Strategic Change, Its Importance And How To Manage It

Background to Organizational Strategic Change

Change is a stark reality that humanity has had to grapple with over the years. It keeps situations, circumstances or conditions fluid, and ultimately creates contemporary versions. During most occasions, individuals have had a harder time accepting and adapting to change due to their sheer rigidity in attitude. Change often disrupts daily routine and forces all those involved in this paradigm shift to accept these new circumstances for them to fit in appropriately (Black, 2014). Such indifference to transformation has seen many people view change in negative light. The uncertainty that looms around making a complete alteration of the usual regimen has seen many develop parochial feelings towards making this huge step into the unknown owing to their fear of the unknown. Nonetheless, it’s vital to acknowledge that change can be a positive force, accompanied by numerous perks that an individual or organization can capitalize on fully for exponential growth. Globalization, fueled by new age innovations has seen change occur at the highest rate in recorded history with innovative ideas being transferred from one country to another at a quicker pace (Auster and Hillenbrand, n.d.). For instance, it’s now much more easier for a successful change strategy and approach to spread from the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to firms in the United States to aid in making changes in their operations. The only challenge in such a situation is the fact that suspicion of ideas borrowed from a country adhering to a different dogma might be heightened. Therefore, the purpose of this report is to ensure that all managers and would-be-managers at Aluminum International fully understand the importance of strategic change and how to appropriately manage it to benefit the organization, drawing on the available models and theories of strategic change.

Models of strategic change

Research carried out on strategic change, and its effects on organizations was first examined using theories developed Lewis, Kotter, and Prosci. These pioneers are widely credited with allowing many of the stakeholders involved to understand change management better. From these arguments, models were developed that were thought appropriate in enabling organizations deal with change while capitalizing entirely on the benefits that might accrue from these changes. John Kotter, in particular, is hailed as the world’s foremost expert in change management and the numerous ways in which it may influence an organization. As a renowned professor at the prestigious Harvard Business School, he is one of the leading voices and accepting change for an organization benefit. One of his most significant contribution to this discussion is his Eight Step transformational model that delves into change and how best to manage it. In this model, he insists first on the vitality of developing exigency in any organization (Black, 2014, p.78). Urgency becomes a valuable tool that can be used appropriately to deal with any changes. Forming influential federations also becomes an essential building block for the organization to sufficiently understand the difference that may be taking place at any given moment and how to capitalize on its potential. At the same time, leaders at the helm of power must ensure that they develop a clear vision for the organization in question. Such an approach will ensure that appropriate strategies are designed to incorporate these changes into the organization’s objectives while providing that it becomes common knowledge to all those involved. By so doing, each will be sufficiently empowered to actualize it will while making sure that the changes are incorporated into the institution. On the other hand, influential theorist such as Lewin was keen to institute programs that would fully embrace any changes that would be taking place in an organization to improve its operational capacity. The Lewis Change Management Model suggested the use three phases deal with any changes that a structure may be confronted with as time goes by. The first phase would include unfreezing all the causative agents responsible for the changes being witnessed and coming to terms with the need to accept reality as it is and accept the changes that might be occurring at any given moment (Bevington and Samson, 2012). Observing and dealing with the movement also serves as an integral phase where new demeanors are readily accepted as current realities that are necessary for the implementation of change (Blake and Bush, 2009). Ultimately, refreezing serves as the last phase that sees the changes stabilized to ensure that the organization is now able to use during all operations readily. Moreover, the Prosci’s ADKAR Model also served as a groundbreaking development that was poised to see managers take advantage of any changes that might occur by first aware of their presence.  Organizations need to tweak their attitude to change viewing it as a positive modification of their routine. All stakeholders willing to change have to be sufficiently armed with essential information on change and how it would be executed best for the best results.  Additionally, it’s important to reinforce these changes so that they take root in the organization and enforce the changes above.

An Evaluation of the Relevance of Models of Strategic Change to Organizations in the Current Economy

Strategic change models have emerged as some of the best reference points for executives that seek to ensure that their organizations or conglomerates are always moving in the right direction and benefiting them. The relevance of these models first lies in their ability to build accord within the organization. They allow for consensus that aids the organization reach crucial decisions while having an elevated conceptual level. Similarly, they always ensure the organization has a futuristic outlook to deal with any issues that may emerge as a result of the changes being observed. In essence, acting proactively is a result of these models that will enable the firm always to look ahead, anticipating any changes and solving any problem that may emerge. A concerted effort of all members is the most important step in ensuring that the best decisions are made (Leban and Stone, 2008). They should be for the greater good of the corporation that provides a vision that resonates with all the members. Errors are therefore corrected promptly and those culpable given corrective punishments necessary for systematic growth. Moreover, these models are vital in making premeditated interventions. These strategic moves serve as a tool to address any unfamiliar scenario that the organization may be faced with. For instance, mergers or rapid increase in sales may present situations where those caught up in this maze might find models of strategic change as the best way to deal with unchartered waters.

An Assessment of the Value of Using Strategic Intervention Techniques in Organizations

             Strategic intervention techniques have emerged as a critical element in ensuring that changes that occur are readily embraced for the greater good of the company (Leban and Stone, 2008). A firm’s human resource is an asset that can be understood better using these techniques. At Aluminum International, these changes affect all aspects of the employee’s lives and contribute positively to ensuring that they better individuals. A techno-structural intervention is especially vital in situations where a firm is subjected to a rapid growth that may not be sustainable in the long-run.  Activities such as downsizing and offering an objective scorecard will ensure that the company is sufficiently capable of dealing with its growth.  A human process intervention is vital in occasions where massive changes are bound to occur primarily in environments that deal with vast numbers of employees. Activities such as delegating duties and the development of coaching practices are benefits of this process together with all the changes that are bound to take place during such an instance.

Need for Strategic Change in an Organization

Currently, the financial status around the world has seen most first aware of the dangers that lurk at every corner. The recession has proven, time and again, that its adverse effects are capable of negatively impacting any large corporation that is ill-prepared. Aluminum International is fully aware of this current state of affairs which is likely to lead to an increase in bankruptcy and substantial unprecedented loses. Customer expectations about the products produced by Aluminum International are a reason why strategic change is instrumental. The development of advanced smelting techniques and diversification of available products have led to massive competition, which points to a need in making strategic moves. A modification of the mission often requires changes in the strategies needed by the firm.  These changes have to be in line with the firm’s mission for it to develop appropriately. Mergers are known for the changes that soon follow to ensure that the new management and the staff present are on the same page regarding the collective vision for the company.

An Assessment of Factors Driving Need for Strategic Change

As mentioned earlier, change is an inevitable occurrence that is bound to affect any in given institution at a particular point in time. Aluminum International is well aware of this reality together with all the reasons behind. Environmental factors are some of the main culprits in driving the need for strategic change. Changes in the environment might affect the sales and impact the firm negatively if not sufficiently prepared. Moreover, the presence of an uncertain and jerky economy is one of the primary reasons why measures have to be put in place. Recessions are dealt with appropriately is strategic intervention techniques are already well-established to confront the changes. Additionally, fiscal pressure is a reality in most organizations coping with changes. Products have to be produced in time, and targets met within the time allotted. Changes are vital in such a situation to avert any danger that may result from these factors. Budget cuts are often instituted to serve as a measure to reduce spending financial dips. An austerity measure of such a nature assures the firm of a fiscal balance during a state of recession. Lastly, technological innovations have been responsible for massive changes in how a typical organization functions. Techniques utilized marketing or the manufacture of the chief goods under production has been developing at break-neck speed due to these technological advancements.

An Assessment of the Resource Implications if the Organization Fails to Respond to Strategic Changes.

            A company has to be prepared for any eventualities as there are occasions when an organization might fail to respond to the changes that might be taking place within the organization. It’s not unusual for activities to stall in an organization owing to strategic changes that were made earlier on. If all the vital modifications fail, recruiting new employees becomes a viable option. The resultant effect is that time, and precious resources will be spent on this process which is a very costly affair.  Additionally, a reorganization of the Human Resource Department will be a necessary step in the event an organization is non-responsive to strategic change. The process would now entail a complete restructuring of the individuals holding particular offices for the greater good while ensuring that the company works. Furthermore, there is a possibility that various actions carried out by the organization may soon be rendered obsolete. This will be as a result of ignoring proper steps to deal with changes, therefore, impeding the strategy’s ability work efficiently (Iskan, 2016). Lastly, chances that retraining staff is will occur always high whenever strategic changes fail. It’s a time-consuming process, taking up lengthy periods and using up useful resources.

The Development of Systems to Involve Stakeholders in the Planning of Change

Stakeholders have always been known to pay particular attention to the planning process owing to their vested interests in the outcomes of the investments made. One such system involves the use of the Multiple Cause diagram that uses all the intricacies of involved to map out a composite situation. Causal and passable causes are both represented in this particular case as a single entity that cannot be told apart. The system, therefore, appears as a dynamic combination of various events that come together to serve a singular purpose. Additionally, the use of an input-output transformation mock-up represents a transformation system capable of bringing the much-needed change. Inputs such as land and equipment are successfully transformed finished goods that the consumers often await enthusiastically (Cameron and Green, 2001). All organizations strive to ensure that their transformation process is successful and satisfies the customer’s wants and needs.  On the other hand, cultural web points six elements in the work environment that are interconnected. An evaluation all the factors available in this intricate web, one is, therefore, able to make the necessary changes to ensure that a working model is adopted. Moreover, influencing skills have become an essential system in getting activities done in the work environment. Managers make use of their subordinate’s commitment to the enterprise to ensure that teamwork exists between all the departments.

Developing a Change Management Strategy with the Stakeholders

Coming up with a working strategy is one of the most complex situations that managers might be met with.  However, in the case of Aluminum International, the most feasible change management strategy would be the stakeholder circle where they always track the activities taking place in all available projects.  Identifying all the stakeholders is the first step in ensuring that the project will meet all their requirements. The next step would be to make a priority list to determine which stakeholder would be requiring the services first. Communication is also quite vital in such a situation in ensuring that an open channel is maintained between all the parties involved.

An Evaluation of the Systems used to Engage Stakeholders in the Scheduling of Change

Using a stakeholder strategy map is essential, especially in serving as a communication conduit between all the different parties involved. Messages are relayed to stakeholders during every single step of the way. Additionally, it’s important in providing a comprehensive list of all individuals who have successfully qualified to handle that particular project. An evaluation system will ensure that it states those who are eligible to participate in ways that would ultimately benefit the organization.

Strategy for Managing Blatant Resistance to change

            The first step in trying to manage change is first to understand all intricacies that are found in resistance and why individuals may choose to go down this route. One of the reasons why strength is so standard has to do with the formation of a habit in an organization. Persons in this organization are so used to doing things in the same manner that any slight deviation from routine is met with stiff resistance (Paton & MacCalman, 2008). Changes are therefore loathed by the majority who see then as possible implements to their productivity. Breaking such a habit is the first step in ensuring that resistance is at an all-time low. Similarly, selective perception has long been a cause of resistance. Each in individual perceives reality in different degrees, with some viewing change as a negative force that should be resisted by all means possible.

Develop Suitable Models for Change

Aluminum International has been dealing with the realities of change in the firm, with the only option being the application of a suitable model that would aid it in dealing with this state of affairs. The most appropriate model, in this case, would be Prosci’s Five Building Blocks that would be appropriate in dealing with all the transformational difficulties that it may be facing. The first step would be an acknowledgment of the firm’s need to make the necessary changes. Understanding this reality would ensure that there is minimal resistance to the efforts that would follow. Managers also have to ensure that all employees at Aluminum international are motivated to take part in these change initiatives. The employees need to develop a strong urge to participate directly, which may be fanned by various incentives that may be provided. Holding discussions at the workplace is an essential step in raising awareness about the issue at hand while giving crucial knowledge (Carnal, 2008).  An implementation plan also comes in handy to ensure that all the strategies are actualized for the firms good. The reinforcement phase will ensure that individual stick to these new ways by encouraging employees and awarding those who follow all the provided tenets.

Plans for the Implementation of a model for Change

            The implementation segment of any model is the most important stage as it acts as a determinant in for the success for its success. In applying Prosci’s Five Building Blocks strategic change model at Aluminum international, appropriate plans have to be made to ensure the success of the change strategy. The use of matrix organizations is one such plan that ensures the firm’s malleability in different situations. Here, responsibility and authority are fluid concepts that provide a two-way interaction for all those involved.  Likewise, the Kaizen strategy of improvements on a continuous basis will serve Aluminum International well in making its leap. Personal discipline, development and team will all come in handy in ensuring change is instituted.

Measures to Monitor Progress

Developing a goal-based evaluation system would be a viable way of assessing the impact made by Prosci’s Five Building Blocks strategic change model. These changes are expected to affect both the employees at Aluminum International and their customers. Satisfactory feedback by the employees and clients would indicate the benefits of the changes. Making regular reports on the condition would ensure that any new development is tracked to assess progress. You can order a unique strategic change management paper at an affordable price. 
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