The Ins and Outs of Organizational Change

Organizational change, also referred to as organizational transformation, affects a corporation across the board. In contrast to smaller changes, such as reorganization within departments or hiring or firing an employee, organizational change affects larger shifts that produce a ripple effect across departments.

Examples of these changes include:

  • Implementation of new technology systems
  • Reorganization of corporate structure
  • Change to mission of company
  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Total Quality Management

Why Change?

Most companies, like people, are reluctant to change unless propelled by a stimulus. Economic factors, competitors, new clients, changing service needs and budget cuts are all examples of factors that stimulate the need for organizational change.

How to Make the Change Smooth

Because an organization is made up of people, and because people prefer to keep their old way of doing things, it can be difficult to get company-wide consensus on organizational change.

The key to success is to get the executive team on board, rallying behind the strategy for change. And while change is achieved through teamwork, having a change agent to communicate and envision the appropriate plan can make the change go smoothly.

And communication is key. Meeting with all levels of staff consistently to inform them on what to expect with the change, as well as to get their input, is important to maintain the team effort approach.

Change from the Inside or Outside?

While some organizational change can be done internally with existing staff, hiring an outside consultant is sometimes the best way to get a third party’s view of how the company can improve to reach its goals. Have the consultant speak to employees in all departments to get a true sense of how the company operates, and don’t just take top management’s word on it.

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