As I was thinking about models, strategies or options affecting a positive organizational change, I could not help thinking about the 7 habits of Highly Effective people. The7 Habits apply at all four levels of leadership (personal, interpersonal, managerial, and organizational). I would like to briefly focus on the Emotional Bank Account which is a metaphor for the amount of trust that exists in a relationship. Each time we have an interaction with another human being, this interaction may be classified as a deposit or withdrawal. Habit 1: Be Proactive: The Habit of Personal Vision. A proactive person subordinates feelings to values based on principles. His life is a product of his decisions, not his feelings. Whereas a reactive person allows others to control his responses.
Since organizational change is inevitable, we'd better learn to adapt and try to diminish the shock.
"It's not what people do to us that hurts us. In the most fundamental sense it is our chosen response to what they do to us that hurts us." -Steven R. Covey.
Furthermore, using excerpts from these two articles will help us see some strategies that lead to positive organizational change.
Beer and Nohria (Eds.) (2000) present two dominant and
yet opposing theories of change, one based on the
creation of economic value (Theory E), and the other
on building organizational capabilities for the long
haul (Theory 0).
The editors argue that the key to solving the paradox
of which change process works best lies not in
choosing between the two, but in integrating them.
They identify the crucial considerations leaders must
make in selecting strategies that satisfy shareholders
and develop lasting organizational capabilities.
In American Medical Informatics Associates, Dr. Nancy M. Lorenzi, PHD and Dr. Robert T. Riley, PHD write about the theories of change. In 1974, Watzlawick, Weakland, and Fisch published their now classic book, Change: Principles of Problem Formation and Problem Resolution. Two important things to remember are: Microchange and Megachange.
"A more practical model that we frequently use divides changes into microchanges and megachanges, with no great attempt at elaborate definitions. As a first approximation, the following scheme can be used to differentiate between the two:
Microchanges—differences in degree
Megachanges—differences in kind
Using an information system as an example, modifications, enhancements, improvements, and upgrades would typically be microchanges, while a new system or a very major revision of an existing one would be a megachange. This scheme works surprisingly well for communication within organizations as long as we remember that one person's microchange is often another person's megachange. So while the system designers think they are making a minor change to enhance the total system, an individual end user may see the change as a megachange and resist it vehemently. When designing the total “people” strategy for any system, it is important to involve a variety of people from the very beginning, to clearly understand how groups function in the organization and how the work is really done.
The Cast of Characters
For any given change, people can occupy a wide range of roles that will strongly influence their perceptions of the change and their reactions to it. These are roles such as champion, end user, developer/builder, watchful observer, obstructionist, and such. As on the stage, some people may occasionally play more than one role. In other cases, the roles are unique. Unless we clearly identify both the players and their roles in any change situation, we risk making decisions and taking action based on generalizations that are not true for some of the key players."
There's no doubt about th imporatanc of communication and knowledge of one's position in the situation or on the stage. Technology is part of the change that, in many ways, affects organizations which have to adapt in order to remain competitive and produce great services and/or products.
John Seymour said it very well, "Technology has indeed taken a place next to war, death, divorce, and taxes as a prime cause of bone-shuddering anxiety."
Covey, S. (1989). The 7 habits of highly effective people: Powerful lessons in personal change. New York: Free Press.