What Is Organizational Change


What is organizational change? What are its basic dimensions? It’s often stated that the only true constant in change is transformation. Managers must be able to understand the basic dimensions of organizational change, understand what drives change, and be able to implement change effectively to fulfill and exceed organizational objectives.

The two primary drivers of organizational change are organizational vision and mission. How do you define each? On one end of a spectrum, organizational vision is the future of the organization, its purpose and its focus on a particular domain. On the other end, the broader objective is to increase organizational effectiveness and, ultimately, to optimize performance. Both are related to organizational change management and involve managers at all levels.

The most important feature of organizational vision is that it can be changed or transformed with very little impact on the current organization. However, the change must also occur in an organized and credible manner. For example, changing the management line of command won’t necessarily cause a significant disruption but it will require a lot of communication and supervision. Likewise, a new succession plan will not likely cause a significant disruption but, like a new acquisition strategy, will require detailed negotiation and careful implementation.

The second aspect of what is organizational change is the organizational life cycle. This cycle describes the way things occur within an organization. This part of the life cycle is often referred to as the organizational synergy. Most change is believed to occur when there is a change in the organizational structure, in the power structure, or in the talent pool. While this is true, change can also occur because of external circumstances, such as the global economy or a major technological event.

So what is organizational change management? It’s a tool used by leaders to align their vision, mission, and strategy with the organizational plans. It attempts to reduce the disruptive impact of any changes by using crisis management and crisis action planning. By coordinating and communicating with key people, leaders are able to implement change in a timely fashion. It helps leaders understand what is going on, evaluate the situation, determine the course of action, and make adjustments as necessary.

There are four primary elements of what is organizational change management: risk management, succession planning, transformation management, and impact analysis. Risk management identifies and addresses risks to the organization. Contingency planning provides solutions for unexpected events or emergencies that might disrupt the work flow or the business. Lastly, transformation management identifies what will happen with the existing employees, the customers, and the structure as a whole.

In the past, what is organizational change management has meant implementing strategies to address the impact of any new technologies or innovations. These strategies may include training, manuals, or “know how” for the use of the new technologies. However, in the present day organizations, because most businesses rely heavily on technology, leaders must take into consideration what will happen to all current employees as well as future employees. They must develop an understanding of the risks associated with the technology adoption as well as the benefits the adoption will provide.

What is organizational change management is essential for a successful organization. It provides the framework and discipline to deal with the multiple and often diverse changes that take place throughout an organization. It requires a systematic and organized approach to change. Any deviation from the change process can cause significant disruption to the organization.

The five types of organizational change are Categorization, Conflict, Integration, Renewal and Transformation. Each type exhibits different attributes. For example, change can result in categorization, conflict or integration. When categorization occurs, individuals within an organization may be divided in relation to their role. Change can also result in individuals moving from one role to another, causing conflict. When change is caused by conflict, it can occur at the interpersonal level or between departments and across an organization-wide basis.

Integration occurs when individuals from different departments and across organizational boundaries to work together. Renewal occurs when a previously separate organization is combined with another organization. Transformation involves the transformation of one business function to a different business function or vice versa. The five types of organizational change strategies refer to these different instances of change.

The ability to anticipate and manage changes presents organizations with the ability to adapt to their environment. Managers must therefore apply what is called contingency planning, which aids in the development of an agility training program. Agile change management is about anticipating change and incorporating agility training into any organization’s structure. The ability of managers to change an organization’s structure is dependent upon their ability to change the culture of an organization. Organizational agility training aids managers in both these endeavors.