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Queen's University IRC

Change Management

Three Categories of Resistance

A Closer Look at Resistance to Change

Dealing with resistance is tough work, but avoiding this work only makes change more difficult. When facing major change, management tends to view the new direction as an opportunity, while employees face the change with feelings of uncertainty, fear and disruption. Furthermore, most change leaders underestimate the amount of resistance they will face. However, as this case shows, external conditions, trust in the organization, and skillful handling of resistance can all contribute to lessening resistance and increasing support for a change initiative.

The How of Change Management

The How of Change

After you know who will lead a change initiative, why the change is necessary and what future you are trying to create, you come to the “how”—the activities you must plan to implement the change successfully. This is tough work because of the countless details that must be thought through and included in a change rollout plan. Forget something crucial here, and your change may be in jeopardy, as is highlighted in the following case study.
 

Creating a Motivating Vision for Change Projects

The What of Change

Most experts advocate creating a vision as a necessary step in any change initiative. But managers have a tough time following this advice. Change vision statements are often too long, too confusing or too generic to motivate action in the direction of the change. It's tough to condense the vision into a couple of sentences or paragraphs that sing, but it is worthwhile to try. A clear vision is important for change leaders to think through because it forces you to identify exactly what you are aiming for instead of some vague, fuzzy or rosy picture of the future.

Key Success Factors of Planned Change Projects

Key Success Factors of Planned Change Projects

The statistics about the implementation of change in organizations are dismal. For decades now, business writers from all walks of life have been bemoaning the large failure rate of change projects. For example, one study reported that 70 percent of critical change efforts fail to achieve their intended results. Additionally, more executives are fired for mismanaging change than other reasons, such as ignoring customers.

The Tough Work of Managing Change

The Tough Work of Managing Change

The literature on change management contains a lot of advice about formulating a change idea and planning it at a high level but much less on how to implement the idea once it has been created. For example, although strategy implementation is viewed as an integral part of the strategic management process, little has been written or researched on it. Likewise, in the public sector there is a great deal of advice on how to formulate public policy, and many academic courses teach this.

The Who of Change

The Who of Change

Two groups are crucial to any change project: planners and implementers. The planners, typically more senior than the implementers, must answer some important questions before they hand over the initiative for implementation. When these questions are not dealt with adequately, the initiative can get off to a shaky start.  In this paper, I will give you those key questions and also advice for overcoming what I call the "iron curtain between planning and implementation."

The WHY of the Change Management Process

The Why of Change

The first thing people want to know when a change is proposed is why this change is necessary. If you don't have a very good answer, then they will not buy into your change initiative. Statistics show that having a good percentage of supporters at the outset of a change initiative is strongly associated with success. This paper addresses how to create the felt need for change and a sense of urgency for the change throughout the organization.

Paul Juniper, Director, Queen's IRC

Director’s Note – January 2015

There has been a great deal of discussion these days about generational differences at work. Millennials are seeking different rewards than their older co-workers, and evolving technology is changing the way we all do our jobs. In such a diverse and constantly shifting environment, how do we build teams that foster collaboration, trust and a shared vision for success? Queen's IRC programs tackle that challenge head on, using evidence-based tools and hands-on activities to help you design processes and practices that result in a positive work environment that clearly contributes to the bottom line.

Humber College

The Case for Change at Humber College: The HRMS Innovation Project – Part 1

Over the past two years Humber College has undergone significant change towards being strategically positioned as the leader in Polytechnic education in Ontario.  In September 2013 Humber launched a revitalized brand to support student success. In supporting Humber’s value of innovation, HR Services over the next year and a half, will undertake a transformational change initiative to our HR systems most notably with the design and implementation of a new HRMS technology business platform for managing our HR processes. This paper represents the first in a series of papers that will follow this case study throughout its project lifecycle and describe the College’s journey in implementing a major change initiative.  

What Every Change Manager and Change Leader Needs to Know Before Jumping into Implementation

Change Management 101: What Every Change Manager and Change Leader Needs to Know BEFORE Jumping into Implementation

Are you the leader of a change effort and stuck in the weeds? Have you read the latest Change Management book, but no one seems to be following you? Are you frustrated that your team or your organization seem to have forgotten that you shared your vision with them already? It could be that you have a sense of your vision but you haven’t defined it in detail. It could be that your vision doesn’t captivate your team. It could be that you are focusing your efforts on creating the perfect plan.

Kathy Cowan Sahadath

Reinventing Perspectives on Organizational Change

Today's business environment is dynamic and highly uncertain. To become and remain successful, organizations must successfully respond to constantly changing conditions. This paper will provide a brief overview of the various perspectives that have guided the field of organization development and change management, with sections that will describe practical application of change management intervention methods for targets of change, and understanding organizational change resistance.

Figure 1. Conceptual framework – Integrated model for change

Integrating Organizational Change: Scholarship and Work Practice

The purpose of this paper is to form a rich and integrated understanding of the phenomena of organizational change within a project environment, exploring the frameworks upon which classical change theory is developed. I discuss the role of research and the application of research findings in this area of study, based on one Canadian utility company's performance with change initiatives.  

An Innovative Approach to Fostering a Culture of Service Excellence in the City of Ottawa

This case study describes how a team of organizational development (OD) and human resource (HR) specialists worked as partners with the City of Ottawa’s operational and shared services leaders to change the way all City employees provide service excellence. Beverley Patwell (an external OD consultant), Donna Gray (Director, ServiceOttawa Department, City of Ottawa), and Steve …

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Essential Attributes and Behaviours of a Change Leader

This literature review examines the topics of change management and leadership by exploring how leadership attributes contribute to and/or hinder the successfulness of a change initiative. The main question undergirding this report is: What are some of the essential attributes and behaviours of an effective change leader? Three broad themes are included in this report: …

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Change management: How change leaders mitigate employees’ change-induced stress

Introduction At the most general level, organizational change is present when a workplace experiences a difference in its functions, members, leaders, or form (as cited in Weick and Quinn, 1999). This change subsequently requires an adaptive response on the part of employees (Jex, 2002). Evidence suggests that perceptions of stress in the workplace result from …

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Sharon Parker

Change and the Common Company

Every organization is DOING change management and many even have a dedicated change team. In the past 20 years, the practitioners and researchers in the field have seen a shift from hiring change management consultants to developing change management teams within an organization. Based on my experience, I provide my insights on the change process and suggest a practical approach to managing change in an organization.
 

Exploring the Roots of Large-Group Change Techniques

With organizations and their environments in a state of constant flux, organizational development scholars have been challenged to create and practice methodologies that enable fast, yet comprehensive change. In answer to the call, a wide range of large-group change techniques has emerged to promote whole-systems adaptability. While the technologies differ in their focus and approach, …

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Downsizing Your Organization? Lessons from the Trenches

In this current difficult economic climate, many organizations are facing the unfortunate necessity to downsize and streamline. Astute executives and HR managers, many of whom have been through previous rounds of downsizing, realize that they must approach it carefully because both research and experience have shown that there are many negative consequences to this process. …

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