Lean Consulting and Training


Managing Change in Your Organization

There are two things all organizations can count on as constants; variability and change. Most organizations do attempt to reduce variation through a variety of statistical tools; but few focus on managing change. There are however a growing number of organizations that realize change management is a necessity and have recruited change agents or change managers. Change occurs more rapidly now than ever and this trend will only continue. Those that address the issue and manage it properly will be the organizations that create changes in the market rather than struggling to react to change.

This brings me to what I feel are the two primary approaches to change management: reactive change management and proactive change management. This is a very straightforward concept but also requires a certain mindset and a step by step standardized approach.

Reactive change management is as simple as it sounds. The organization tends to react to changes in the market or to changes implemented by other organizations. Benchmarking is common under this school of thought; imitating the work of others. Unfortunately your organization is always a few steps behind and the chances of gaining market share are slim. Changes are typically rushed and plans are not fully developed. This leads to wasted resources, constant correction of errors, and instability. Employees begin to feel rushed and discouraged. Itís a constant state of chaos just beneath the surface. Quality, productivity, and safety suffer. Some organizations manage to exist in these conditions. It becomes a norm. Itís business as usual; but the fact is you are always behind and struggling to catch up.

On the other hand, organizations that proactively drive change lead the market. They research internally and externally but will not settle for benchmarking. These companies set the industry standards. It is a continual quest for improvement. Change becomes the norm. It does require a high level of drive, constant research, periodic SWOT and GAP analyses, training, and involvement of all stakeholders. Consider the success of Toyota and the Toyota Production System. This organization did not achieve such a high level of success by simply reacting/responding. They drive change. They lead the market. Competitors adopt similar processes but there is a cost associated with playing catch-up. Those that proactively drive change do not strive to compete with other organizations. Their aim is to compete with excellence.

Page 1 of Change Management | Page 2 of Change Management

For assistance in developing a proactive and effective approach to change management feel free to contact us.


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