Saturday, February 18, 2017

Challenge to change

Blog #2: Challenges to Change
There are many challenges among organizations, one of which is change. Throughout my work experience in social service agencies, the most common barrier to organizational success are the inability or challenge to handle or make external or internal change. Some barriers to change within agencies were: the lack of vision, planning, standards,consensus, resistance to change- employee or leadership resistance, poor communication, improper change management, no succession plan, decision management , implementation, conflict management, and leadership.
Many of these barriers are representative of necessary restructuring, redirecting, and/or reiterating of goals. Organizations can manage barriers to change by  1). articulating a vision of the future 2).conducting analysis on readiness to change 3). Institutionalize vision 4). generating commitment and 5). readiness to change.

1. Articulate a vision of the future: Often organizations’ survivorship is dependant on needed  change due to external and/or internal pressure that might come expectedly or unexpectedly. An important strategy to manage change effectively is to base the agency’s platform on achieving  continual growth by constantly probing on fundamental questions regarding agency vision; this facilitates the challenges that come with change such as, inflexibility to unpredictability. The agency’s emphasis in articulating a vision enables their ability to continuously seek change/growth to: provide for the community’s changing needs, react to fluctuating funding, or change in staff capacities or roles without feeling a burden(Dresser, 2017). The fundamental questions would surround the agency’s accountability and liability to client demands and needs focusing on the agency’s mission statement and how to best provide changes to achieve the proper goals.Some sample questions can be “What will happen if we continue to do things the same way?Do we need to make changes that would better the position of the organization’s future?Are these changes relevant to our mission?(Brody & Nair, 2014)”   It is extremely important to articulate a vision (Cameron, 1991).

2. Conducting analysis on readiness of change:  This strategy would provide the agency’s anticipation of possible opportunities or consequences.When the agency has a basis of fundamental questions it facilitates the agency’s ability to conduct a good analysis. Conducting an analysis gives the agency a better understanding of how well the agency is doing to perform and achieve their mission and or vision. In addition, the analysis provide insight on the agency’s past and current operations, value, service programs, clients served, service accessibility, reputation, and costs (Brody & Nair, 2014).  A most common analysis that is utilized is SWOT known to analyze the agency’s internal strengths and weaknesses and external opportunities and threats (Cameron, 1991). This analysis provides vital information  on the focus of change, the level of readiness for change, and comparative performance standards of the agency (Cameron, 1991).

3. Institutionalizing the vision:The above elements on managing change provide the ability to evaluate the agency. This information highlights common themes and  issues within the agency. Importantly assuring a system that  allows the agency to assess for potential outcomes, impact, challenges. It is important to strategically analyze questions and issues that may arise depending on agency’s focus of interest and institutionalize their vision(Brody & Nair, 2014). Critical considerations include: organization’s ability to have an impact, resource demands, and essentially the impact of not addressing issues (Brody & Nair). There needs to be a concise decision-making criteria, involvement of stakeholders, and managing at the organizational level to instritualize the agency’s vision(Cameron, 1991).

4. Generating commitment: With the ability to process issues, it is important to prioritize the issues. Prioritizing is vital with change by giving the issue importance and value. There needs to be steps to strategy, plan, and action. Yet, the most important factor to change lies on how to generate commitment (Cameron, 1991). It is vital to consider the analysis on the agency’s level of readiness to change. Important strategies to generate motivation and energy is to provide training, thorough communication, team development, internal and external integration  to agency change.  
5. Generating readiness to change: Some considerable response to facilitating readiness to change would be the implementation of conflict management and benchmarking while always reiterating the vision and involvement from stakeholders.