ABSTRACT Managing change is a matter of great concern for most organizational leaders due to the constantly evolving business environment. Personal reflection on change was meant to set us thinking on how we could manage change better or perhaps we find some drawbacks in certain models or approaches…
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Introduction Change occurs from time to time and change is the nature of things. Nothing in this world is constant or unchangeable. Would we like our own house for instance, if for years we had the same furniture, the same upholstery, the same colors? We like to make things different and we also know that any change around the house makes us feel better. The mind wants change but when the mind is not prepared for the change, it resists change. However, if we are informed of the change in advance we become mentally prepared for it and then we are not disturbed. This implies that change causes resistance when change is not accompanied or preceded by effective communication. Change is also a part of the life cycle of any product. When we speak of different stages in the life cycle of an organization or a product or service, change is implied. Abrahamson (2004) believes that without pain no change is possible and justifies that either one must change or perish. Why, then is change in the corporate world a topic for discussions, for theory formation and framework building? Focusing on the personal perception of change management this paper analyzes the factors that influence change as has been seen during the semester projects. The change management process studied during the semester will be reviewed along with the skills necessary for change. Change can occur in an organization for varied reasons ranging from change in the stage of the life cycle, to change during mergers and acquisitions, during downsizing, restructuring and during expansion and growth (Stanleigh, 2008). Change, in fact, is essential for progress as the human mind always seeks something new, something different, something exciting. However, I never realized that change could require so much planning to be effective. Having spent hours on the topic and having read about how changes have been implemented within different organizations, I realize that change has to be effectively managed. When I compare it with an individual’s life, I find change in our life has to be equally well managed. Change cannot be a hap hazard process. This paper will reflect on the change management process adopted by Apple and McDonald's and what planning went behind the change. Critical Review We were first analyzed the organizational change undertaken by Apple. The drivers of change at Apple were competition, finances and open unidentified markets. These were arrived at through SWOT analysis and Five Forces Model which helped to understand the initiative for change undertaken by Apple. However, it appears that Apple’s focus was on enhancing profits as the employees as well as the customers were confused with so many models available at the same time in the market. They did not have a customer-centric approach which is essential for any new product launch. They did not try to understand customer needs and communication was lacking at Apple. Communication and information must precede change. This sounds so simple to implement but what I have learnt through reading and find it extremely interesting, is that communication is not a simple term that encompasses the quality or the ability to talk. It does not merely mean to inform or speak; it also means to listen. Having the strength and courage to listen to subordinates in an organization enhances communications (Pfeffer & Sutton, 1999). Thus, listening is also a part of communication. The
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