It is important to note that change is an inevitable part of any organization. However, the change must be well managed and organized. Failure to manage change may bring about a number of problems including but not limited to false starts as well as sabotage. In this text, I discuss the various phases in the organizational change process and come up with the phases that were not completed or implemented at the concord bookshop that lead to the change failure.
The phases in the organizational change process
According to Schein (2010), the change process must be informed by a number of steps to increase its chances of success. Most of these steps are based upon the suggestions of John Kotter, a change management and leadership guru. The first phase in the organizational change process involves the creation of urgency which enhances motivation with regard to the need for change. The second phase may involve coming up with a coalition that can be regarded as powerful. According to Schein (2010), creating an able coalition from people of influence around the organization including but not limited to people with the right influence, job title as well as expertise is critical to the success of the change process. The next phase includes the creation of change vision followed by the communication of the created vision. The fifth phase includes the elimination of obstacles. This has been regarded as the most important phase in the change process as it helps in the identification as well as elimination of obstacles that may be an impediment or frustrate the realization of change. The sixth phase involves the creation of wins (short-term) with the seventh phase being informed by building on change. According to Kotter, there is a real risk of failure as far as a given project is concerned when the declaration of victory is made prematurely. Thus all in all, to achieve long term change there exists a great need to build on the short term gains already made. The last phase involves the entrenchment of the changes in the corporate culture.
A discussion: the concord Bookshop
It is important to note that in the case of concord bookshop, a number of phases in the organizational change process have been disregarded hence bringing along the current impasse. To begin with, the Bookshop’s president representing the owners of the same fail to communicate the vision and the need for the same to the employees. Indeed, it is important to note that the creation of the vision is not complete by itself. Instead, the vision needs to be communicated in a timely manner and this goes a long way to determine the success of the vision. In the case of the Concord bookshop, the need for change, i.e. financial difficulties is not effectively communicated and that is why David Donald, Harvard’s history professor notes that “they had already made their plans….we were expendable employees….”
Next, there is no creation of a coalition. It is important to note that convincing people of the need for change is as important as the change process itself. Further, the change process must have credible leadership. By leaving out the management of the Concord Bookshop in the change process, the owners of the Bookshop have ignited dissent which may threaten the very success of the plan. The owners of the bookshop seem to be telling the management ‘it’s either our way or the highway’. This essentially means that even if a new General Manager shall be hired, his stay at the position may be frustrated by the employees further hurting the finances of the bookshop.
In conclusion, it is important to note that there is need to plan well to ensure the change process is successful. This essentially means that proper planning smoothes the way for change hence facilitating its achievement. Further, there is a great need to choose leaders of change and ensure that all obstacles to change are eliminated amongst other things.
Schein, E.H, (2010); Organizational Culture and Leadership, John Wiley and Sons