not that, today’s leaders do not inspire commitment to a vision simply by exercising authority; they must draw on other sources of power and influence. In addition to formal authority, leaders often rely on a quality called charisma to clearly and vividly communicate a vision and embed it in people’s thinking.
Charisma springs from such diversities as the leader’s self-confidence, conviction, interpersonal skills, creativity, perspective and energy. A person who has charisma has the ability to inspire confidence in others as well and bring out their personal best. Overcoming Resistance Overcoming resistance to change is another key factor in change management long-term success. The implementation of change within an organization produces resistance. People are going to resist changes that they do not see as being clearly in their best interest.
How change will affect others cannot be predicted because change affects every differently. People have different levels of comfort and tolerance of change. Other’s resistance to change can be best managed by involving others in the change process from the start. That way, the potential impact of the change can best be measured, understood and smoothed out by leadership along the path toward success. (Jennings, 2004) Leadership at CrysTel should involve employees in the planning and execution of change efforts, especially if those employees will be affected by the change.
Employees should be involved from the very first step, helping to identify the reasons or necessity for change, the nature of the change, the timing of the change, and its possible effects on the organization and its members. It is difficult for an individual to resist a change decision in which they participated. In order for this effort to be successful there must be open and honest two-way communication between all levels in the organization. Withholding information from employees is only going to result in opposition to the planned change.