Introduction to Change Management
Organizations need to change to adapt to the changes of the environment. Organizations have two alternatives.
- .Influencing the changes of the environment while making their own changes
- Making the internal changes based on the external modifications
Organizations change from the outside to the inside and from top to bottom. This is the basic condition for change.
Change is not a desirable action; it is just a necessary action. Change implies reversing the energy that flows towards the “client” in order to use it to develop the necessary changes.
Change can be part of an organizational activity, and thus it occurs naturally within the working processes. This is the case of the organizations that work with continuous improvement processes.
Enterprises naturally need to change in order to achieve their transcendent goals. Therefore, they are open to introduce all the changes they consider necessary to manage their business. That is why they accept making big changes.
Entrepreneurial businesses naturally accept those changes that increase their security because they are based on the personal goals of their members. That is why they are reluctant to make big changes.
Changes have to be managed considering their size:
They are the changes that drive towards a higher level of structured action, responsibility or risk. Big changes require drivers and catalysts to be implemented. Big changes can be divided into structured medium changes.
They are those changes that seek a more structured activity with lower risks. Medium changes cannot be divided into small changes.
They are changes that require no structural modifications.
Characteristics of Big, Medium and Small Changes:
A) Big Changes
Big changes necessarily produce conflicts in an organization.
They deal with the root causes of structural problems.
They are managed by K-Groups (Knowledge Groups) that provide the information on the conceptual structures, the fundamentals and the conceptual design of the solutions.
Big changes require all the energy of an organization in order to be implemented.
When big changes are necessary, it is because there has been a structural change of the environment that made an organization dysfunctional.
Big Change Implementation
- Define the nature of the future situation
- Define the nature of the present situation
- Understand the real need
- Design driving objects
- Design catalysts to accelerate processes
- Define the implementation taxonomy
- Implement change
Unicist Knowledge Groups – K-Groups
The “Unicist K-Groups” are groups to develop and implement technologies in businesses and manage big changes. They are a participative way to develop solutions with sponsors and clients using the concepts that define the root causes of the problems and the root drivers of the solutions.
They are integrated by:
- At least one member who has the fundamental knowledge of the activity.
- Two members who have a solid technical knowledge.
- Several members with empirical knowledge of the activity.
The Leaders of the Groups
- The Coordinator, who is responsible for guiding the group towards the objectives that have been defined. The coordinator has the full responsibility for the diagnoses and for achieving the results that have been defined as possible to be achieved.
- The “Ombudsman”, is responsible for monitoring that the proposals respond to the functional needs of the solutions that are required. The ombudsman represents the “user” and is responsible for generating value to the environment.
- The “Fallacy-Shooter”, is an external participant in the K-Groups who is responsible for assuring the quality of the processes. His/Her activity is based on the guidance of the development of destructive tests to confirm the limits of the validity of knowledge and destructive tests to evaluate solutions.
Pseudo-Changes to avoid Changes
The introduction of changes in organizations or social environments requires that the members can assimilate them into their preexisting habits. Changes are transformed into pseudo-changes when they cannot be assimilated.
The objective of a pseudo-change is to avoid big changes that modify the structural organization of an environment.
This purpose can be achieved using palliatives to solve problems, which allow building the necessary fallacious myths to protect the behavior of the environment, avoiding the need for introducing structural changes.
These fallacious myths can be installed due to the catharsis they trigger. This catharsis empowers the members of the environment and drives towards inaction. Catharsis is what allows using palliatives to face structural problems without needing to manage the root causes of the problems.
The use of palliatives is sustained by the building of justifications to avoid facing the responsibility for solving the structural problem and the participants feel fulfilled by the use of conjunctural solutions.
Pseudo-change is a normal behavior in conservative environments where the use of palliatives is considered a valid approach to problem solving.
B) Medium Changes
Medium changes require the participation of the individuals that are committed with the process that is being changed.
To introduce medium changes, it is necessary to deal with a “participation model” that allows people to participate in the change of their activities.
Medium changes are based on “Avant Garde Groups” that introduce the changes in the organization based on a part-time activity within their work environment.
Avant Garde Groups
The improvement processes are managed by Avant Garde Groups (“A” Groups) that improve work processes and propose the operating rules that are functional to each business. They use the root cause management method to develop solutions.
This technology was created to design process improvements and/or implement organizational changes. They need to manage changes without changing the concepts of the business.
Their role is to propose and implement process improvements that increase productivity and save energy.
The unicist approach manages problems based on their nature. That is why unicist technologies are ontology based. Therefore, unicist diagnostics are far more secure and operational.
The unicist continuous improvement methodology is based on making “changes without changing”.
This implies to manage the variables of each culture and of each type of business to generate the changes that enable an increase in the competitiveness of companies and its members.
The logical approach to business processes, the building of objects, the management of customer-driven rules, personal motivation and institutionalization are the “hard” elements of the process improvement methodology.
The environmental conditions are given by the values of the culture of each country and industry.
1) The Leadership of Avant Garde Groups
To ensure the success of an “A” Group, its leadership has to fulfill the following objectives:
- The Coordinator has to guide participants’ work and delivery. If participants have problems with their delivery the coordinator has to solve them somehow.
- The Fallacy-shooter has to confirm the validity of the proposals. S/he has to ensure that the necessary knowledge to develop the work is available and also support her/his colleagues.
- The Ombudsman has to ensure the achievement of the value adding solutions for the internal/external clients of the group.
2) Processes Value Analysis
The goal of the Value Analysis technology is to analyze the objects and elements included in a work process to define their added value to the final objective.
The Unicist Value Analysis methodology defines the final objective of a process as the output of a “unified field” within which the different objects interact.
The Unicist Value Analysis technology analyzes:
- Opportunity at each step in the process
The process-time is also assessed as an indicator of the productivity process.
The value analysis includes the analysis of the technologies used as well as the possible or necessary automation levels
3) Elaboration of Solutions
At least 3 possible solutions must be presented:
- A maximal solution that uses all the investment that is required.
- A minimal solution requiring “zero” or minimal expenses and no investment.
- An alternative, leaving the processes the way they are at the present.
All solutions must include the necessary justifications and foundations.
4) Proposal of Solutions
Solutions are proposed to an “A Group Committee” integrated by the managers involved or affected by the change process.
The committee decides which proposal is accepted. It can reject all the proposals and demand other alternatives. If there are two rejections, the project is then considered a big change and is implemented in a non-participative way.
The members of the group, who are involved in the processes that are being changed, are the natural implementers of the solution. Thus, change resistance is minimized.
6) Dissolution of an “A” Group
After the implementation has been finished, the “A” Groups need to be dissolved in order to avoid the risk of becoming a “parallel power” in the organization.
C) Small Changes
Small changes are those where there is no structural change involved. The change of management is, in itself, a small change. The change of management becomes a medium or big change if managers are changed to introduce a new structure