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Effective Change Management in organisations

Change in companies is more than often met with angst and various negative emotions within an organisation and its employees and causes the process to lengthen and require more resources as well as time to complete. Successful change management should focus on the impacts on the organisation structure as well as the well-being of the employees with productivity and improvement in mind.



Successful change management is done by the correct identification of the current situation of the company via project management tools. After identification of the current internal and external factors that influence the company, an organisational strategy can be set in place, this underlines three main strategies for change namely:


  • Behavioural Strategy – This strategy focuses on changing the attitudes and values of the employees, communicating all changes to them, and providing reasons for change. Leadership and motivation of employees are the focus.

  • Structural Strategy – Introduction of the program management office to the functional groups and integration thereof.

  • Operations Strategy – Operational and method changes to the business must align to the critical success factors of the company as identified in various project management tools.


 Strategic Organisational Breakdown flow chart











Figure 1: Strategic Organisational Breakdown flow chart



Problems that may be faced when organisational change is implemented:


  • Unobtainable change goals - Measurable and constant goals must be set up and provided to the entire team (all levels of management and workforce) to make sure individual and company morale is kept high and that efficient working levels and tangible results can be seen to motivate the team going forward.

  • Insufficient planning and omission of a programme office - A management-through-programmes tactic will deliver the best results for a transformational and organisational change.

  • Lack of team motivation and self-efficacy - Low self-efficacy and an external locus of control. When self-efficacy is low, the employee believes that they are incapable of preforming tasks and achieving a certain goal as an individual or as a team.

  • Unattractive reward system and low motivational levels of employees - Reward systems that promote cooperation between employees and the opportunity to celebrate other endeavours are found to have a vastly positive impact on the company culture.

  • No leadership - Superior strategic leadership is an integral tool to achieve a competitive edge over competitors and build cohesion. Strategic leadership is the key driver of strategic implementation (Louw & Venter 2013)

  • Clarification of roles and responsibilities within the company - When defining roles and responsibilities within an organisation the focus point that comes to mind is clear, honest, and exact communication through-out the entire organisation from the top tiers of management, functional managers and lastly the employees of the company.


Methods/principles that can be used when organisational change is implemented:

Before a strategic change plan can be set in place, one must first do a situation analysis. This describes the present organisational climate; it identifies internal and external factors that influences the organisation and gives a current view of all processes and employee well-being. The Pestel analysis tool is used to identify macro-environmental factors that can impact the organisation. These factors are divided into 6 Main categories of discussion namely: Political, Economic, Sociocultural, Technology, Environmental and Legal - PESTEL Analysis


After a complete analysis is conducted, the focus should be on the three main strategies for change and various tools can be utilised to identify and change the strategies.


Operations Strategy

This focuses on the change of operations and methods;


Order of change

Robbins (2005) states change can be divided into two main categories namely:


  • First order change -This consists of evolutionary and incremental change which is small scale changes that influences the present situation without disrupting the general work cohesion of the company.

  • Second order change - This includes transformational and strategic changes to the entire organisation. These changes conclude in total change of the company and leads to a new competitive advantage for the company.


John Kotter’s eight step change model

Kotter (1996) described that, change is mainly influenced by the increasing demands of globalization this effects all facets of business and human life. Rouse (2006) stated that, change incorporates a framework for managing change in the organisation procedures like new processes, changes in organisational structures or organisational culture changes in a company.


John Kotter’s eight step change model















Figure 2: John Kotter’s eight step change model



Behavioural Strategy

This focuses on the change of values and attitudes of the employees:


Focus on Emotional Intelligence (EI) in leadership:

Leadership must also comprise of Emotional Intelligence factors:

  • Self-Awareness -The ability to not only analyse and comprehend your own emotions but identify your strengths and weaknesses within oneself. This ability creates self-confidence, the correct evaluation of situations and how we come across to others in social situations.

  • Self-Management - Controlling how a person expresses their own emotions, responds rationally to a situation rather than reacting emotionally. Setting definite goals, being honest with yourself, having a positive outlook on life and to change course in life or a situation if necessary.

  • Social Awareness - Empathizing with group and social situations. Showing compassion towards others and contributing in various ways where the outcome not only influences yourself but others. The ability to convey your ideas and feelings in an appropriate manner.

  • Relationship Management - Working well with others in a team situation, identifying change and the need to develop skills and knowledge to better a situation or relationship. Clearly portray ideas and communicate this to others.


Structural Strategy

This focuses on the change of organisational structure.


Creation of a Programme office:

To control changes and facilitate all factors of organisational changes, a programme office must be implemented. Murray-Webster et al. (2000) concluded that programme management provides a cross functional framework through a multiple levels of change factors that is encapsulated in the various milestones and deliverables.


Recommendation for change

Organisational change is driven by the employee complement and internal structures within the company and due to this a behavioural strategy must be set in place that focuses on the motivation of the individual and groups within the company. Leadership must be investigated and set in place to ensure that all roles and responsibilities are clear and communicated to all relevant parties. Together with behavioural strategy changes, a programme office must be created to enforce and monitor change within the company. This will ensure that all facets of change are monitored, regulated, and corrected if need be. Continuous processes must be set in place to ensure that change is constant and makes sure the company stays ahead of the innovation curve. These changes will ensure the growth of the company and a prosperous future of growth. Change is a constant in business and must be treated as an integral part of organisational success.


Rian Nell

Project Manager: Innovation & IoT

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