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Managing Change

Entry 571, on 2007-07-11 at 18:27:29 (Rating 3, Comments)

I work for a large organisation which has an extensive hierarchical management structure, and in the years I have worked for them there have been a lot of changes in the way the organisation is run. The following comments arise from personal experience, but apply to the general phenomenon of change in any organisation.

In many cases there is significant resistance to change from the people most affected. For example, many organisations I know about have had new cost recovery regimes and other accounting systems forced on them without any real regard for the big picture of how it would affect services. And often management systems involve a lot of extra work for the people who have to use them, yet those people are rarely considered when the systems are designed.

The management often say in this situation that people just don't like change, but is this really true? In some ways it is, because many people do like to stick with what they are familiar with instead of having to adapt to something new. But there is another element in this story which the management often fail to mention: that is that the changes tend to be negative for the people being forced to implement them.

I'm sure most people would be quite happy to implement change if it was positive for them. For example, I would be happy to support a change where I could fix computer problems and implement new systems for my clients without having to go through a lot of cost recovery bureaucracy.

Yes, there are plenty of changes I would be happy to help with. Anything that lead to a better outcome for my clients, less bureaucracy and paperwork, or better work conditions would be great! The problem is not change itself, its the type of change. In many cases change is badly managed and consultation is just for show. So I wish management would stop using aversion to change as an excuse and start looking at the real issues instead!


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