Business-Level Change Management


events originating outside the organization, in what is usually termed "the environment." Hence, the second meaning of managing change, namely , the response to changes over which the organization exercises little or no control (e.g., legislation, social and political upheaval, the actions of competitors, shifting economic tides and currents, and so on). Researchers and practitioners alike typically distinguish between a knee-jerk or reactive response and an anticipative or proactive response.

An Area of Professional Practice

The second definition of change management is "an area of professional practice."

There are dozens, if not hundreds, of independent consultants who will quickly and proudly proclaim that they are engaged in planned change, that they are change agents, that they manage change for their clients, and that their practices are change management practices. There are numerous small consulting firms whose principals would make these same statements about their firms. And, of course, most of the major management-consulting firms have a change management practice area.

Some of these change management experts claim to help clients manage the changes they face - the changes happening to them. Others claim to help clients make changes. Still others offer to help by taking on the task of managing changes that must be made. In almost all cases, the process of change is treated separately from the specifics of the situation. It is expertise in this task of managing the general process of change that is laid claim to by professional change agents.

A Body of Knowledge

Stemming from the view of change management as an area of professional practice there arises yet a third definition of change management: the content or subject matter of change management. This consists chiefly of the models, methods and techniques, tools, skills and other forms of knowledge that go into making up any practice.

The content or subject matter of change management is drawn from psychology, sociology, business administration, economics, industrial engineering, systems engineering and the study of human and organizational behavior. For many practitioners, these component bodies of knowledge are linked and integrated by a set of concepts and principles known as General Systems Theory (GST). It is not clear whether this area of professional practice should be termed a profession, a discipline, an art, a set of techniques, or a technology. For now, suffice it to say that there is a large, reasonably cohesive albeit somewhat eclectic body of knowledge underlying the practice and on which most practitioners would agree - even if their application of it does exhibit a high degree of variance.

Principles for Managing Change
According to the LYNCO Associates [3] , there are 12 principles for managing change:

    • 1. Thought processes and relationship dynamics are fundamental if change is to be successful.
    • 2. Change only happens when each person makes a decision to implement the change.
    • 3. People fear change (when) it "happens" to them.
    • 4. Given the freedom to do so, people will build quality into their work as a matter of personal pride.
    • 5. Traditional organizational systems treat people like children and expect them to act like adults.
    • 6. "Truth" is more important during periods of change and uncertainty than "good news."
    • 7. Trust is earned by those who demonstrate consistent behavior and clearly defined values.
    • 8. People who work are capable of doing much more than they are doing.
    • 9. The intrinsic rewards of a project are often more important than the material rewards and recognition.
    • 10. A clearly defined vision of the end result enables all the people to define the most efficient path for accomplishing the results.
    • 11. The more input people

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