Essence of Change
According to Mullins, organizational culture and change are two important issues of organizational development (737). Leaders have to take responsibility for all changes, and employees should accept the fact that change is something that can hardly be avoided in their work. The only thing any employee or leader can do is to choose an attitude to change. Some people can think that it is wrong to change something in the world of business, and they make a big mistake that could prevent their success.
Some people understand change as something good or even inevitable, and they do right because they are free to enjoy the benefits of change management. Anyway, people are free to have their own attitudes to the process of change and create the conditions they are comfortable with. In fact, it is hard to create one particular opinion about change and its worth. Much depends on the abilities and readiness of people for a change. In its turn, the readiness of people for change depends on leaders’ abilities to introduce and describe the importance of change.
Therefore, change management plays an important role in the world of business, and leaders should realize how much work should be done to implement the required change or accept the change that cannot be avoided. As soon as individuals are properly motivated, they can do anything to begin to change (Cameron and Green 9).
Theoretical Perspectives of Organizational Changes
Nowadays, organizations and their leaders have access to a number of change management models and theories to base their activities and ideas on. There are two frequently discussed theorists who offer their models and prove the correctness of the chosen approaches. Kurt Lewin developed a three-step model of organizational change in 1951 (Cameron and Green, 106).
All steps have simple titles and several purposes to be achieved. “Unfreeze” is the first stage during which leaders have to determine and introduce the needs of change, ensure there is support, and clarify all possible doubts and concerns. “Change” or “Move” is the second stage that consists of the discussions of questions, communication, the involvement of different people in the process, and the generation of goals and outcomes. “Refreeze” is the last stage that aims at stabilizing a new state of affairs, establishing new rules and standards, and rewarding success (Cameron and Green 107). The theory developed by Kotter in 1995 contains eight steps and provides leaders with a number of hints on how to manage changes, motivate employees, and choose the roles. According to Kotter, a leader has to
- prove a sense of urgency,
- choose people to work with,
- create a vision,
- discuss the peculiarities of changes,
- distribute the roles,
- identify short-term goals and achieve them,
- analyze the improvements that could be observed during the process of change, and
- evaluation of new approaches and the ways of how all employees comprehend the changes.
How People Could Use Change Management Models
Today, organizations gain a number of benefits in case they implement changes properly. The founder of Alibaba Group Holding Limited, Jack Ma, underlines that change plays an important role in society and turns out to be a critical issue for global leaders in the sphere of e-commerce. In his speeches and interviews, Ma says about the importance of analyzing every moment and think about something beforehand to try to predict the outcomes and the results of possible changes.
He seems to be a successful example of how Kotter’s change management model should be used to achieve success. Ma does not make changes just because it is necessary to make some. Ma believes that every change is a significant event for which all employees should be ready. His example and success can be evaluated by potential and current leaders to facilitate their cooperation with employees.
In general, the theories developed by Kotter and Lewin help to understand how crucial the process of change could be for a company. Still, leaders should also comprehend their roles in such a process and make sure the process of change management is properly organized as well. It is not enough to change something. It is more important to get people prepared for changes and explain their urgency.
Cameron, Esther and Mike Green. Making Sense of Change Management: A Complete Guide to the Models, Tools and Techniques of Organizational Change. Philadelphia: Kogan Page Publishers, 2015. Print.
Mullins, Laurie, J. Management and Organizational Behavior. Harlow: Pearson Education, 2010. Print.
Development 36.4 (2012): 388-408.