Change Management: The Irish Defence Forces Re-Organisation 2012 BY YOU YOUR SCHOOL INFO HERE DATE HERE Change Management: The Irish Defence Forces Re-Organisation 2012 Introduction A recognised defence budget of €688 million for 2012 was insufficient to sustain previous organisational structure for the Irish Defence Forces, leading to sweeping changes that include task role consolidation, facilities divestiture, and reduction of combat service and support units…
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It is often through emergent learning that efficiencies, change commitment, and new best practice are realised, meaning that change management can be an elongated, experiential learning experience. However, the dynamics of the Irish Defence Forces as a public service organisation and one with considerable operational transparency to external stakeholders forbids lack of capacity to implement a rapid and successful change program. Inefficiencies, change resistance, lack of productivity, and poor resource utilisation pose substantial risks to the Irish people, thus demanding competence from all internal stakeholders and systems to ensure satisfactory protectionism. The physical restructuring of the organisation is not the most critical dimension when attempting to examine change projects and the consequences of sweeping organisational restructuring and personnel downsizing. The human behavioural characteristics associated with perceptions and attitudes regarding the change will significantly impact whether the change project meets with rapid and long-term positive outcomes. This essay examines change management as it applies to the Irish Defence Forces, the principles and best practice models available to ensure successful change implementation, and proposes effective strategies to reduce change in order to guarantee stakeholder commitment to satisfying change imperatives. Towards a best practice model of change management Change management takes many forms, however the process generally includes reorganisation of personnel, resources or work teams from a previous state to a future, desired state. Examples of changes occurring with the organisation that require a change management approach include alterations to existing mission and vision, operational changes, technological implementation, or ensuring attitudinal changes of key personnel. Change management is about ensuring proper alignment between strategic expectations and human interaction within a change model to ensure commitment, efficiency, and human productivity. Change management removes potential distractions occurring within the organisational environment in order to maximise the benefits of a desired change program (Kotter 2011, p.54). The human behavioural components of a change management program and their influence in whether the concept meets with short- and long-term success cannot be over-stated. In the case of the Irish Defence Forces, routine budgetary analyses determined the most efficient and cost-effective methodology of restructuring support teams and facilities, which led to a new organisational model that was logical and competent in terms of physical resource reallocation. However, in a message to troops by Lt. Gen. Sean McCann, he spelled out many concerns that could arise from the change program, which required establishing divisional champions to take account for a variety of diverse stakeholder problems (Defence Forces Ireland 2012). In the same message, McCann identifies the potential problems that can impact personnel and family members, intimating that the change program could create a variety of psychologically-based or sociologically-based
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