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Change management is a structured approach to shifting/transitioning individuals, teams, and organizations from a current state to a desired future state. It is an organizational process aimed at helping employees to accept and embrace changes in their current business environment. In project management, change management refers to a project management process where changes to a project are formally introduced and approved.

Kotter defines change management as the utilization of basic structures and tools to control any organizational change effort. Change management's goals is to minimize the change impacts on workers and avoid distractions.

Traditionally managers have been asked to select , develop,appraise & reward employees for their performance, but the challenge facing todays organizations requires them to understand and manage change.Therefore they need to develop area of expertise that are useful during the change process.

Person who act as catalysts & assume the responsibility for managing change are called as Change Agents. Change can be brought about by managers,non-managers, employees or an outside consultant.

The primary goal of change agent is to help organization improve its effectiveness,performance,renewal capacity & competitive readiness.

Usually, changeoccurs because a problem exists in a process, and there is a clearidea for a better way to do it. While this sounds fairly easy, it often can be quite complicated and frustrating. Without a change control process in place, people will assume that any change is a good change- until it isn't- and that's when it becomes a problem, sometimes an expensive one, for companies.

Why Change Management?

Don't many organizations simply allow the various department heads to run their territory and then deal with issues that arise afterwards? Yes, many do, but the ones who actively manage the change process say that extra effort pays off.

Consider: Any organization that first stops implementation- until approval by a change management group- of any activity or purchase that affects productivity, system security, safety or budgets uses their hindsight far less because they exercised their foresight.

Change will inevitably happen. However, in order to benefit from changewe need to know how to manage it effectively,so perhaps we need to review some of the key points that will helpus accomplishour goals.

On the flip side, when we actually have decided upon a change, we will encounter resistance. People in every organization protect the status quo, and will often resist any changes, no matter how slight they may be.Some folksare afraid of change in and of itself, while others are afraid of losing their control over a system or method- and some find no profit from changing a system that they see as working adequately.

In addition, some are threatened by automation in change, as a threat to their very livelihood, and will "silently sabotage" any efforts at improvement. This can be everything from playing dumb (can't learn it- it's too complicated) to actual overt and purposeful damage to a new system's dataor hardware.

Change management uniquely addresses human aspects such as fear, hesitation, and resistance in the process of building and using technology. This alone can create a paradox in making the process both challenging yet fascinating in its orchestration. There are a great many things for us all to consider when it comes to implementing successful and lasting change.

Types of Change

The external environment like(competitive , regulatory and so on) will continue to play a role in an organizations ability to deliver goods and services, the internal environment within the organization will increasingly inhibit it from delivering products required to meet the demands of the market place unless it is able to adapt quickly. There are numerous roles which HRD practitioner plays these can be categorized as:

1) Strategic:

Sometimes in the course of normal business operation it is necessary for management to adjust the firms strategy to achieve the goals of the company or even to change the mission statement of the organization in response to demands of the external environments. Adjusting a companys strategy may involve changing its fundamental approach to doing business: the markets it will target, the kind of products it will sale, how they will be sold, its overall strategic orientation, the level of global activity, and its various partnership and other joint business arrangements.

2) Structural:

Organizations often find it necessary to redesign the structure of the company due to influences from the external environment structural changes involve the hierarchy of authority, goals, structural characteristics, administrative procedures and management systems almost all the changes in how an organization is managed falls under the category of structural change. A structural change may be as simple as implementing a no smoking policy, or as involved as restructuring the company to meet the customers need more effectively.

3) Process Oriented:

Organization may need to reengineer to process to achieve optimum work flow and productivity. Process oriented change is often related to an organization production or how the organization assembles product or deliver services.

4) People centered:

This type of change alters the attitudes, behaviors, skills or performance of employees in the company changing people centered process involves communicating, motivating, leading, interacting with in groups. This focus may entail changing how problems are solved, the way employees learned new skills and even the very nature of how employees perceived themselves, their jobs and the organization. Many employees believe that a change is often reactive and nothing more than a quick fix, then they brace themselves for more changes in the future. Management needs to realize that serious underline problems in organization must be addressed with long term consequences in mind. When management implements changes, careful thought must be given to ensure that the new process are for the long term good of the company.

Mechanism of Change Management

According to Axelrod, there are four approaches to change management:

Leader-driven Approach- In this approach change is more suitable for small and medium enterprises with owner-managers. This approach works well when the manager or leader has all the necessary information and knowledge. Leader-driven changes tend to be directive and non-participative. Therefore this approach is less suitable when:

a) the workforce is young and/or highly skilled,

b) the business environment is complex and dynamic, and

c) successful change requires active involvement of a number of people in the organization.

Process-driven Approach- In this approach changes are led by experts or outside consultants and supported by the leader; these changes are more common in large, bureaucratic organizations. This approach works well when the change requires technical or specialized expertise

Team-driven approach- are most common in large, manufacturing enterprises that have skilled and educated employees. Change management strategiessuch as TQM, Quality Circles, and Six Sigmaexemplify this approach. These are highly participative change efforts that empower employees and provide them with involvement, participation and ownership of change. Team-based approaches that are properly executed can unleash enormous levels of employee energy and motivation. This can, in turn, lead to innovation and productivity gains. However, using this approach can also cause some discomfort for managers in an organization because they may not be used to sharing their power and authority with workers. Moreover, this approach requires managers to shift from a directive, authoritarian style based on power and expertise to a participative style based on persuasion, coaching and helping. More importantly, the team-based approach to execute change requires the establishment of a parallel organization.

Change Management approach- The fourth approach to change is called the Change Management approach. This is a combination of expert-driven and team-driven approaches. Whereas the former provides a business and technical focus to change, the latter generates ownership, involvement and commitment. So as to gain this commitment, most specialists, experts and change management consultants have incorporated the parallel organization concept in their process-driven approach.

Change Management Principles

Change management principles

1. At all times involve and agree support from people within system (system = environment, processes, culture, relationships, behaviours, etc., whether personal or organisational).

2. Understand where you/the organisation is at the moment.

3. Understand where you want to be, when, why, and what the measures will be for having got there.

4. Plan development towards above No.3 in appropriate achievable measurable stages.

5. Communicate, involve, enable and facilitate involvement from people, as early and openly and as fully as is possible.

Various Roles performed by Change Agent





Highly directive role in which the change agent tries to influence the client to use a certain approach

When the client is not sure of the approach to take and needs a lot of direction