2.5 - Understanding how the fundamental change processes are used

12 minutes
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I'm now going to get into some detail about the four major change processes that can be employed when we approach a change situation. This is at a theoretical level that has direct application to the practice of change management. First, the goal setting, this is the plan change approach, and that you have a gap. The gap is between where you are today and where you'd like to be. This is driven by dissatisfaction. There's something about the current situation, a pain point, a problem.

There's something that needs to be altered and you can identify a goal that will solve the pain that you are encountering. So there's a purpose of all identification of a gap and directional goal setting, you create an implementation plan that will get you from today to that situation. And you also measure progress. This is a typical approach that everyone in business or any organization knows about. The key is how you do these different parts in relationship with the other three change processes. So therefore, this is the dominant paradigm for organizational change.

When I mentioned organizational change, this is the one people will think about. The focus is within a single entity or organization. And it has a purposeful construction. We build something from what we have to what we want to have in the future. There's also a feedback This is not necessary. feedback.

But think of it as a loop to the next problem is not a circle, but a cycle of moving from one problem fixing that problem and then going on to the next problem. Sometimes, fixing one problem will identify something else that may need to be fixed to fix the earlier problem that you're facing. But again, this is a cycle of one change into the next as you measure progress, you're identifying the next gap that needs to be addressed. This is the goal setting or theological approach to planned change. Next is the debate or synthesis mentioned last time this is where you have an idea, the thesis the situation as it currently exists, and you purposely create a conflict with another idea. This conflict may be driven by Competition may be driven by pain may be driven by interpersonal relationships within the organization.

The focus here though, is the clarity upon which you create these two concepts that become in conflict with each other within the organization. It is a controlled argument, controlled fight, in that you're trying to have everyone understand that there is a conflict of ideas. And within that we're looking for something new to come out of it. This may be a totally new idea, or it may be a shift of thinking from one side to the other side. The key though, is that you're purposely creating a conflict of ideas that then leads to change because people change their thinking. Let me repeat that.

The change comes from creating a conflict that requires people to think differently. And when they think differently, change comes from that. Again, there is a loop, and that every time you have a new situation coming out of this conflict, that becomes the current state going forward. It may be a stable state, or it may become unstable as change pressures build over time. The key is that don't think of this as a single conflict. Think of this as a series of conflicts of thinking that requires the organization to examine itself and thereby change over time.

The focus then is that this is often used as a driver of change within other change processes. It clarifies the need for change Helps alter the mental models is how we think about the organization and the dynamics within that organization. And it does it with two entities, the status quo and some disruptive point of view to debate synthesis or dialectic change process. This can happen within a small developmental change and how you deal with one person and a small problem, or it's used as a tool and a much bigger planned change initiatives to life cycles that grow decline. This is a typical curve of the life cycle where there is a start or birth, early growth, later growth, maturity and eventual decline. The challenge is, how do you re energize the organization such as you do?

Do not go into a true decline, which is organizational death. The key then is having a rebirth in that something is changed new strategy, new way of looking at yourself new products something is rebirth within the organization and it establishes a new lifecycle. The challenge is when do you do that new birth. It is shown here after the maturity as the client starts, that is when you need to actually pull the trigger, because if the organization declines much more, you may not have the resources to have that new birth. The challenge though, is that it takes time to put that new birth idea from conception into place. This can Not be done at maturity or when the organization is already in decline.

This has to be done during the later part of the growth. Because you always know that at some point, at some point, you're going to hit a maturity, and the status quo will no longer work, you need to anticipate this gets back to the proactive type of a change, you need to think about the growth cycle proactively so that when you actually experience the client, you'll have something to put in place, if you are reactive, you will not be able to put that change in place quick enough. And you may be in the later declined, not have the resources or you may not have the time to actually have the rebirth effectively done. There's also then the key point is that You're going to be successful long term, organizations have to continue to rebirth new ideas. This becomes a core change competency of strategic thinking about the organization is not today's success, but what needs to be done today to be successful in the future.

So this is seen as a fitness situation, in that there's gradual change as required. As the fitness of the organization wanes, too often seen in hindsight, again gets back to being proactive. The rebirth then often becomes a goal say in plan change process, if anticipated earlier. The Evolution This is the adaptation is driven by competition and that there's always variations of Different ways you can do things and a selection process that selects what works best at that particular time. So that when the environment changes, that selects something different and that is in retained within the organization. This is a typical biological evolution theory.

Within organizations though, if you become too specialized, if you have no variation, and a new competitor comes in a new business model comes in as discovered by somebody. You may not have the ability within your organization to alter what you've been doing, because you've been doing what you've been doing for so long. The key here then, is how do you build variation into the organization so that when different competitive forces come into play, you're able to move forward, I may repeat that. The key is to have variation in advance, building competencies in advance that are not necessarily critical today, but maybe critical in the future. This requires thinking about the health of the organization, thinking about how the organization thinks of itself, and you put change processes in place to create variations, particularly in the way you think about the organization. There's also obviously, a cycle once again, and that what is retained becomes a selective process to be fitness for that particular time.

But that also then requires new variations on that. new theme. This is a fitness cycle that is not predictable. A critical point here, you can have a toolkit of possibilities, but you don't always know which one will be needed. You have to create that flexibility. Most important in today's global economy, you're building capabilities, even if they're not currently needed.

And there's a diversity of mental models, how you see the organization, how you discuss within the organization, to come with the realization of what is making sense within the organization, and what is possible. This is driven by a competition of ideas. And this again ties back to the dialectic, in which case you're purposely creating conflicts. Conflict then creates variations that can be maybe useful later, when new forces come to play. You cannot predict these. But you can't predict that there will be some change in the future based upon new forces outside of your control.

Four processes, which change process fits your situation best. And how can you employ the other change processes to complement you overall change initiatives

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