Where is the organization?
Where do we want to go?
The next step is to define the organization goals or dreamed situation. Goals and dreamed situations have to be determined before any action is taken. People in organizations have a tendency to rush into action without taking the time to clarify their goals. The failure is then almost unavoidable. The definition of a mission and a vision should be done as early as possible in the organization life. Other decisions on the short/long term will be based on those fundamental decisions. It is then possible to take consistent decisions across the organization and in time.
How do we get there?
The third step is to determine the actions to take to achieve the goal determined previously. Leaders should compare the current state of the organization with its desired state. The gaps identified give an indication of the type of actions that needs to be taken. Organizations have to evaluate their resources (employees, financial state, localization…) in order to determine their capabilities. By doing so, organizations are able to list possible and desirable actions to achieve their goal. This “action plan” will determine the allocation of resources: the people to involve, the time frame, and the criteria that will allow the success’ evaluation afterward. Several processes can be used to guide the change. Some of them are Soft System Methodology (Checkland) and Strategic Planning.
Creating scenarios can help anticipate possible issues to come. This allows you to create contingency plans because it is always better to prepare for the worse to get the best result possible.
Change management is a complex task as it involves dealing with employees responses. Desired or unexpected change bring discomfort in organization which can lead to unsuccessful adaptation. The reaction of employees facing change will be the subject of my next post.