Sunday, August 9, 2009

Leading Organizational Change Expert Reveals The 3 Greatest Barriers To Organizational Change

Many businesses make significant strategic changes in their organizations from time to time. Organizational Change Expert Gayla Hodges, reveals the three greatest barriers to organizational change and why they can completely undermine business strategy if handled incorrectly.

Glendale, AZ (PRWEB) June 24, 2007 -- The need for rapid organizational change is a fact of life in today's business environment. It is often necessary to make strategic changes in order to achieve key strategic business goals. The key to successful change is in the planning and the implementation. This is the reason Change Agents, Inc. is one of the few business consultants to stick around during the implementation of strategic change rather than leaving when the planning is done.

Gayla Hodges, President and Principal Consultant of Change Agents, Inc. recently revealed the three greatest barriers to organizational change. "No matter how necessary change seems to upper management," she says, "many barriers must be broken down if a planned strategic change is to be implemented successfully." The three barriers she identified are often overlooked by businesses contemplating change. They are:

  • Inadequate Culture-Shift Planning. All organizational change affects people. It is easy to forget that, even at work, people make many decisions on the basis of feelings and intuition. When changes in corporate culture and the feelings of employees are overlooked, the result is often deep resentment because some unrecognized taboo or tradition has not been duly respected.
  • Lack of Employee Involvement. People have an inherent fear of change. When asked to assume new responsibilities or focus on different aspects of their knowledge or skill, they also fear failure. Involving employees as soon as possible in the change effort, letting them create as much of the change as is possible and practical is key to a successful change effort. Employees need an opportunity to "try the change on for size" to obtain buy-in.
  • Flawed Communication Strategies. Ideal communication strategies attend to the message, the method of delivery, the timing, and the importance of information shared with various parts of the organization. Solid communication strategies do not overwhelm people with too much information, or leave them guessing about how they will be affected by the change. Information will be provided consistently by supervisors, and people will be allowed time to think about it and talk about it.
There are other barriers, to be sure, but the three outlined above are extremely common and highly likely to create havoc in the organization. "By planning and dealing with these three areas thoroughly, carefully, and sensitively," says Hodges, "people will be most likely to get on board and help implement the change and adapt to organizational change far more readily and supportively.

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