This article suggests that SWC should address major concerns related to change and develops a nine-step process that will be an effective way to manage change. SWC’s management should have a clear understanding of external opportunities and challenges. They must have a realistic and comprehensive assessment of limitations. Adopt an inclusive approach to planning. Develop and empower the planning committee. Involve senior leadership in the change management plan. Learn from prior mistake. Develop clear priorities and understand the implementation process.
Be patience during the planning process and be committed to change. A Strategic Plan for Change The recent change by the CEO to create a new Customer Service department sent a shock wave throughout the entire organization. The majority of the departments were not receptive to this change, because change creates uncertainty and uncertainty causes anxiety; however, a few departments perceived this change as an opportunity to improved and expand communication channels, create better methods of doing business and establish a more cohesive relationship among departments.
Change is always a real possibility for any organization. Developing a plan for change is a tool, a road map for completing a mission with maximum efficiency and minimal impact. Change is a necessity and no organization can afford to bind itself to the same goals, operating structure and operating methods year after year. As market conditions change, a more fundamental rethinking of goals and opportunities may be required. Companies must be prepared to change as market conditions dictate, however change should not be entered into haphazardly.
Detailed planning must be used to be successful and the primary goal should focus on lessening the impact and disruptions that change brings upon the organization and its people. A successful change management plan, by definition, is a useable plan; one that aligns the organizational objectives with changing market conditions, as well as creates a necessity for long-range planning that yields improvements in effectiveness, capacity, and relevance.
A successful strategic planning process needs focus, balance, should confront, make sound projections about future changing market conditions, and respond to change by clarifying the mission objectives, revamp programs as needed and analyze other aspects of the operation to stay competitive (Baca, 2005, p. 16). Our organization must have a clear understanding of external opportunities and challenges. We do not operate in a stagnant environment.
Economic trends demand our focus and attention and we must stay in step with these trends and formulate a plan to capitalize on changing market conditions so that we may continue to benefit from our expansion in the global market. We are a growth company and our goal is to continue this growth by developing new products and services, expanding our organization within the global market, and formulate a plan to increase our share of the market (Welch ; Welch, 2007).
A realistic and comprehensive assessment of our organizational strength and limitations is the foundation of a successful strategic management change plan. We must have the ability to understand our strengths, weaknesses, and limitations. Whether we are expanding into new market niches or expanding our operation to new geographical locations, we must gather information on the feasibility of making these expansions. Will the benefits outweigh the risks? Do we have the expertise in place to make a bold move?
Do we have the correct staff in place to transport us into new uncharted areas? These questions are a few of several that should be taken into consideration before engaging in change. Information to guide change will come from a variety of sources, including staff, clients, and partner organizations. The information gathered must be, both objective and subjective. We should adopt an inclusive approach to planning. At one point or another, all-important stakeholders should have a voice in the planning process.
This includes managers of each department as well as developing a change management team that acts in the capacity of an oversight committee. This committee will include employees from various departments who act as a liaison between management and staff. They will keep associates informed of the progress. Not all views will be weighed equally and not all staff will be included at every stage of the planning process, however, in addition to the committee communicating with staff, the company can also inform all employees of changes using a company newsletter.
By keeping employees knowledgeable, this will lessen the impact, the stress that change sometimes causes. The majority of the staff members understand that change is usually a realignment dictated by changing market conditions. Employees are more enthusiastic to accept change if they have forehand knowledge. Lack of communication creates distrust and builds an obstruction between management and staff. If the planning process is to be a success, it must incorporate the view of all stakeholders affected by any change. Strategic planning should be a participatory activity.
As a rule, the bulk of the work should be in-trusted to a small planning committee commissioned to have the decision-making authority to keep the planning project on track and moving toward the finished product. It makes no sense to have a committee that runs to the CEO each time a problem arises. The strategic planning committee must have the autonomy to make decisions, while simultaneously keeping the CEO informed. This planning group should not be subject to second-guessing or be required to seek CEO approval at every stage of the planning process.
Individuals are hired to perform a job and if not given the authority to accomplish a job, why were they hired in the first place? I understand when a company is built from the ground up it is hard for the CEO to not want control over all aspects of the operation, however as the company grows this management approach is no longer a viable way to conduct business. This approach is not a formula to exclude the CEO, but a process for the CEO to act in the capacity of facilitator during the planning process as opposed to being a soldier on the front line (Baca, 2005, pp. 6-8).
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