Strategic Change and Business Performance

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A typical change in any organization or institution is basically an alternation, variation in common way of doing things differently or a major improvement in internal processes. According to Burnes (2004) change is an ever-present feature of organizational life, both an operational and strategic level. Therefore, there should be no doubt regarding the importance to any organization of its ability to identify where it needs to be in future and how to manage the changes required getting there.

Organizational change can happen for several reasons, including financial concerns, a merger or acquisition, expanding markets, accommodating growth or a simple shift in business model. Organizational change is both the process in which an organization changes its structure, strategies, operational methods, technologies or organizational culture to effects change within the organization and the effect of these changes on the organization.

In other to increase its ability to be effective in this effort, an organization needs to look at several interrelated dynamics, including: how employees make the connection between what they do, and how they do it; the clarity of understanding around principles and organizational values; understanding the fact that structure drives behavior; planning by outcomes.

Whatever the reason, change is almost always difficult for employees and it can wreak havoc with the bottom line. Before announcing changes to employees, it is important to understand how employees might react so as to mitigate risks to the company and unnecessary stress on them.

Element of change and how it impacts on performance of an Organization

Elements of change simply involve tools or components of change management. Generally, these usually consider readiness assessments, communication planning, activities and road maps, training and development, resistance management, data collection, feedback analysis and corrective action, celebrating and recognizing success and after-project review:

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A Case Study: a Study of Holy Child College, Ikoyi

A related study of a client college, one of its best in Lagos Nigeria, about a recent change that impacted its strategic result.

At a certain point in time in Holy Child College, change becomes inevitable when same old ways or processes of carrying out operations seem no longer working or yield expected results.  Effective implementation of change will be determined under the following five (5) categories:

  • The Goal
  • The Team
  • The What
  • The Rules; and
  • The Future

The Goal

The Management first understands the goal or task at hand. Understanding the goal and knowing the task at hand help the College to have the plans of how to focus on the implementation of a proposed change.

Some years ago, the College management identified and set a goal to replace the outdated and low capacity College Hostel and Dining hall with ultramodern Hostel and Dinning complex to accommodate more students and boast the standard of College. Strategically, to create more attractions that bring in more students having previously improved on teaching methodology and classrooms study environment to meet the modern standard.

The Team

Having defined the goal and the task at hand, setting up a team to ensure implementation is vital. Organization need to have strong and capable team that understand and are focused on set goal and task at hand. A vibrant team should also understand the system very well and know what the organization wants at any point in time.

For example, Holy Child College had strong and capable team that are very articulated in carrying out the goal build ultramodern hostel and dinning complex to accommodate more students and boast the standard of College. Additionally, the team involved experts who understood the ins and outs of building engineering in an academic environment. The goal was clearly stated and communicated to them, that it was not just all about building new hostel and dining but a standard ultramodern hostel and dinning complex that would elevate the College standard bearing in mind its strategic expansion.

The What

This is where organization decide on which team member that will work on area of the project and match the team to their right skill sets. If possible effect necessary reshuffle of team at the earliest stage, the time of completion of a particular project clearly defined.

The College understands how critical it is to review project team and decide on which team members possessed the required expertise to work in each area of a proposed projects. Once skills of building project team were determined, it was better to match the team with the skills set required to complete each of the projects.

The outcome the projects proved satisfactory, timely and yielded effective results; simply because in putting up the new infrastructures, series of project team meetings were held to review each stage of the projects in line with target and necessary adjustments were effected in any reported incidence of deviation from standard. At these meetings, project team would have a feel of what the management was thinking about each project stage and also had good opportunity to entertain questions and answers, including discussions on the project cost variations.

The Rules

Here, organizations should have a written change control policy including how to implement change requests. This change control process should be reviewed and understood especially by team members who have never followed a change control process.

The College Board of Directors defined the rules, the when, and what changes will be considered and who has authority to initiate change or change requests regarding any proposed projects and other strategic changes. They create a change management control process that clearly define how they chose their team members, assign tasks and then set rules for change. When there is laid down policy or rule in an organization, it automatically brings about change in that organization because people wish to follow the policy having it clearly in their mind that when policy or rules are broken, they will face appropriate consequences.

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The Future

The future of part of your change control process analyzes if what you do in any project celebrate success, in other words, being futuristic and where you intend to be as a result of your change.

At the end of the projects, it became necessary for management to analyze the control process, as a good time to rely on the projects results and if the project team worked well, deliver the goal and follow the set rules of change control process.

Conclusions

Therefore, every management process should start with clearly defined goal and understanding the task at hand, which gives focused on whatever change the organization intends to implement.

Setting of goal is followed by working out a team that is creative, innovative and focused on the change process control policy. And then organization taken time to decide on each team member that will be working on each area of the project that is intended impacted change on the organization performance. This is because members of the team are expected to deploy their skills, expertise, giftedness, creativity and come up with the best and effective possible results.

In addition, the organization should never lose focus on their responsibility to establish a laid down rules and policy for team and the employees in general to ensure increase performance and workers efficiency in the organization; which in turn, bring about celebration of future success for good performance.

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