Friday, March 28, 2008

Initiating and Implementing Planned Change - Part 2 of 4

2. Discovering the Necessary Changes

Once the need for change had been identified the nature of the change must be determined. This can be a difficult process at times. In some situations that require change there is no one right answer or change option, but a number of good options of which one must be selected. In other situations there may be one right change option but it may not be an option that initially appeals to people. Many adults cannot conceptualize tomorrow until after they have experienced it and thus the cost of some change seems too much. This can mean a reluctance to endorse or support certain change because it seems too difficult or too overwhelming only to discover that once change has been successfully implemented that they are in total support of the change and all it achieved. This being the case it is wise to have a small group of people make the difficult decisions regarding what changes should take place. This small group of people with the mission, vision and values of the organisation clear in their mind should begin a process of exploring what change options are available and designing a specific course of action for the organisation. In discovering change options this group should; (1) be clear on the objectives they are seeking to achieve through change, (2) talk to experts where appropriate; (3) use networks to research what other similar organizations do in similar areas; (4) decide which of three levels of change is required, a continuation of that which is currently being done only done better, a change to current systems, procedures and programme, or a more drastic departure from the status quo; (5) consider short and long term impacts of proposed change; (6) consider other changes happening in the organisation and the change environment; (7) decide on time frames for change; (8) call in others from time to time to consider proposed change from a fresh perspective; (9) communicate proposed change and change options to the appropriate person, board or committee for final approval. Final approval is important as sometimes change is hindered not because of lack of discontent but because of a lack of consensus for a specific course of action.

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