Change Management and Corporate Culture

Change Management and Corporate Culture

Whenever an organisation engage in a change process, there are some drawbacks, rules and guidelines therefor there is need for a proper change management plan. The systematic approach and application of knowledge, tools and resources to deal with change. Change management means defining and adopting corporate strategies, structures, procedures and technologies to deal with changes in external conditions and the business environment. Organizational culture is defined as the underlying beliefs, assumptions, values and ways of interacting that contribute to the unique social and psychological environment of an organization.



Sometimes organisations live with their values and in some cases, values on the mission are just or display and compliance. Every organisation has its own values. The problem is sometimes these values are exploited so as to maximize one’s payoff, not for the betterment of the organisation.





Measurement of Organizational Culture

  • Ability to Influence: The extent to which organization members have an opportunity to influence decision making.
  • Comfort with Ambiguity: The extent to which members are comfortable with uncertainty and risk taking.
  • Achievement Orientation: The extent to which members are assertive, goal-directed, and achievement-oriented.
  • Individualism versus Collectivism: The extent to which individual versus group loyalty exists.
  • Egalitarianism: The extent to which equal opportunity exists for advancement.
  • Time Orientation: The extent to which the organizational goal/mission is focused on values from the past, present, or future.
  • Space Orientation: The extent to which the physical layout of the organization is public, private, or a mix of both.

There are some negative as well as positive impacts of this move to the organisation as mentioned below.



How Organisational Culture affect in implementing change


Desire and ability to influence

Inspiring the desire to change is usually the most difficult part in the change process, since you are appealing to both the logical and emotional side of your employees. If you cannot get both on your side, you are not going to get the total commitment you will need to deploy the change.

As with most other management models in this article, one of the best ways to grow this desire is to promote the benefits of the change relevant to the people you are talking to. Management must learn to give real-world examples of what will happen after the change and compare it to their current position. Listen to their feedback and implement any useful advice to share the responsibility if creating the change.



Comfort with ambiguity against awareness

The awareness stage is all about making sure that your employees understand the need for change. This is done much as you would expect by meeting with your employees and managers, presenting the current state of affairs, and how your proposed changes could benefit the situation.

The main difficulty here is remembering that you are pitching this change to other people, and so you cannot just reel off a list of changes and expect them to be accepted. Instead, you need to justify those changes by using hard evidence to really drive the point home. Similarly, forcing yourself to justify your changes will prevent you from over-reaching with drastic shifts or promoting those that you are correct.

The change champions must be powerful in creating an urgency. This can be done by identifying and highlighting the potential threats and the repercussions which might crop up in the future while examining the opportunities which can be tapped through effective interventions. It gets easy to initiate honest dialogues and discussions to make people think over the prevalent issues and give convincing reasons to them. Request the involvement and support of the industry people, key stakeholders and customers on the issue of change made the change process more efficient.



Achievement Orientation and Knowledge



The knowledge goal is to make sure that everyone knows how the change will be carried out and how to fulfill their specific part in that process. So, here you need to break down the change into steps and analyze what various employees will need to know in order to complete them all. Once you know this, the team(s) need to be taught how the change will be completed and what their part in the process is.

Effective lines of communication can help organisation in implementing change. Communicate the change in the vision very often powerfully and convincingly. Connect the vision with all the crucial aspects like performance reviews, training, etc. It becomes easy to handle the concerns and issues of people honestly and with involvement.



Achievement and Ability

While it might seem like knowledge and ability are the same thing, the time it takes to go from knowing how to complete a task to being able to actually carry it out can be immense. Just because you know how to do something does not mean you are good at it.

As such, you need to check the ability of each employee and assess whether they need extra experience (or knowledge) in order to reliably complete their tasks. The required knowledge and ability to achieve your change can also be limited by creating a documented process which anyone can follow, no matter their skill set or experience. This will make your changes more consistent and measurable, since most variables can be locked in a constant state.



Challenges as a result of the culture

Shifting a culture that has to some extent moved away from the values established by its founder is always a challenge. High performers have been successful because of their innovative talents. However, unless these individuals are also able to recognize the importance of collaboration, in the long term, the organization may not be able to respond in a timely manner to competitive pressure.

Organizational improvements are unlikely without culture change as an initial step in the process. But culture change is illusive, requires lengthy interventions, and, for many organizations, is either too costly or too time-consuming, making successful transformation problematic. Although culture change is necessary in creating and reinforcing organizational transformation, the Writer’s position is that making necessary structural changes may serve as the initial intervention for shifting culture. Changes in how new members are socialized may bring about a commitment to organizational values and encourage a team-oriented mindset. Organisations’ focus must be on enhancing collaboration, particularly among the management team, may result in continued dialogue between members, which will hopefully become embedded in their working relationships. In conclusion, the creation of structural initiatives that incentivize the desired ways of accomplishing goals may be more effective in responding to inefficiencies than a commitment to changing culture, which, over time, may naturally occur as shifts in behavior emerge.



Egalitarianism against change reinforcement

Organisations may face major obstacles in reinforcing new structure because of individualism. Although an organisation may be espousing teamwork as a core value, there was a low level of trust among management, which results in a lack of collaboration among the managers. Reinforcement here means implementing incentives and rewards to make sure that the change is maintained until it becomes the new norm. Remember that it is a good idea to identify any mistakes in this stage as early as possible, as then you will prevent a flawed method becoming your employees’ default. 

Ensure that the organizational processes and structure are in place and aligned with the overall organizational vision. Continuously check for barriers or people who are resisting change. Implement proactive actions to remove the obstacles involved in the process of change.

It some cases the ability of employees to propose and implement change in the company can be low. The marginal regard for input can cause the staff to become discouraged and had reduced motivation for process improvements. Ironically, organizations that are well integrated are often the most difficult ones to change. Internal integration and external adaptation can often be at odds. Adaptable organizations are driven by their customers, take risks and learn from their mistakes, and have capability and experience at creating change. Leaders must continuously change the system so that they are improving the organizations’ collective abilities to provide value for their customers.



Nyasha D Ziwewe is a Business Consultant and Systems developer at Industrial Psychology Consultants. Email: Mobile 0783462251. LinkedIn: Nyasha D Ziwewe.


Nyasha Ziwewe
This article was written by Nyasha a Guest at Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd

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