Recently, I spent some time reflecting on some Change Management materials that I have been reading. I wanted to find a general theme that would help bring a more tangible and significant meaning to the work. After I had spent some time thinking, I arrived at two main concepts that strongly resonated with my ideas on change management.
As one of the leaders in an organization, we are responsible for taking charge and provide guidance. This entails engaging in voluntary and beneficial efforts to affect positive change inside of organizations with respect to how work is performed within jobs, groups, and organizations (Morrison & Phelps, 1999, p. 403). As individuals, we are the agents of the organization and have an ethical responsibility to engage in advantageous change activities. For a sustaining positive organizational change to occur, it is an active process that is identified, planned, and executed in such a way that a fresh vision, mission, values, or behaviors are integrated into the organization’s culture (Weiss, 2013, p. 147). The first key point is that change is proactive and supported through the integration of the new behaviors in the company culture.
Changes that are initially successful may not be sustainable if the leadership fails to integrate the changed behaviors into the culture (Weiss, 2013, p. 139). The effort expended to institute the modification to the processes and behaviors will be lost over time as the organization reverts to prior ways because we fail to lock the new practices into the culture. Secondarily, it is important that the follow-through activities to make the changes sustainable are planned as carefully as the tactical processes, procedures, and systems that are modified through the initial change effort.
Morrison, E. W., & Phelps, C. C. (1999). Taking charge at work: Extrarole efforts to initiate workplace change. Academy of Management Journal, 42(4), 403-419. doi:10.2307/257011
Weiss, J. W. (2013). Organizational change (1st ed.) [VitalSource Bookshelf Online].