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Change Management Concepts

Need of the Hour: Explaining Change Management Concepts

As the name suggests, change management means handling or managing change or transition that might be required by a team or company to achieve its desired goal. Here, we shall try to understand certain concepts in change management that are sure to help you manage change in your profession life.
BusinessZeal Staff
Last Updated: Mar 12, 2018
I do admire Charles Darwin for one thing, he boldly spat out at the world that the only God blessed truth is change. The conditions, society, our own temperaments, aptitudes, and even our physical traits do change in several different magnitudes through the progress of time. The survival and success tend to depend on three crucial things, evolution, adaptation and the ability to stand out. For all business organizations, these three things are of an utmost importance. The market, outside, keeps on changing. So changing by evolving to suit the needs of the market, changing by adapting to the evolved status of the market and lastly, changing by excelling in the changed market status are the three important steps that come into the picture for every organization. You survive and become fit for the current situation and if you could do so well in time then you are a winner. This is simple and brutal logic. And hence, business organizations and companies often opt for change management as a completely independent discipline of management. The importance of having change management as an independent executive discipline is that the transition is quick, sophisticated and proves to be more of a success. On the whole, it must be noted that change management is chiefly a dynamic process, which is essential to ensure the survival and success of the business. Just like Darwin said, "Survival of the fittest".

About Change Management

Broadly speaking, experts define change management to be a structured, systematic and well planned approach that helps an entire organization in adapting, evolving and excelling, in overall - planned change.
  • Definition: Change management can be defined to be a process with the help of which, a business organization, its functions and constitutional elements are modified or changed to accommodate present or future changes that have or are bound to affect the organization and its business.
  • Time Frame: The time frame of the execution is of course, short and the whole point is to change the organization to suit external changes as quickly as possible.
  • Scope: Change management is chiefly applicable to all or any part of the business organization, it may be internal or external. Personnel who are in charge of the execution of change management, tends to change anything and everything that needs to be changed.
  • Personnel: The personnel targeted by any change management initiative by the company would involve all hierarchies such as from the human resource department and all the departments that are going to be affected by the changed market conditions. The entire process would involve a policy formulation by the top-level management (broad of directors), the planning and actual execution by the middle level management (managers). Finally, the lower level managers who oversee or supervise the execution of the policy, in several cases, these are the personnel who may actually execute the change.
Change Management Concepts

There are certain types of changes which are implemented and executed by change management policies that involves initiatives and personnel. It is often advisable that the personnel executing the change management policies and initiatives, acclimatize themselves into the new changes. Here are some common changes that can be executed.
  • Missionary/Mission changes: The mission statement of a certain company chiefly describes what the company is all about, why it exists and why it conducts business and what it does as its economic activity. A mission change is a chiefly a change in the primary objective of the business. Such changes are rare and quite uncommon, not to mention expensive to integrate.
  • Strategic Change: A strategic change is a type of change where some general plans, policies and the initiatives of the business are changed. These changes are quite common and also simple, something that is quite ordinary. Strategic changes are market oriented and are the first and final steps for market conquests.
  • Operational Changes: Though occasional and not rare at the same time, operational changes are chiefly made in the production and execution process of the entire business. Operational changes are often influenced as a result of the external markets, mission change in certain cases and also because of the strategic changes.
  • Technological Changes: These kinds of changes are often as a result of the introduction of new technological updates that appear periodically. The problem with technological changes is that they result into several other changes. That is, upon the integration of technological changes, operational and strategic changes have to be undertaken accordingly.
Though, there are primary changes that can be executed and managed within a certain business organization, there are several other types of classifications and categories, along with change management models, within the aforementioned changes.

Kurt Lewin's Change Management

German American psychologist, Kurt Lewin, was one of the pioneers to deal with social organizations and social psychology. As per his theory of change process, the total change in the constitution of all humans can take place fully and completely upon the completion of the following process.
  • The first stage is known as unfreezing, that is dismantling the constitution and inertia and momentum of the thoughts of the work force.
  • The second stage is known as transition, where in the actual change is implemented.
  • The last stage is known as refreezing or as some might say freezing. In this stage, the workforce and manpower gets well acclimatized with the change and begins to excel once again.
Lewin also developed an equation to indicate group and individual and group behavior. The equation goes as:

B=ƒ(P,E)

In the formula, P and E stand for the person and environment, respectively. The formula is not completely rational. On the whole, it depicts that B, is the behavior of an individual or a group of individuals under change and tends to be a result of the function of the individual or the individuals within the group as a unit.

Due to the unpredictable and highly progressive human brain and psychology, change management is one of the most sophisticated and yet, rather young and largely primitive branch of management. The concepts which have been defined and explained above are not the total tank of knowledge there is. A lot is more yet to come, be found and developed in change management as a discipline. After all, change management deals with the human brain, psychology and constitution. Need I say more about the extreme limits of sophistication, it's both ridiculously simple and impossibly complex both at the same time.
Change Management
Changing for idea
Change Management on Blue Arrow.