Read this article. Can you think of a time when you felt left in the dark about a change? How did it make you feel, and how did you react? Respond in your journal.
In every life, change is the only constant. We come to know our parents and siblings, later our friends and relatives and along our journey of discovery, we find out that not everyone sees things as we do. This is an important consideration for organizations. After all, who makes up organizations? It's people, and as people enter an organization they do so with their personal experiences, beliefs, and considerations. In business schools, the change concepts of Kurt Lewin and John Kotter are taught as a way to help managers or future managers to address the issue of change coming to an organization.
When change is about to occur, the workforce naturally becomes concerned with the unknown. The manager or administrative team should be proactive in dealing with the issue. It's not uncommon among beings to fear or resist the unknown. The more that leaders can take a role in explaining the reasons for the change(s) and how the employee (s) may or will benefit from it helps to make the transition that much easier. It will not guarantee that all involved or impacted will come to accept or appreciate the change(s) but, they will have a better understanding of whether or not the change is a problem or an opportunity for them.
Change in organizations can come from external sources such as legislation (e.g. laws, policies, or procedures). It also can come from social pressure as particular groups within a given society call for/demand change to meet a goal or vision they believe to be important such as Civil Rights in the 50s and 60s and Women's Rights in the 70s. Organizational leaders must be aware of the support such causes bring and how that in turn may impact their organization. The more prepared leadership and management are for the coming change, the more they can set strategy early on to introduce the change into their organization and not let the change come and have their workers react to it.
The highly diverse world we live in presents opportunities for change on almost a daily basis, whether it be because of evolving technologies, social or cultural pressures, political or economic forces; change is inevitable and the best thing to do is understand when it's coming and how to be ready to adapt. Think about the American workforce. In the nation's early history, a lot of jobs centered around agriculture or agricultural needs. The skills developed for positions relative to that field helped the worker to become successful. When the Industrial Revolution happened, it created a whole new knowledge and skill set for workers. Suddenly, shoeing a horse or raising a crop wasn't as relative to the labor market as the willingness to work in a factory or a packing plant. We can move forward to our current society. The Industrial Revolution skills that worked well when factories and manufacturing were in vogue are not as in demand today. Sometime around the 1970s, the economy switched from a manufacturing-based one to a service-based one. The ability to interact with others, effectively lead people and other interpersonal skills became important. We forward to our current society. Service and interpersonal skills are still needed but today, those skills have to be transitioned into a technology-based economy,
The labor industry like the fossil fuel industry has seen dramatic changes from the time where they once had significant power to one where their necessity is being challenged. There are those who may not like it but, that's the impact of change.
Consider how much things have changed over the course of your life and respond to the following:
A person today who had little or no understanding of computer use is much like a person in the late 1900s who could not read or write. In a sense, they are both functionally illiterate.
Source: Charles R. Nichols
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