Organizational Change and TransformationIntroduction“Change is the continuous adoption of corporate strategies and structures to changing external conditions” (Recklies). Whenever a change is imminent, one can see a strong resistance to the change at two levels: individual and structural.Most people do not like even if there are apparent benefits because theyfear loss of something valuable or dear to them, orare not willing to understand the change and its implications, orfeel that the change is nonsense, orhave difficulty in coping with the level of changehave fear of unknown, failure and risk losing the comfort zone (ChangingMinds.org).Changes at structural level refer to changes in the structure of the organization.

These are also called as structural changes. These could range from change in overall strategy of the company or change in departmental and functional organization structure anticipating success and growth. People resist such changes irrespective of the change agent for social safety, fear of loss of job or position, more work, etc. (ChangingMinds.org)Overcoming Resistance to ChangeThe Kubler Ross grief cycle, which details the various stages a person undergoes to avoid change, helps in identifying ways to overcome individual’s psychological resistance to changes by understanding the process of change. The cycle consists of seven stages       Figure 1: The Kubler Ross Grief cycle. Source: ChangingMinds.org.

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·      Shock stage: Apparent initial reaction on announcement of a change.·      Denial stage: Not ready to accept the change.·      Anger stage: Realizing that change is inevitable results in expression of frustration and anger.

·      The Kubler Ross Grief cycle. Source: ChangingMinds.org·      Bargaining stage: Trying to find alternative ways to avid the change.

·      Depression stage: Realizing the inevitability of change.·      Testing stage: Gathering wits and seeking realistic solutions.·      Acceptance stage: Accepting the change by leaving behind the resistance and trying to move forward with the change (ChangingMinds.org)Lewin’s Unfreeze-change-Freeze model explains how change should be planned and implemented. This model allows change to be understood, evaluated at any stage, and its outcomes to be discussed. The phases are:Unfreezing(a) This is the initial stage and is the platform for developing awareness of the nature of the change as well as the methods that will be employed to achieve it (e.g.

clarity on designations, job descriptions, standardized performance appraisal and the explanation on the need for “change”). The change agent in this case should start with the organizational head. His idea can be communicated down the line through managers and supervisors. They can explain the staff the need to change, benefits of change and allay their fears by being open, communicative and reassuring. Individual resistance to change can be mitigated through talk, convincing the employees of the benefits, and communicating assertively the need to change and that the goal of the organization should always be upheld.

Structural barriers to change can be overcome by reorganizing the organization structure and also participation by top management in explaining the reason behind structural reorganization. The top management should also assert the organization priority over individual priority.(b) Once the background information about the change and the strategy to adopt the change is clearly explained, implementing the strategy and monitoring it is important.Changing(a) One may encounter problems that cause dissatisfaction among the employees while implementing changes, these problems need to be identified, defined and a solution sought. Changing can always be implemented using Plan-Do-Act-Review cycle.

These help in systematic elimination of teething problems and do away with unfeasible plans and suggestions. The manager can always plan the strategy and follow the above mentioned cycle.(b) Next step will be to implementing the sought solution with clearly defined timeframe to analyze and evaluate the efficiency of the solution. Monitoring the plan within timeframe allows the team to stay focused and reach goals within time limit.RefreezingThe system and the people have gone through problem-solution phases and now there is a need to stabilize the system by consolidating the efficient solutions and discarding the inefficient ones. Once done, the change can be consolidated and established efficiently.

This is a continuous process and change that is intended can be passed through the above-mentioned phases to reduce resistance. The successful strategy, problems encountered and methods adopted could be documented and integrated into company policy to have records of changes implemented. By this time, benefits of change are visible and people have got accustomed to change.

ConclusionThus, though change is unwelcome, it can be made acceptable by adopting the Lewin model. People can be made to understand that the change is necessity and we all need to embrace the change if we need to move ahead. Open and frank communication will go a long way in alleviating the fears of individuals. Change process can be implemented by adopting Plan-Do-Check-Act strategy.

And once the change processes are implemented successfully, they can be consolidated to form the company policy. Works Cited1.      “The Kübler-Ross grief cycle.” ChangingMinds.

org. 4 June 2007. <http://changingminds.

org/disciplines/change_management/kubler_ross/>.2.      “The Psychology of Change.

” ChangingMinds.org. 4 June 2007 <http://changingminds.org/disciplines/change_management/psychology_change/psychology_change.htm>.3.      Lewin, K.

“Group Decisions and Social Change.” Readings in Social Psychology. Ed. Maccobby, E. et al.. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.

4.      Recklies, Oliver. “Managing Change – Definition und Phases in Change Processes.” The manager org website.

4 June 2007 <http://www.themanager.org/Strategy/Change_Phases.htm>.5.      Miller, Alex.

Strategic Management, 3rd ed., 1998.