People And The Process Of Change

Planned change, on the other hand, is the result of consciously designed preparation to reach a desired goal or organizational state. An effective management of change involves change agents, performances gaps, levels and targets of change, systems approach, and intent and process. A. Change Agent – In every situation in which a change is desired, some person or group must be designated as the catalyst for change. That person or group is called the change agent. The change agent is the individual who is responsible for taking a leadership role in managing the process of change.

The individual, group, or organization that is the target of the change attempt is called the client systems. Managers or staff at various levels in organizations can serve as change agents. Consultants brought in from outside can also be change agents. Their role is to recognize the need for altering the status quo and to plan as well as to manage the implementation of the desired changes. B. Levels and Targets of change – Change agents must identify the level at which their efforts will be directed.

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Effects can be made to change individuals, groups, and entire organizations. Each represents a different level, or unit of change. Besides, change agents’ focus on targets to alter in attempting to close performance gaps and reach desired objectives. These targets of change include people, technology, Jobs and workflow, organizational structure and processes, culture, and management. The following examples illustrate how managers can change Some of these targets. Target Example individual ; Fire a person and replace him/her with someone else. Change knowledge, skill, attitude, or behavior Technology ; Replace existing technology with a more modern machine or way of doing work Structure ; Change from functional structure to a product division structure ; Add a new department or division, or consolidate the existing ones Processes ; Change the pay system from hourly wages to salaries Culture ; Implement a program to encourage valuing quality and service Management Encourage participation in the diagnosis and solution of problems by people at lower levels to replace a top-down approach c.

Systems Approach- since various elements of an organization are all part of an inter- dependent system, a change in any single target often leads to changes in the others. For example, when intensive care unit introduces EGG machines to improve diagnosis of patients, a series of changes followed. First, nurses have to learn on how to monitor the EGG and all have to learn the concepts and its interpretation. D. Content and process: – Two key concepts in managing change are content ND process. Content is the aspect of change, and process is the how dimension of change.

For example, assume a manager is concerned about decreasing productivity among the clerical staff. She thinks the cause might be excessive talking among staff members. In order to discourage talking among the clerical staff, she may decide to move their desks farther apart or place partitions between them. This is a content change. How this manager introduces and implements the change is the process. For example, she may decide to announce the change by memo or in a staff meeting, or she might eve the desks moved during the night so that the clerks find out about the change when they come to work the next day.

PROGRAMMING CHANGE The realization of organizational change requires effective planning or programming. A change program should incorporate the following processes. 1 . Recognizing the need for change – The need for change is sometimes obvious, as when results are not inline with expectations, things clearly are not working well, or dissatisfaction is apparent. 2. Setting Goals – Defining the future state or organizational conditions desired after change. 3. Diagnosing he present conditions in relation to the stated goals. 4. Defining the transition state activities and commitments required on meeting the future state. . Developing strategies and action plans. Change and the Comfort Zone The basic stages of the change process described by Kurt Lenin in 1 951 are unfreezing, change, and refreezing (Lenin, 1951; Scheme, 2004). Sociologist Kurt Lenin (1951) envisioned that any potential change is interplay of multiple opposing forces. These forces are broadly categorized under ;o major fields: the driving forces and restraining forces. The driving forces are the factors hat encourage or facilitate the change, while the restraining forces are the factors that obstruct change.

If these opposing forces are approximately equal, there will be no movement away from Status quo. For change to OCCUr the driving forces must be increased and/or the restraining forces must be reduced. This requires thorough understanding and analysis of the forces likely to resist change as well as those creating the need for change. Lenin called this process “force field analysis”. Kurt Linens further studied the process of bringing about effective change. He noted that individuals experience two major obstacles to change.

First, they are unwilling (or unable) to alter long-established attitudes and behavior. Second, their change of behavior frequently last only a short time. After a brief period of trying to do things differently, individuals often return to their traditional behavior. To overcome obstacles of this sort, Lenin developed a three – step sequential model of the change process. The model involves “unfreezing” the present behavior pattern, “Changing” or developing a new behavior pattern, and then “refreezing” or reinforcing the new behavior.

Unfreezing- it involves making the need for change so obvious that the individual, group, or organization can readily see and accept it. It is the process of creating a climate ready for change. In this stage, the management realizes that the current strategy is no longer appropriate and the organization must breakout of (unfreeze) its present mold. As such, it tries to make other people (employees) realize that some of the past ways of thinking, feeling, and doing things are obsolete. It convinces individuals and groups that present conditions or behavior are inappropriate.

Changing- once the members have been prepared to accept change, their behavioral patterns have to be redefined. There are three methods of reassigning individuals’ new patterns of behavior. These are: Compliance – It is achieved by strictly enforcing the reward and punishment strategy for good or bad behavior. The fear of punishment or actual reward seems to change the behavior for the better. Identification – Identification occurs when the members are psychologically impressed upon to identify themselves with some given role of models, whose behavior they would like to adopt and try to become like them.

Initialization – Initialization involves some internal changing of the individual’s thought processes in order to adjust to a new environment. Members are left alone and given the freedom to learn and adopt new behavior in order to succeed in the new set of circumstances. As a whole, in this stage, new behavior is developed and change is effected through a conscious process as individuals seek to resolve the anxieties that surfaced during unfreezing stage. Refreezing – It means locking the new behavior pattern into place by means of supporting or reinforcing mechanisms, so that it becomes the new norm.

It is the process of institutionalizing the new state of behavior or work by rewards (praise, etc). Imagine a work situation that is basically stable. People are generally accustomed to each other, have a routine for doing their work, and believe they know what to expect and how to deal with whatever problems come up. They are operating within their “comfort zone” (Farrell & Brooded, 1 987; Lap, 2002). A change of any magnitude is likely to move people out of this comfort zone into discomfort. This move out of the comfort zone is called unfreezing (Fig. . 1). For example: Many health-care institutions offer nurses the choice of weekday or weekend work. Given these choices, nurses with school-age children are likely to find their comfort zone on weekday shifts. Imagine the discomfort they would experience if they Were transferred to weekends. Such a change would rapidly unfreeze their usual routine and move them into the discomfort zone. They might have to find a new babysitter or begin a search for a new childcare center that is open on weekends.

Another alternative would be to establish a child-care center where they work. Yet another alternative would be to find a position that offers better working hours. Whatever alternative they chose, the nurses were being challenged to find a solution that enabled them to move into a new comfort zone. To accomplish this, they would have to find a consistent, dependable source of child care suited to their new schedule and to the needs of their children and then refreeze their situation.

If they did not find a satisfactory alternative, they could remain in an unsettled state, in a discomfort zone, caught in a conflict between their personal and professional responsibilities. The manager receives information on a new wound care protocol which has been shown to reduce development of pressure ulcers and speed healing of existing wounds. Nurses are happy with the current procedure and see no deed for change. To initiate the unfreezing stage, the manager enlists the help of the charge nurses and provides each a copy of the proposed protocol and research articles supporting the change.

After educating the charge nurses a nursing staff meeting is called and the manager introduces new protocol. Prior to sharing the new policy/procedure the manager reviews the Medicare reimbursement guidelines regarding monoclonal ulcer development and research showing effectiveness of new procedure. The manager displays posters and other educational materials throughout the unit. After allowing he staff to look over the materials and consider the changes another staff meeting is called. The policy and procedure “go live” date is announced.

Mandatory education is scheduled for all nursing staff. During the first 3 months of implementation the manager and charge nurses closely monitor charts, do walking rounds and discuss any difficulties the nurses may be having regarding the new procedure; each monthly staff meeting involves some discussion of the new policy. Once the three-month mark has been reached the oversight continues to ensure compliance, all new staff are educated and quarterly statistics are provided to the nurses as encouragement and proof that the new policy has been effective.

Continued oversight ensures that the freezing remains and old habits do not slip back into practice. The three stages of unfreezing-change-refreezing has successfully occurred. The nurses are excited by the improved patient outcomes and decreased time spent caring for wounds and it has become a permanent change on your nursing unit. As this example illustrates, even what seems to be a small change can greatly disturb the people involved in it. The next section considers the many reasons why change provokes resistance and how change can be unsettling.

RESISTANCE TO CHANGE Recognizing Resistance Resistance may be active or passive (Heeler, 1998). It is easy to recognize resistance to a change when it is expressed directly. When a person says to you, “That’s not a very good idea,” “I’ll quit if you schedule me for the night shift,” or ‘There’s no way I’m going to do that,” there is no doubt you are encountering resistance. Active resistance can take the form of outright refusal to comply, such as these statements, writing memos that destroy the idea, quoting existing rules that make the change difficult to implement, or encouraging others to resist.

When resistance is less direct, however, it can be difficult to recognize unless you know what to look for. Passive approaches usually involve avoidance: canceling appointments to discuss implementation of the change, being too busy to make the change, refusing to commit to changing agreeing to it but doing nothing to change, and simply ignoring the entire process as much as possible (Table 8-1 Once resistance has been recognized, action can be taken to lower or even eliminate it. Table 8-1 Resistance to Change Active Attacking the idea Refusing to change