What is Organisational Change?
As the simple phrase suggests, this is the change within an organisation. An organisation might decide to make certain alterations to better itself and even the lives of the people within the organisation. One simple definition can be that organisational change is the adoption of a new idea or behaviour by an organisation. This can involve alternation in people or restructuring of the complete operational processes. This can be due to many different factors, which may include but not limited to:
- New leadership at the helm of the company or within its departments
- Shifts in the organizational team structure
- The implementation of new technology
- The adoption of new business models
Five types of organisational change
1. Organization-Wide Change
This a change that affects the organisation as a whole not just in part. This could include restructuring leadership, adding a new policy, or introducing a new enterprise technology.
Both the employer and the employee feel the effects and impact of this type of organisational change.
2. Personnel Change
This can be due to an organisation experiencing either a hyper-growth or a layoff. This will result in the organisation having to downsize its team in case of a layoff. This obviously will have a great impact on the morale of employees as fear of being dropped can grip them.
3. Transformational Change
This mainly affects the company’s strategy. A company may need to change its marketing strategy either to accommodate a shift that has taken place in policies or to match up with new standard demands from customers. This type of change is mainly associated with companies in rapidly changing industrial sectors.
4. Unplanned Change
This is mainly due to unexpected events unfolding. An organisation will still have to find a way to return to normalcy after some event. For example, industries had to shut down temporarily amidst the Covid-19 pandemic but eventually, normalcy will have to restore in one way or the other.
5. Remedial Change
This is more of a correction to failures that are taking place within an organisation. This will involve minor changes within the organisation’s operation policy and at times a deflection from the original line of mission accomplishment.
Why change in organisations?
Change has existed from time unmemorable. Changes in the industry have come due to advanced technology and demand for better effective processes and products. Even so, change is a dynamic thing in organisations for many reasons. Let us explore a few major reasons for organisational change:
1. Crisis accommodation
Where there is a crisis there is always a call to make remedial changes. Many organisations in 2020 had to make certain changes for the sake of the novel pandemic.
2. New technologies
Would you still consider typewriting as an essential experience when recruiting in this era? Definitely no. Each organisation at times is forced into a change due to the rapidly changing technologies.
3. Identification of Opportunities
The goal of each organisation is to outcompete and make as much revenue as possible. This means taking necessary steps to grab opportunities and that means being able to identify them too.
4. Reaction to Internal & External Pressure
Demands from employees and customers mean that there is a need for change to cater to these two external and internal forces.
5. Performance Gaps
When the organizations goals and objectives are not being met or other organizational needs are not being satisfied, there is a need for changes to close these gaps.
6. Change for the sake of Change
Have you ever had to do something just to prove you have done something? This is the very scenario that can take place in organisations. Think of a new CEO that has just been appointed. To prove to the board that he is doing something he might just change certain policies even though it was not necessary.
Organisational Change Management
Where there is change there is a need for its management. The force of change has to be rightly directed to produce positive results. Hence the call for right decisions and actions by each organisation’s leadership to manage organisational change.
Leadership and Organisational change
It is the role of leaders to know where, when and how to bring about organisational change. The role of leadership is to manage change in the best interest of both the employer and the employee.
Six Major Roles
- Role Model
- Make Decisions
- Hold Accountable
Change is good, change is necessary. It is how change management is done and who manages it that determines the results it brings. Every organisation, therefore, has to engage the right leadership with the right mentality to manage and bring about change in its best form.
The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not the turbulence; it is to act with yesterday’s logic.
Blessmore Ndemo is a data analyst at Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd, a management and human resources consulting firm.