The Change - Innovation Paradigm

Posted in Human Resources Articles, Total Reads: 1037 , Published on 30 November 2014
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We live in a world of evolution…the technology is evolving….organizations are transforming….New work structures, flexible work cultures are being introduced to cope up with the fast paced competitive environment. What’s the key aspect managers need to focus in the rapid changing economy? What drives the organizational effectiveness? The most competent solution to tackle these problems is - Change Management. “CHANGE is the only thing that has always been CONSTANT”. Managing the change is the most challenging task and adding the essence of innovation in the quite complex process of change management could lead to a paradigm shift. How to INNOVATE the CHANGE? What should the core idea be, should it be ‘Change for innovation’ or ‘innovation for change’? The ultimate solution for these problems however convincing is incomplete without a perfect blend of these unique strategies.



Managing HR is quite competent task and managers are quite often lost in the black hole of ambiguity in managing the change. The key to success in managing the change is “Keeping it simple”. The ultimate strategy to simplify the change is introducing the creative flavour of innovation to the change management process. The traditional change management process is quite systematic. In a broad sense it is a sequence of various activities.


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THE CHANGE MANAGEMENT PROCESS

The employee inertia to change coupled with some major financial implications are the major challenges to bring out an effective change in the system. In fact the only reason that highly influences the change in a positive or a negative cascade is the Personnel inertia to change. Considering the importance of human resource in any industry especially ,the service sector ; the change management of human resource leading the change in personnel is prominent in change process.


Considering the systematic process of change as a basis and blending in the innovation at every discrete level would surely lead to a dramatic success story. If each of the activity in change management process is considered as a building block - INNOVATION is what that binds them strong.


1. NEED FOR CHANGE

Identifying need for the change is one primary objective; while creating the sense of urgency and reducing the complacency is the complementary function supporting the process. Creating a perception regarding the importance of change to all the entities involved is crucial concept. Communicating the change in terms of lost opportunity so as to stress the importance of change is rocketed to create a sense of urgency out of complacent zone of comfort with high walls of employee inertia.


How to innovate the process is a major challenge and the simple solution is to effectively communicate the Impact of not changing, need to act quick before competitor does and lost opportunity. Thus bring out the need for change from employees within by communicating to them and providing a vision of what happens with/without change thereby encouraging high enthusiasm in personnel. So ‘desires drive the change’.


If we consider the classic epic of the Mahabharata, Bheesm (The Maharathi) the greatest commander of armies resists the change in Dharma (the ethical duty) due to self-perceived beliefs and as a result inspite of huge army and might death embraces him. While on the other hand, Pandavas quickly adopt themselves to Krishna’s ethics leading them to victory. So it’s quite essential to lead the change than the competitor’s attempt to change.


2. INTERDESCIPLINARY TEAM

Team work can even bring unimaginable things to reality. A team that effectively co-ordinates and controls the change could change the game. A traditional team encourages a leader to monitor the activities of team , a functional specialist to evaluate the impact of change and many other roles and each of them strictly adhere to their roles. Innovation is eliminating the formalization from the picture encouraging inter disciplinary approach with discussions and high employee involvement in the process. By eliminating the strict hierarchical structures and encouraging discussions several unseen limitations can be brought to light. ‘Flexible enough to break the formalized team barriers but not the spirit of team work ’. For instance consider an employee despite being in team takes active participation in change discussions.


3. CREATING VISION AND STATEGY

In a practical sense nearly 80 percent of the employees never even care about the vision and mission of the organization they work for. All that the employees care about is what they do and how it is going to impact the organization thereby what benefits and incentives they are going to receive. The normal human behavioural psychology implies that the most basic aspect in human thought regarding the deeds they perform is “What’s in it for me?”So personnel hold their own interests in what they are going to obtain from change. So the vision should reflect the importance the organization provides to its employees through the change so as to motivate the human resource functionality in building up an effective strategy.


Since employees are major stake holders in change process the innovation should drive creation of vision in their minds. This will encourage employee involvement in effective strategy building. Making employees feel empowered is the key challenge. Communicate vision with the essence of employee orientation ‘Vision for the personnel, by the personnel, to the personnel’.


4. COMMUNICATION AND EMPOWERMENT

One manager/team cannot manage the change. It is an organizational process and only the organization can manage the change so empowerment is the most prominent aspect of change management. Effective upward communication and high employee involvement formulates the perfect strategy to tackle real time problems of ongoing change process. Cultural conflicts are quite common due to resistance to adapt to new work culture resulting in conflicts and mishaps which are quite undesirable. Work distribution and task assigning conflicts are quite common and to tackle such internal conflicts the innovation can be brought into picture.


“Transparent empowerment through effective delegation”. The employee empowerment through a transparent system eliminates the conflicts and miscommunications and such transparent system should judge equal empowerment encouraging communication in the work place. Consider a marketing manager decentralizing the power by evaluation through sales targets achieved to bring out effective and creative marketing solutions from right employees. Similarly in the process of change management consider a HR delegating and empowering employees to bring out the creative solutions to tackle the challenges of change management.


5. EVIDENT SHORT TERM WINS

Motivation is a challenging task for HR manager and motivating employees for change is quite competent task to achieve. Employees feel motivated when they succeed in the task assigned to them or by incentives provided to them. Change is quite abstract and it is quite difficult to have a quantitative measure of achievement in change process. Increasing sales graph motivates the marketing manager and similarly effective cash flow motivates the finance manager.


‘If necessary create evidence to drive the change’. The change may/may not imply immediate results. Sometimes it may be unsuccessful resulting in need for a new change. But the efforts put by an individual for the change process should be rewarded. The change process can be isolated from normal functioning in providing rewards and recognition. For instance if there is a decline in sales, reward the marketing manager for increment in goodwill among customers or any other aspect to create the perception that change is able to achieve short term goals.


6. NEVER LET IT GO

Hold on to the change no matter what until the vision is accomplished. Never rest with the fulfilment of short term wins. Going for change after change to accomplish the vision is the ultimate mantra to successful survival of an organization.


‘Don’t change the culture, make change as a culture’ .The ultimate strategy is to have a flexible structure and highly change incorporated work culture. Such steps will be helpful in accommodating the future scope of change in a much competent manner. For instance, consider a manager concentrating resources specialized for managing the continually evolving change.


SUMMING IT UP

The traditional change management system is quite a static process. Innovation is the additive to bring dynamic nature to the system to cope up with the fast paced competition. Differentiation is obviously the most desired and successful strategy and obtaining differentiation becomes quite a simple task by effective change management. Innovation in each of the activities of change management pitches up the effectiveness and efficiency of the process at every functional level.


This article has been authored by Parveen & Abhilash from DOMS,NIT Trichy


REFERENCE

Our Iceberg Is Melting: Changing and Succeeding Under Any Conditions – John Kotter.



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