The concept of change is constant during my academic career. As a student, we learn to adapt to these changes quite quickly every semester. We adapt to teaching styles, work load and schedules, new group members and most importantly the course material. So, why is this concept so challenging when we apply “changes” to an organizational setting? Accepting change to one’s work life is a difficult task. Sometimes employees feel content with status quo and refuse to accept changes. Organizational change is inevitable in business, and in order for an organization to succeed especially in today’s environment, a firm must evolve and adapt to the changes they are facing. The need for change is often driven by an imbalance between a company’s constituent stakeholders: shareholders, employees, management, customers, and communities. In order to create the balance, an organization must satisfy the needs of its stakeholders, a task which requires a great deal of time, patients, and most importantly the right change management strategies. For leaders of organizations, managing change is an important strategic yet delicate task.
Changes in the business plan, potential mergers, pressures from stakeholders, and developing a competitive advantage are several reasons for an organization to implement change. We live in an era of risk and instability. Change is constant and it is a word we hear constantly. Implementing change is a tedious process and managers must learn to strategically employ these changes.
According to several sources, there are 3 common conditions or the building blocks to successfully influence employee attitudes and manage behavior which will greatly influence the outcome of implementing organization change. Mckinsey Quarterly’s author Emily Lawson and Colin Price provided a holistic perspective in “The Psychology of Change Management,” which suggests that these 3 common conditions must be satisfied before employees will change their behavior to an alternative state. These 3 conditions are as follows and require management to organize simultaneously. I will define and state the challenges these 3 conditions will meet.
1) The art of telling a compelling story:
Similar to developing an organization’s vision, the leader must “extols the virtues of creating a compelling change story.” The leader must communicate and motivate employees for change. It’s important to understand what motivates you, does not necessarily motivate your employees. The challenge is the type of compelling story you choose to tell. Telling your employees about industry shifts, intense competition, and the need to meet industry standards may not be the most motivating stories to share with your employees who are terrified of change.
2) Role Modeling:
Leaders must influence their employees to accept change by practicing and modeling his/her behavior towards this change. Role modeling will help employees gain a better perception of what they should expect from the changes to the organization. The leader should incorporate feedback techniques similar to 360-degree feedback. Surveys, emails, conversations will help leaders gain a better perspective during this period of change.
3) Capability Building:
In order to change the way employees behave, leaders often neglect their thoughts, feelings, and beliefs. Leading by example and having good intentions may not be enough. Certain changes may require new skills, therefore an organization should create proper programs to take into account that people learn better by doing than by listening. Organizing multiple workshops and “forums” can help the organization measure and recognize if these new changes are attainable.
I believe if an organization is able to create a change environment and meet these 3 conditions then employees will be more enthusiastic to accept change. There is not a perfect formula or practice an organization can follow. The organization must understand the type of environment they had created and the behavior of its employees prior to making these changes.
 Colin Price and Emily Lawson, “The psychology of change management,” mckinscyquarterly.com, June 2003.
 “The Irrational Side to Change Management”
 Keller.S & Price.P, “Organizational Health: The Ultimate Competitive Advantage. June (2011). http://www.mckinseyquarterly.com/Organization/Change_Management/Organizational_health_The_ultimate_competitive_advantage_2820
 Sirkin. H, Keenan. P, Jackson. A, ” The Hard Side of Change Management” Oct 2005. Retrieved from http://hbr.org/2005/10/the-hard-side-of-change-management/ar/1