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Jargon Management Change: Opportunity or Threat

"A living thing is distinguished from a dead thing by the

Student Speak multiplicity of the changes at any moment taking place in
Damagement lessons
We crawled, we walked, and we ran. We smiled, we
giggled and we cried. We changed. Change is one of the
Cyber Trek most critical and an inevitable aspect of life. It may be
regarded as one of the few constants of history. Change,
if properly managed, may result in fortunes. Otherwise it
General Management may lead to missed opportunities and frustrations. One Message Boards
who ignores change does so at its own peril. But, for
Operations Management many the peril would come sooner rather than later. Post a message
Hence, what is needed is a Change management,
balancing continuous ongoing change at one level and
Financial Management preparing for future changes and challenges at another
level. As a management student, Id rather like to restrict Quick Search
myself to managing change in business. Enter IIL company code
HR Management
Today business world is operating in a highly turbulent
Marketing Management environment, which makes change not only frequent but
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more complex too. Some of the forces that are causing
change in the organizations are:
Systems Management Subscribe to IIL
1. Technological change resulting to faster Newsletters
Entrance Guide obsolescence.
2. Global Competition resulting in meeting high
quality standards and low costs.
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3. Increased customer focus resulting in high service
quality and changing demand patterns.
Placement Guide 4. Short term focus of organizations in meeting Drop us a line
shareholders demand for value. It creates a Drop us your queries &
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hence causes change in many activities.

Entrepreneur MBA These and many other changes if not handled properly
can lead to high costs, damage to existing activities,
About us failure to future strategies and frustration amongst the

Disclaimer Change can be fundamental or marginal in nature.

Fundamental changes are one, which results in complete 12/6/2002
Change: Opportunity or Threat Page 2 of 3

overhauling of organization. It creates long-term and

inside out impact on the organization. Marginal change is
covered by several situations faced by managers in day-
to-day operations and they, mostly, are continuity from
one state to another like change of work methods,
processes or products.

Having understood change, effective change

management requires the understanding of various
aspects of implications of change and then to set all the
actions that need to take place to implement change.
Understanding the implications of change is of high
importance as an old aphorism says.

the surgery was completely successful but

unfortunately the patient died.

The change will always be the surgery, whether wanted

or unwanted, but purpose of change is to ensure the long-
term survival of the organization.

Change can either result in resentment or acceptance

depending on its nature and views of people affected.
There can be various reasons as to why a change would
be accepted or resisted. Some of them have to do with
the personal loss or gain that will result from change.
Some of them are tangible- such as money, working
conditions, and authority. Some are intangible- like
contact, status, recognition and feelings of importance
and security. Attitude of people, the way change is
introduced and liking towards manager introducing
change are also some of the factors affecting its
acceptance. But probably the most significant reason is
related to work participation. Employees who have not
been asked for their input are apt to resent or resist the
change if they feel they could have contributed. The
managers who plan to introduce change should analyze
the probable reactions of people before making a final
decision. In managing change, it is probably wise to
reconsider or to at least go slowly in order to get accepted
if the degree of resistance is high.

After taking a final decision, communication for change

and its proper implementation is critical for successful
change management. Communication is one of the most
important keys to the management of change because it
includes not just telling but creating understanding. By
analyzing the degree of resentment or acceptance the
barriers to communication are also identified. Some of
them are- negative attitude, lack of information about
sender/ receiver, lack of appropriate communication skills,
timing used, method used to communicate, place, respect
towards each other and emotional barriers like fear,
anxiety or anger. After realizing the existence of these
barriers, communication approaches must be planned to
overcome or eliminate barriers.

Another important factor to mange change is participation. 12/6/2002
Change: Opportunity or Threat Page 3 of 3

It begins with a philosophy among all the levels of

management, beginning at the top. They must believe
that participation can benefit both the organization and
the employees. Participation not only contributes to the
quality of change but also to its acceptance resulting in a
win/win solution to both manager and subordinates.

Successful management of change then requires

implementation. This is the stage where broad visions
are converted to strategies and detailed plan, goals are
defined and responsibilities are assigned. The systems
and processes of an organization must revolve around
the strategy in much the same way as the planets in our
solar system revolve around a central sun. Strategy is
what defines the structure, processes, hierarchy and
people in the organization.

the victorious army first realizes the conditions for

victory, and then seeks to engage in battle. The
vanquished army fights first, and then seeks victory.

Effective change management can result in a change

being converted to excellent opportunity else change can
be a threat leading to disaster.

Anshul Jain
IIM Indore

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