Shirley J. Caruso, Ed.D.
Our only security is our ability to change – John Lilly
Internal and External Change Factors
Organizations function in a setting that is subject to change. Change is attributed to internal or external factors. Internal changes include changes in organizational strategy, workforce changes, new equipment, and employee attitudes. External changes include marketplace, governmental laws and regulations, technology, labor markets, and economic changes. These changes in the internal and external environment present opportunities that influence the activities of the company either negatively or positively. Therefore, organizations need to identify these opportunities or threats and direct the operations of the company in the right direction.
Internal and external changes affect the organization as a whole. It is the organization’s responsibility to provide its workforce the necessary knowledge and skills that will take advantage of the opportunities and steer clear of the threats. A well-informed, well-trained workforce leads to the efficiency in the operations of the organization and is able to focus the activities of the organization towards achieving its objectives.
Human Resource Development Plays A Role in Facilitating Organizational Change
The human resource development (HRD) department is charged with the responsibility of ensuring the organization has the right skills and knowledge in its workforce. HRD is a practice that combines training, organizational development, and career development efforts to encourage improvement of individual, group, and organizational performance. Its purpose is to enhance employee performance and productivity, which leads to employee and customer satisfaction and an increase in the profitability of the organization.
John Kotter’s Change Management Process
In addition to a skilled and knowledgeable workforce, and a workforce that has adopted the right attitude about change, a change management plan can help guide the activities needed to bring about the change. Change management guru, John Kotter, a professor at Harvard Business School and world-renowned change expert, introduced his eight-step change process in his 1995 book, “Leading Change”. The eight steps of Kotter’s model include creating urgency; forming a power coalition; creating a vision for change; communicating the vision; removing obstacles; creating short-term wins; building on the change; and anchoring the changes into corporate culture. We look at his eight steps for leading change in the video below.