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From How to Manage Change

Organizations are pressured by increasingly competitive environments and demanding.
This article examines the main causes that hinder the change processes in organizations and presents a set of cultural orientations, structural and management, in combination, can facilitate and promote continuous improvement of competitiveness.

1. Neutralize Fears

Many organizations are gripped by fear. To successfully manage any change, it is imperative to neutralize the fears that hold back:

Fear of the Consequences of Change

Involved in the processes of change, fear a negative impact on the personal level (loss of status, loss of hierarchical power, economic loss, etc). This explains why so negative behaviors such as hiding information, pose difficulties fictitious, or even commit acts of sabotage of some projects. Leaders must do see and understand that the desired change will impact positively on all levels.

Fear of punishment

Sometimes the problems are hiding for fear that the change process from degenerating into a witch hunt. " The problems should never be customized. Never to be found guilty but system failures and opportunities for improvement.

Fear of Confrontation


Fear of consequences and the fear of punishment, may provoke tensions and personality clashes. To avoid this problem, we must eliminate its causes.

Fear of incompetence and failure

To produce the desired changes, there must be trust and collaboration between people who form the organization. Trust is very delicate, but extremely difficult to win easy to lose. So leaders must plant and cultivate this trust determination.

Fear of Failure Recognition

All change involves summon the will and commit resources. Failure to recognize and reward efforts of people who make change possible, it is difficult to recount them again with their collaboration and involvement in future projects.

2. Explain the need for change

Some organizations are content to achieve a turnover that considered acceptable. In these apparently favorable circumstances, complacency makes it difficult to justify the changes.

All staff in the organization must be convinced of the need for change, otherwise unlikely to be achieved. To awaken this awareness, leaders should help highlight the problems that can be consciously or unconsciously being missed:

  • This bonanza is cyclical or structural?
  • Are we getting the best value for money
  • We build customer loyalty
  • Are we harnessing the talent of our staff
  • Are you getting our organization better than the competition?
  • Are we losing market share
  • We are well positioned to meet future threats? (substitutes, new entrants)
  • Should we bet more on technological improvements or new products

Strategic thinking can be understood as the steps you must go back to take a leap of greater length.

3. Oriente Change

Not enough to convince of the need for change: it is necessary to direct all minds and resources in the right direction.

For an organization to survive and succeed, you must have a firm foundation of shared beliefs on which rest all decisions and relationships.

Probably the most important factor for corporate success is adhering to these guiding principles.

The direction of change in an organization should deploy in three levels fully consistent and complementary to each other:

Level 1: Mission, Vision, Values

If you ask your colleagues what the mission, vision and values of your organization and get different answers, your organization has a serious cultural problem and strategy. Similarly, if to this question does not know what to answer or answers do not correspond with reality, your organization has a serious problem.

"Members of an organization, should assume and share the reason for the company (mission), a destination (vision), the way forward to reach that destination (strategies and objectives) and the behaviors, attitudes and principles governing board relations and the environment (values) "

Some organizations, declared with solemn formality its vision, mission and values. In many cases, declared guiding ideas are totally different to those operating in reality. This discrepancy between the rationale declared and actual cause confusion, hypocrisy and mistrust among members of any organization.

Statements and policies only generate trust, unity of action and facilitate change when they are actually taken and shared by all.

What values we should promote to facilitate change?

  • Initiative and ability to take risks. Innovation
  • Focus external and internal clients
  • Focus on the causes, not results
  • Delegation of authority and responsibility to the natural leaders (empowerment)
  • Recognition of achievements
  • Decisions by consensus

Level 2: Strategies

Strategies must be consistent with the rationale (mission, vision and values). Unlike these, the strategies are changing and must be defined and updated in line with environmental conditions and priorities of the organization at any time.

Level 3: Objectives

The objectives of a company should not focus exclusively on sales or profitability, as both parameters are always the result of management efficiencies.

The objectives must be quantified using indicators of effectiveness and efficiency, allowing better focus on the root causes of problems and determine the results.

Goals should be Specific, Measurable, should be assigned responsibilities, must be performed and must be planned in Time (SMART).

Deployment at three levels should be developed consistently with the participation and involvement of all leaders and should have the widest possible dissemination to all staff.

4. Do not let it stop you from Urgent Tackling the Important

not let you from day to day and take firm steps on the path of constant improvement. You must set priorities taking into account not only the urgency, but also the importance of actions.

Priority + Important - Important
- Urgent III IV V

Spare resources for what is important: the benefit / cost will be greater the more important is the change. The importance of change is greater the deeper you. The fundamental change (but probably also the most difficult to manage) is the cultural change.

5. of transparency in the management: Communicate, Communicate, Communicate ...

Provide training and information. Employees need to know what managers know they should provide economic and financial information, the situation of the company relative to competitors, threats, opportunities, strengths, weaknesses, expectations of customers, the evolution market, and so on.

Not forget that communication is a process that flows both ways. Only in this way everyone can understand and be involved in decisions. The commitment is a necessary condition for unlocking, developing and operating the largest source of sustainable competitive advantage of any organization: the talent of people.

6. Please Leadership and Management Style

Organizations need fewer bosses and more leaders.

Heads base their authority in the hierarchy, the hoarding of information and seniority, while the leaders, base their authority on knowledge, the ability to generate consensus, consistency and commitment to the values of the organization .

Leaders are facilitators played a key role in neutralizing the fears that hinder and hold back change: A leader is also involved as a catalyst that promotes and encourages changes in the organization, motivating its employees, eliminating barriers, paving the way, conveying confidence by example, internal communication, training and information.

To exercise leadership simply has to lead by example and be consistent with the principles and values declared by the organization in all decisions and relationships. Should be given the leading role, responsibility and authority for natural leaders.

7. Make decisions by consensus

Should escape taxation.

Consensus requires sharing information, values and strategies and reflect on the root causes of problems. The contrasting opinions avoids miscalculation. We should not fear debate. The debate does not conflict when sharing a common interest.

The consensus is harder and requires more time than the charge, but this difficulty is more than offset by the ease and speed of implementation of decisions taken through the commitment of individuals. This ensures the effectiveness and efficiency of consensus decisions.

8. make decisions based on Facts, not Opinions

The data provide greater capacity for belief that the opinions.

The analysis and interpretation of data enables more reliable decisions, establishing cause-effect relationships that explain the evolution of organizational results and lead us to identify targets for improvement in a systematic and objective.

9. Establish processes and organizational structures that promote participatory management and the Internal and External Communications

Most organizations have structures too departmentalized, hierarchical and bureaucratic, hindering the efficiency of the organization.

Pretexts bureaucrats trying to justify the perpetuation of this unnecessary and stifling bureaucracy that only encourages them.

Efficient management requires sound structures and processes, agile and flexible to optimize resources, facilitate internal communication, participation, customer orientation, collaboration and continuous improvement.

Processes Organizational Structure
Internal Communications Involvement of People
  • Knowledge Management
  • Suggestions for Improvement and Preventive Actions
  • Job rotation and flexibility of Staff
  • Performance Evaluation
  • Education Climate Assessment
  • System Review
  • Balanced Scorecard
  • Coordinating Committees
  • Improvement Groups
  • Cells Production Skills (minifactories)
External Communication with Customers, Suppliers and Stakeholders
  • Evaluation of Customer Satisfaction
  • Complaints and Claims Management
  • Marketing
  • Strategic Alliances
  • Evaluation of Suppliers and Subcontractors
  • Product Managers
  • Cells Production Skills (minifactories)

10. Budget and controlling spending and investment in value added function

process and budgetary control can be a drag on change.

When new budgets are developed from the previous exercise with incremental changes in each budget and without question the allocation of resources, sources of inefficiency in organizations are perpetuated.

The approach of "zero-base budgeting", by contrast, is based on periodic review of the allocation of resources and activities of the company, in order to differentiate those that are necessary from unnecessary, which contribute more or less value, which are essential to the accomplishment of the mission, vision and values of the organization, and that could be outsourced to lower cost.

Structured analysis of the activities and costs, budgeting allows optimized and consistent with the vision, vision and strategies previously established, promoting continuous improvement orientation.

11. To undertake more ambitious Change

Although it seems contradictory, experience shows that the greater the depth and magnitude of change, most likely to succeed.

Probably this circumstance is due to a profound change, we are forced to change the culture and structure of the organization.

This is the axiom that underpins the "Reengineering of the Directorate. These cultural and structural aspects, which remain unchanged for small incremental changes are precisely those that impede change.


No doubt that the greatest source of competitive advantage lies in the ability of the organization to mobilize and talents of all its members. But most organizations that vast untapped potential. The following slogans can successfully meet the challenge of improving competitiveness:

  1. Neutralize Fears
  2. Explain the need for change
  3. East Change
  4. Not let it stop you from Urgent Tackling the Important
  5. Of transparency in the management: Communicate, Communicate, Communicate ...
  6. Please Leadership and Management Style
  7. Take decisions by consensus
  8. Make decisions based on data, not opinion
  9. Set organizational structures and processes that promote participatory management and the Internal and External Communications
  10. Budget and controlling expenditure and investments depending on the value added
  11. To undertake more ambitious Change

© Domingo Rey Peteiro
Sinapsys Business Solutions