When managing change most, if not all of us, are prisoners of our own experience - we have a tendency to manage all changes in the more or less same way regardless of the issues and the types of changes involved.
This tendency is something that we need to resist. In reality each change situation is unique - and needs to be treated as such. To illustrate this, consider the table below covering some of the main types of changes that organisations face.
Change in small steps. For example, in quality improvement projects one simple change might be a project to improve a central filing system.
New systems and procedures, particularly IT. Often leading to radical changes in skills and structures.
Decentralisation. Restructuring. The trend from hierarchical to flatter structures. Fewer layers of management and supervision.
In particular where an organisation faces changes in the external environment.
Put simply, it’s “the way we do things round here” whether that’s a healthy or unhealthy way of doing things. Deep seated beliefs about how work should be organised, authority exercised, people rewarded, people controlled.”
Each of these face quite different issues and need to be managed differently. You just don't try to introduce a cultural change in the same manner that you introduce a systems change. It just doesn't work - they need to be introduced, managed, and completed in quite different ways.
To manage changes effectively one needs to focus on the changes, consider them carefully, identify the key change issues involved, and then tailor a change initiative or programme to suit. That way you improve your chances of success - success in terms of achieving successful outcomes whilst minimising disruption and implementation difficulties. This toolkit does not present a prescriptive "cookbook" approach, but an overall general overall framework for evaluating, designing and implementing change employing the following stages;
together with a portfolio of tools, models and approaches to be selected and used as you deem appropriate.