At certain points in time in the life of a corporation, change is very crucial as it could mean a shift to more sophisticated technology, the need to meet up with health and safety regulations, or even customer demands. However, this is easily stated than done as the successful implementation of organizational change in the workplace depends on the willingness of the staff involved. Most corporations encounter resistance from their people when changing their operations and there is a myriad of reasons for this including the fear of losing the pre-existing freedom, status quo and culture, poor communication, and presumed eventualities of economic loss (Ndecham, 2020).
However, according to Krause (2020), people do not resist change but instead what they resist is the change management process. The idea is that people only resist the change they perceive to be negative which makes the change management process entirely be about expectation setting and perspective. This is consistent with the words of the renowned scientist Peter Senge that, “People don’t resist change. They resist being changed.”
Bridges Transition Model
The Bridges Transition Model enables individuals and organizations to comprehend, manage and work through the human and personal side of change. The three stages of individual experience in times of change include the Ending, the Neutral Zone as well as the New Beginning. Transitioning is the inner psychological process that individuals undergo when internalizing and coming to terms with the new situation brought about by the change (Bridges, 1986).
Endings begin when individuals realize they are losing and come to terms with these losses that may include team members, processes, and relationships. The neutral zone comes after letting go and takes the form of crucial psychological realignments as well as repatterning as people try to learn their new roles and to create new processes. The new beginnings phase entails new values attitudes and understandings of new roles and the part they play towards the success of the change (Bridges, 1986).
Source: (William Bridges Associates, 1988)
The role of managers is to realize that change may put people into a crisis. As such, to deal with the transition the starting point ought not to be the outcome but instead it should be the ending for the people in leaving behind the old situation. Change can only succeed if managers and corporations address the transition experienced by people in the course of change. For the management, the priority ought to be in supporting people through the transition instead of pushing them as this will not only help capitalize on the opportunities for innovation but will also create organizational resilience (Bridges, 1986). Besides, the managers should direct every effort towards communicating about why the change is necessitated coupled with conducting an audit of the transition readiness of the organization. Also, the management will need to collect information from the people affected by the change towards understanding how they have been impacted and to gain their investment in the overall outcome. This also entails helping them to understand how they could positively contribute to the change as well as the imperativeness of their role in the corporation. Kebapci and Erkal (2009), hold that resistance to change has a crucial psychological effect on the change process as it enables people to buy time and thereby learn and adapt.
Change Management in Food Business
Domino’s Pizza was struggling in 2008, with its stock even hitting an all-time low. This happened even though the company had put in a lot of effort to maintain a positive brand image. By 2010 things were looking positive for the company as the brand lift its sales over Pizza Hut. Using innovative technology, creative ordering and savvy marketing the change became a success because key transformation players were able to convince the top management to also get on board with their enthusiasm eventually trickling down throughout the company’s operations (Profit&, 2019). The two years of the change management process using this Change Management Model were coupled by resistance to change, but eventually, it was all worth it when the performance increased tremendously.
The omnipresent nature of change appears to imply that it comes easily, however, in most instances this is often not the case. Lewin held that behavior tends to be a dynamic balance of forces that work in opposing sides including restraining and opposing forces. The driving forces usually push one towards the desired direction thereby resulting in change whereas restraining forces seek to prevent the change from happening by pushing one away from the desired direction. According to Morrison (2014), change can only occur if the driving forces can override the restraining forces.
Source; (Cummings, Bridgman and Brown, 2016)
Bridges, W., 1986. Managing organizational transitions. Organizational dynamics, 15(1), pp.24-33.
Cummings, S., Bridgman, T. and Brown, K.G., 2016. Unfreezing change as three steps: Rethinking Kurt Lewin’s legacy for change management. Human Relations, 69(1), pp.33-60.
Kebapci, S. and Erkal, H., 2009. Resistance to change a constructive approach for managing resistant behaviors. Baltic Business School, University of Kalmar, Kalmar.
Krause, J., 2020. People Don’t Resist Change; They Resist the Change Management Process. Achieve It. Available at: https://www.achieveit.com/resources/blog/people-dont-resist-change-they-resist-the-change-management-process [5 June 2021].
Morrison, M., 2014. Kurt Lewin’s change theory three-step model–unfreeze, change, freeze. rapid.
Ndecham, C., 2020. Organizational Change- Why it is Often Resisted. Available at: https://ndecham.org/2020/04/27/organisational-change-why-it-is-often-resisted/ [5 June 2021].
Profit&., 2019. 7 Real Examples of Successful Change Management in Business. Available at: https://insights.profitand.com/blog/real-life-examples-of-successful-change-management-in-business [5 June 2021].
Slattery, J., 2013. Change management. Journal of Strategic Leadership, 4(2), pp.1-5.