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Tips on Managing the Organizational Change Curve

written by: Tara Duggan • edited by: Ginny Edwards • updated: 9/27/2010

Managing the organizational change curve involves structuring the transition. With adequate planning and organization, project managers can help their teams adapt to changing priorities and minimize the disruptions typically associated with organizational change.

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    General Tips for Handling Organizational Change

    3D Team Leadership Arrow Concept Handling large-scale changes such as restructuring management, instituting new quality standards or re-engineering work flow processes to meet new government regulations necessitates developing a phased approach and communication to dispel rumors and anxiety. Managing the organizational change curve as an ongoing process or methodology involves analyzing the situation at hand, preparing a written plan (including a vision of the future environment), implementing activities and monitoring the progress. By recognizing that people respond to change in different ways, managers can help the whole project team adjust as quickly as possible. By communicating what processes will change, why the changes will benefit the company in the long-term and when the changes will impact the project team, the project manager can avoid resistance and complacency. Then, the team can focus its time and energy on completing project activities without undue distraction.

    Image Credit: wikimedia commons/ lumaxart

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    Tips for Handling Change at the Beginning of the Change Management Process

    Once the need for an organizational change as been proposed, managers need to get their company’s executive leaders to support the change and endorse implementation plans. Managers must determine if their team has the skills and knowledge to function in the new organizational environment. If not, they should arrange for training and development to precede any organization change.

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    Tips for Handling Change During of the Change Management Process

    Once organizational change begins, such as restructuring activities, managers should recognize that disruption and stress impact employee’s attention to project details. People need time to adapt to new policies and procedures. Some employees may experience a sense of loss. By acknowledging change can be difficult, managers can help their teams adjust to the new environment. As employees accept the new organizational structure, they begin to figure out how they can function effectively despite the structural, cost-cutting, process or strategic modifications.

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    Tips for Handling Change Once the Change Management Process Completes

    Once the organization has completed its transition, managing the final stage of the organizational change curve involves analyzing the results of all activities. By proving that success criteria were met, managers can validate the value of the organizational change. This establishes credibility for any future changes that may occur in the current dynamic, global marketplace. At this point, managers must assess the accuracy of timing estimates so they can use this data in future change management activities. Managers should reward employees who actively led activities and embraced new strategies quickly.

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    Conclusion

    Successfully supporting employees during a transitional period typically involves planning and organization. Leaders can help their employees adjust to organizational change by creating awareness about impending changes and clarifying the reasons for change. Involving employees in decision making also helps them adapt more quickly. Business change as become inevitable as technology advancements occur regularly. Managers who help advocate new ideas and innovative approaches to solving problems can alleviate problems. Successful project teams overcome obstacles and seemingly formidable constraints so they can deliver results on time and within budget. Adaptive organizations react positively and agilely to change, making them more likely to succeed in the long term.