Skip to main content

Home/ Diigo In Education/ A Few Cautions About Organizational Change
Chuck Baker

A Few Cautions About Organizational Change - 43 views

change reform innovation vision

started by Chuck Baker on 15 Nov 10
  • Chuck Baker
    A Few Cautions About Organizational Change
    - from Dr. Jane Howland, ISLT 9475 Diffusion of Educational Innovations instructional materials, University of Missouri

    TOO often, organizational change efforts are destined for failure due to an all-to-common set of errors. That's really too bad because, as you will see, most of these errors are avoidable.

    ERROR: Allowing too much complacency

    SOLUTION: Establish a sense of urgency. As long as people believe that nothing is "on the line" they will tend to hang onto the status quo.

    ERROR: Failing to create a powerful guiding coalition

    SOLUTION: Every organization has key players (opinion leaders). It the opinion leaders aren't working with you, they are working against you. Don't avoid opinion leaders who are resisting the change; get to know them and understand their perspective.

    ERROR: Underestimating the power of vision

    SOLUTION: Use clear, concise terminology that everyone can understand, support, and explain. Avoid confusing organizational vision (where you want to be) and organizational mission (how you will get there).

    ERROR: Undercommunicating the vision

    SOLUTION: To be effective, the vision must be in front of people. It becomes the lead-in to planning documents and evaluation reports. It is in the hallways, on the web site, and in the language of the leadership team.

    ERROR: Permitting obstacles to block the vision

    SOLUTION: Day-to-day tasks and unexpected problems block vision. Use the vision to decide which tasks to do, which problems to solve. Ask: How will completing this task or solving this problem help us attain our vision?

    ERROR: Failing to create short-term wins

    SOLUTION: Short-term wins provide a sense of accomplishment, reaffirm the vision, and otherwise make life a bit more enjoyable. Look for opportunities that will provide a sense of accomplishment and closure along the way to attaining the vision.

    ERROR: Declaring victory too soon

    SOLUTION: Change is not complete just because everyone is doing something different. Information, rewards, and experiences reinforcing the change must accompany the changes in practice. Constant, long-term diligence is the key.

    ERROR: Neglecting to anchor changes in culture

    SOLUTION: Ultimately, any change is destined to fail if the organizational culture does not support the change. Monitor the values and mores of the organization for possible conflicts with the innovation. Position and present the innovation to avoid the perception of such conflicts.

To Top

Start a New Topic » « Back to the Diigo In Education group