Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Three Systematic Perspectives of Change Management

The voice of leveraging Systems Thinking in Change Management, to communicate within the spiral of conscious awareness, is a compelling story to advocate change and digital transformation. 

The digital organization is a dynamic system which needs to continue evolving and adapting. Change is inevitable with increasing pace. Change Management shouldn’t be just some random business initiatives, it has to fix the imbalance in the key business elements such as people, process, and technology in order to run a holistic digital organization. It’s important to leverage system principles and perspectives and take a well-organized multidisciplinary approach to manage Changes effortlessly.

A business system loses energy until it reaches a tipping point: Change Management goes hand in hand with Strategy Management. When strategy management gets stuck to go nowhere, people do not feel engaged, processes are overly rigid, technology is outdated, and morality is low, it is the time for changes. When weak cultures rely on a bureaucracy to enforce rules and regulations that undermine an organization's speed, adaptability, and competitiveness, it’s time to change. When productivity suffers and creativity gets ignored or even scoffed, does this mean that you are applying the wrong measures at a personal and group level? It is time to change. When ineffective project/program/portfolio management practices become the norm, people at all levels often become complacent and ineffective, it is time to change. To put simply, change becomes necessary when an organization fails to meet its performance goals. An organization as a system loses energy until it reaches the tipping point. The organization reaches the tipping point of changes when the top management senses the urgency and the bottom line employees feels the pain, and change inertia is minimized based on a common understanding of the necessity and imperatives of changes.

Nonlinearity in Change Management: When systems are not just about linear relationships, they are defined as nonlinear dynamic. A part of a business system emits more energy than it is normally supposed to, that is going beyond the linear response of the part. Small changes in the initial conditions could have large, unpredictable consequences in the outcomes of the system. Modern organizations are complex systems which tend to be non-linear and thus, hard to predict by humans. Hence, non-linear thinking is emerged as a system thought process to handle changes and problem-solving. Human thought characterized by expansion in multiple directions, rather than in one direction, and based on the concept that there are multiple starting points from which one can apply logic to problem-solving. Applying interdisciplinary management to gain an understanding of nonlinearity as the very characteristic of the digital organization and business ecosystem could be at the tipping point for managing changes and the digital transformation. Organizations need to take systematic steps in evolutionary Digital Change Management. It means to make a radical shift from a silo and linear classic management style to holistic and nonlinear management discipline. In the beginning, you often make a one-dimensional, linear, list of things to do. In the end, when you have gone through the mufti-dimensional analysis or process when everything else is in place, you practice nonlinear thinking and holistic change management and problem-solving.

A business system gains more and more energy till it crosses the point of system resilience: The fast growth of information and the disruptive nature of technology bring both plentiful opportunities and unprecedented risks to the highly interdependent business today. Either at the individual or business level, resilience is the ability to respond to change proactively, act courageously when facing difficulties, stay positive, focus, and flexible. With resilience, individuals are able to bounce back from setback or failures; organizations can overcome continuous digital disruptions, fail fast and fail forward. A business system can gain more energy until it crosses the point of system resilience. However, so many people do not know how to connect the dots within complex business systems, nor think inclusively or holistically, nor comprehend dynamics, induction or deduction, nor understand expensive variables, interfaces, and interactions. You cannot expect luck to generate positive emotions driven collective behaviors and recharge energy when the prevailing constraints of the dominant cultural ethos keep perpetuating silo thinking and outdated conventional wisdom. It’s important to first understand how much change capability is really required for the effort you are kicking off. Organizations can make major leaps forward in developing change capability and capacity by involving the entire organization in major change efforts that support key business strategies to drive performance improvement and increase system resilience.

The voice of leveraging Systems Thinking in Change Management, to communicate within the spiral of conscious awareness, is a compelling story to advocate change and digital transformation. Leveraging System Principles and gaining systematic perspective of Chaing Management requires many forms of additional thinking skills such as abstract, holistic, system, quantitative, objective, subjective, temporal (life cycle), and critical thinking, etc. The deeper you can perceive the holistic digital impact, the further you can reach the digital vision and pinnacle of change success.


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