65% of today’s grade schoolers will hold jobs that don’t yet exist and preparing them for technologies that haven’t been invented. If Facebook was a country, it would the 2nd world largest population with 1.3 billion users. The amount of technical information is doubling every 2 years, that means that when a University graduates from a 4 years technical degree programme would be outdated. Office staff had their own desk and bosses have their own office space. Hot desking is the way of the future (Katy 2014). The world is always evolving, we see in figure 1 the drivers that make these changes happen (Caitlin 2021). Emergent or Planned change are the 2 known transformation that impacts businesses. Hence, we see that change is not new and simple fact of life (Mullins 2010).
Changes can be driven by small and frequent releases, or it is traditionally planned with sequential steps to transform an organisation or individual behaviour. A full-bodied plan that spans over time is Planned Change. The most common change that we can see in today’s context is how Grab has changed the way society commutes. Induced by the global lockdowns, personal habits, causing changes to increased demand for home food delivery had facilitated Antony Tan of Grab to develop visionary strategies for his business and lead his team to changes.
On the other hand, if companies that do not embrace the changes have proven to be detrimental to their sustainability and we can see these such as Kodak, Wordperfect, Blackberry, Novell, Borders, Toys-R-Us.
The opposition or resistance to the transformations and changes within the organisation can be accorded due to various reasons as illustrated in figure 2. The reason to the resistance is a challenge for any leaders to tackle. By identifying and addressing them thus easing the burden of leaders to implement the changes at the workplace (Chrissy 2020).
Change Management Models
As we identify the reasons for resistance, we also acknowledge that leaders and managers cannot shrug off resistance as it could lead to negative consequences. Before jumping into managing the change or resistance before a project begins, The leadership team’s vision and mission should be aligned and strong to commit the changes. Numerous change management models have been developed to recognise potential areas of resistance and device strategies to relegate or eradicate resistance. Figure 3 illustrates the Mckinsey 7S framework which is commonly used for change management. The model will create an effective communication strategy by communicating the need and impact of the change. Leaders will be able to utilise resources and costs to support the change (Ovidijus 2013).
The success of the change will be determined by the leader’s capability to understand the societal and organisational culture. As mentioned earlier, the 9 drivers of change should be tackled distinctively, if the government requires companies in Singapore to implement workplace safety measures in the office which is an emergent change. Leaders will have to implement the change effectively and quickly (Minisitry of Manpower 2021). Although it is quickly developed, leaders will still have to consider the sequential phases of the change. Leaders will identify problems such a logistical, communications and processes.
Leaders role in change
Effective leaders will formulate, communicate, motivate, liaise and evaluate the members within the change process and supporting systems. They must safeguard all parts of the system to work with each other and towards the goals and visions of the organization(Mullins 2016). Also known as change agents they are responsible to identify and deliver the strategic transformation. Figure 4 illustrates the characteristics of a successful change agent that leaders will apply after synergising his knowledge on the drivers of change, anticipating the resistances and adopting a change management model (Lunenberg 2010).
Whether big or small, the change agents will be required at every organizational change. The leaders will execute skills and influence to monitor and enable change energy. The success of any change effort depends heavily on the quality and workability of the relationship between the change agent and the key decision makers within the organization. Historically, decision-making in Dolby was multi-layered, hence decisions were cumbersome and delayed. When it was changed in 2016, business regional head who could make decisions without layers of consultancy. This resulted in bigger sales and decision were made on the ground without much deterrence.
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