April 2014

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Organizational Change

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Welcome to the April 2014 edition of Pathways to Success. This month's articles focus on managing Organizational Change. The first is excerpted from an article by Joni Daniels, principal at Daniels and Associates and discusses the three distinct phases of an organizational change process. Each phase has its own distinct characteristics with key strategies to address the "people-side" of change during each phase. The second article discusses resistance to change as an integral part of an implementation strategy where realizing a compelling vision triggers a change process.


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Steve Terusaki, President of SEIDO ConsultingSteve Terusaki
SEIDŌ Consulting
Organizational Change

There is much in the business literature on the topic of managing the process of organizational change within an organization. One recent article captured for me a clear framework on which you can build your strategy on managing the change process. Joni Daniels, principal at Daniels and Associates, in an article titled, "Understanding and Managing Organizational Change" discusses the Three Phases of Organization Change as defined by William P. Bridges in his book Transitions: Making Sense of Life's Changes." These three distinct phases are: Endings; the Neutral Zone; and Beginnings. Although each phase intertwines and overlaps to some extent, each phase has its own defining set of characteristics and behaviors. As a result, managing change during each phase requires different strategies to minimize resistance and keep people focused on the desired future state. Organizations are very good at planning the technical aspects of change; what is often absent is an approach to address the "people side" of the change.


Realizing a compelling vision often means change, accepting new perspectives, and abandoning old habits and techniques. Many times the necessary changes require doing things differently. Lofty aspirations may involve outsourcing, merging, building strategic alliances, partnering, or acquiring other resources or organizations. It could mean selling off pieces of existing business that no longer fit strategically. It could involve restructuring your organization. What does it mean to you? There are tremendous risks in maintaining the status quo and doing it because "we have always done it that way." It means that there is no longer validity in the expression, "If it isn't broke, don't fix it." The operative phrase today is, "How can we make it better?"

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