Learning How to Change

To remain competitive in today’s competitive and continually changing marketplace, organization’s need to know what changes will influence their bottom-line performance, and then learn how to achieve those changes in a way that the cost saved or new income generated exceeds the costs expended.

An intelligent way to implement change is to implement specific “learning by doing “ process improvement projects that enable operation costs to be reduced while developing the competencies and constructs needed for long-term success. Most organizations have the competencies needed to achieve technical improvement. What they lack are competencies to improve their work environment and work culture. The key to improvement in these areas is an understanding that human change involves changes in the constructs that individuals and groups have built from a lifetime of experiences. In learning how to change, it normally works best to first undertake one or two process improvement pilot projects to develop the organization’s internal process improvement capability

Individuals and groups need sufficient opportunity and time to gain new experiences that demonstrate the value of embracing a new construct before abandoning the old one. Without these experiences, actions such as flattening the organization and empowering the workforce are likely to result in organizational stress, a breakdown of relationships, and a deterioration in organizational performance. The deterioration in performance is then likely to be viewed as an indicator that the decision to change was flawed, and to provide justification to retrench to the tried and true methods of the past.

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