Organisational Change – “D” Day on Steroids

As I prepare this post on the sixth of June, the anniversary of the Allied landings at Normandy in 1944, it is perhaps ironic that there is currently a very lively struggle taking place on the LinkedIn Harvard Business Review Group, concerning Organisational Change. Not only is there a wide range of views about such aspects as the impacts of change, how to successfully approach change and the negative effects of a poorly planned approach to introducing change but there is an interesting debate as to whether change itself is a good thing or a bad thing. (See www. linkedin.com.au ).

A number of contributors seem to view any change as something so terrible that its management is all about limiting adverse effects on staff. Others see it in various shades of negativity from merely uncomfortable to “D” Day on steroids.

Very few seemed to offer any optimistic view of change and how it can be a beneficial tool to bring about new thinking and sharper focus on achieving the goals of the organisation.                                                               

The very positive concept of continuous improvement is based on ongoing change. That is, continual learning about what works and what doesn’t; how variations to process and methods can produce better results; and how by doing some things differently significantly better outcomes might be achieved.

Good change also occurs where action is taken to address negative culture, to eliminate sexism, ageism, racism and other kinds of
discrimination in the workplace, bullying and harassment and other forms of anti-social behaviour.

Not all organisational change is about rationalising jobs, downsizing and outplacing. Offering more and better opportunities for employees to undertake skills development or assume greater responsibility and enjoy wider experiences are all positive change initiatives.

Equally change in organisations does not have to be about completely turning over the old and transplanting it with something new and revolutionary. Many beneficial changes occur through management and staff working together to identify the most appropriate targets for improvement and then collaborating on the best strategies to implement those improvements. Not all change has to represent a dogged struggle between reforming and reactionary forces within the organisation.

In any event, like “D” Day it must be planned meticulously, well resourced and executed with resolve.

(Photo: courtesy Historylink101.com)

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