Someone once said,”the only permanent thing in this world is change. ” This is so true. In every aspect of life change happens whether deliberately or not. In the business world or in any organization, change can become necessary for it to remain competitive or to survive. Change process does not always happen smoothly and the result not always successful or what the leaders have hoped for. This essay will discuss the phases in the organizational change process and how one business failed because of its leaders’ failure to implement these phases in their plan of change for the company.
Concorde Bookshop, a piece of history in itself, was a thriving small business in New England. Family- owned and operated for more than 60 years, it has become a part of life of the people in that city. But like any other businesses and with the advent of giant bookstores and Internet shopping competitors, Concorde bookshop was very much affected and its leaders had to make a decision to transform its organization to keep the business going.
In chapter one of his book, Implementing Organizational Change: Theory into Practice by Bert Spector, he discussed several phases of change that any organization or business utilize when a need for change arises. Turnaround is the process whereby management looks at their resources and attempt to preserve them by cutting costs and expenses either by laying off employees, changing benefits, or even shutting down the business. Techniques and Tools focus on new technologies and processes for the business to improve and become more efficient.
As good as they may sound to be, these two non- behavioral phases will be more effective if combined with the third phase which is the Behavioral Transformation of employees. According to Spector (2010),”Not all employees greet change with equal enthusiasm. It is useful, therefore, to examine the sources of resistance to change and the ways in which managers can overcome resistance. ” Employees respond differently to change from either full commitment to aggressive resistance (Continuum of Individual Response to Change) and because of different reasons.
Management should recognize resistance not only as a disadvantage but also an pportunity to learn and should know how to address it. Part of the behavior transformation is allowing the employees to participate in designing the change the management plans to do. Getting them engaged in the diagnosis of the problem at hand, action planning, and implementation stages of change. In short, employees become part of the decision- making process of the company. Psychologist Kurt Lewin on his Change Model, he discusses a three- step model for implementing planned change. First is Unfreezing where employees must recognize that problem exists and a disruption in the norm must happen.
Secondly is Change when new policies and procedures must be implemented, the last is Refreezing where changes are implemented, reinforced, and monitored. The Concorde Bookshop experienced financial difficulties and the management planned a solution. Based on the organizational change process discussed, Concorde Bookshop fell short on some of these phases that led to its failure. One notable move that the management omitted is the process in which employees are asked to participate in identifying the problems and finding and implementing solutions.
The financial problem was not completely communicated to employees. Though management listened to what the employees had to say, they were not included in the organizational change process. Another move that the management should do possibly to help alleviate the problem was to use the Techniques and Tools in the change process by entering into online or Internet shopping business to compete with their giant competitors. Conclusion Change is constant. Companies and its employees must learn and accept this fact.
Any organization facing challenges at any time in their business must know how to go through the organizational change process. Lewin’s Change Model explains recognizing that problem exists, changing the company’s strategies or business model and implementing these changes will help an ailing company to survive. So is the non- behavioral and behavioral faces of change explained by Bert Spector namely, Turnaround, Techniques and Tools, and Behavior Transformation. For the change to be effective, employees, and the management must work together in the decision- making process.