Strategies for Overcoming Barriers to Organizational Change

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  • 0:00 Change in Organizations
  • 1:00 Developing a Strategy
  • 1:27 Focusing on Communication
  • 2:28 Involving Employees
  • 3:08 Creating Leadership Teams
  • 4:01 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Lori Forrest

Lori has taught college Finance, Operations and Business courses for over five years. She has a master's degree in both Accounting and Project Management.

As companies look to innovate and grow, organizational change is to be expected. While organizational change may be risky, it can also set the company up for continued future success. This lesson will review strategies for overcoming barriers to organizational change.

Change in Organizations

Change in organizations is common in business today. External factors such as customers, competition, technology, or other drivers within the market drive organizations to change. In addition, internal factors such as reorganization, management strategies, or performance objectives can drive the need for organizational changes. Understanding strategies that can be implemented to help overcome the different barriers to change is key for management. No two companies operate the same way, and most try to create something unique within their business environment that differentiates them from their competitors and gives them a competitive advantage. This leads to more complex processes, business systems, and products that also make change more challenging. Organizations that fail to fully understand their own complexity and work diligently to assess and identify change management requirements will have a high risk of failure.

Developing a Strategy

Planning a trip anywhere involves looking at a map and deciding how you will get from Point A to Point B. Depending on your method of travel, some level of coordination among those traveling with you may be required. Many decisions will need to be made to formulate a plan for your trip. Like planning a trip, developing a vision and strategy for change will help provide guidance to an organization. Think of this as a road map or directions for where the company is headed and how to get there.

Focusing on Communication

Great, you've developed a vision and strategy, so what's next? Even the best plans will fail if they are not communicated properly. If you buy tickets for your family to fly to your vacation destination but don't bother to let anyone know when and where to be, would you be surprised if some of your family did not show up? It works the same within an organization. Without communicating to your employees about the change and management's vision, how can you expect them to be on board and ready to go when it's time? There is no such thing as over-communication when it comes to change management. Developing a communication plan that is consistent, frequent, and makes use of all communication methods available is important. Key things that should be communicated include:

  • The vision
  • The reason change is needed
  • The strategy for change
  • How changes will affect the employees personally, to avoid having them draw their own conclusions
  • How change will be measured and monitored
  • How employees can provide feedback throughout the change process
  • Allowing and encouraging employees to ask questions

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