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Monday, 27.05.2024
eGovernment Forschung seit 2001 | eGovernment Research since 2001
The one thing that dominates our modern lives is change. Nothing is static anymore and change is constant. To keep up with the pace of change, governments and businesses are implementing new processes, procedures, equipment, software and more. It’s reported that nearly 70 percent of change efforts fail.

Victory Grady is a change expert and the co-author of The Pivot Point: Success in Organizational Change. Grady completed her doctoral studies at George Washington University in May 2005. Her dissertation focused on the inherent loss of stability suffered by organizations introducing and implementing organizational change initiatives. The research resulted in a validated model explaining the tendency of individuals, often subconsciously, to struggle, resist and potentially disrupt the organizational change initiative. She responded below to a series of questions posed to her about change management.

Question: Are human beings naturally resistant to change?

Answer: Maybe. We certainly tend to relax and get comfortable once we learn a certain formula for success or a behavior that works for us.

But we also are part of a dynamic environment that requires us to adapt and change to stay competitive in the global marketplace. Times and people do change, and we know deep inside that sometimes, we have to get with the program too.

Q: Do individuals deal with change differently? How does this impact organizational change?

Yes, at least in some ways. Each and every one of us deals with change in a special way.

Organizational change is particularly challenging because some people learn and adapt quickly, while others take more time, and may require help from management, leadership and other employees. Special awareness and actions are needed to make sure no one gets left behind.

Q: Is there a standard process or way to effect change in an organization?

No. The best process is tailored to the company or organization. Each organization, whether small or large, is unique. The individuals are also unique, and the changes they are being asked to make are unique. So the best process will be one that takes their special needs into account and is carefully designed to help them in the ways that will maximize success.

Q: What is the most crucial issue you see that organizations fail to address?

Change initiatives can fail for many reasons. But one of the most common causes of failure is that they do not adequately address the role and the needs of individuals who are going through the change and the objects they are attached to.

Q: What is the Pivot Point? Why is it important?

The Pivot Point is that place in time and space when individuals (the employees) successfully abandon the old and adjust to the new.

If you look at The Pivot Point you see that each person is attached or linked to “objects” in the workplace that they lean on or attach to for support to complete the task, work or the project before them.

An object can be a person, a technology, a system, a location, a process, familiar equipment, even an abstract concept or idea — anything that serves to provide an individual employee with a sense of consistency and stability.

Q: How does understanding the pivot point help organizations go through change?

People do what they are familiar and comfortable with. To make change successfully each person must be trained to do new things in new ways. People struggle with changes until they become comfortable and confident with the new methods, systems or changing circumstances.

It’s not just the addition of new, but it is also the loss of the old.

To achieve change in an organization, employees must leave those familiar things behind, and at the same time learn how to act and function in a new way.

Q: What does this mean for organizations?

Management and leadership must realize that the individual employees are the most important element. The employees are the organization. That is the bottom line.

Change that is simply imposed will not be effective without the individuals being able to succeed with the change in place.

Q: Can you measure how people adapt to change?

Yes. It is best to first assess how an organization performs. Here’s a simple example: Look at one organization. First identify how long it takes to get certain piece of work done? What does it cost to do the work? How much money does the organization make?

Now implement a new technology (give everyone a smartphone) and train them how to use it.

Now how long does it take to get the same work done? Did you save any money? Did you make more money or less money?

Is everyone using the smartphones well enough? Are they trained to communicate and make use of all the time-saving features?

This is a simple example. The changes that organizations make are usually more complicated than this.

You can analyze organizational effectiveness gains or losses from changes that managers and leaders make, and it can make a tremendous difference in how change is achieved.

Q: What is the key to success in effecting organizational change?

The key to the success is identifying metrics that matter so that the organization can monitor and see exactly where people are adapting and where they need help.

These metrics allow management to figure out what needs to be done to ensure that individuals get the help, the training or the support they need to make it through the pivot points each person encounters. These measurements can be real time and adjusted to meet each organization’s needs.

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Autor(en)/Author(s): Eric Holdeman

Quelle/Source: Emergency Managemen, 17.09.2012

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