Topic: Managing Change
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Think back to a change that you have experienced in either your personal or professional life.
Write down your experience of change in about one page, and then answer these questions
What made this experience a “story?’
Part of the attraction of a story is that it will usually have a main character or groups of characters to whom the reader/listener can relate. A story usually has tension and an emotional perspective, as well as factual information. In the text, the change stories include both subjective and factual details. The stories have just enough information to set the scene and explain the importance of the situation. Each story tells of an incident or situation, along with the consequence(s) or choice(s) that the character/company has to resolve or face.
What lessons for managing change can you take from your story?
Refer to Figure 1.2 and think through the different aspects involved in change.
Cameron, E. & Green, M. (2021). Making sense of change management. (4th ed.). Great Britain: Kogan Page Limited.
Palmer, I., Dunford, R., & Buchanan, D. (2020). Managing Organizational Change (3rd ed.): McGraw Hill. New York, NY.
Taylor, S. S., Fisher, D., & Dufresne, R. L. (2020). The aesthetics of management storytelling: A key to organizational learning. Management Learning 33(3) 313-330. New Delhi. Sage Publications.
First :A change is the project, initiative, or solution introduced within an organization to enhance the way work is performed, address a problem, or seize an opportunity (Prosci, n.d.). Almost every organization-improving project, initiative, or solution will have an impact on how employees perform their day-to-day duties. And this statement is accurate because I have undergone a number of changes in my professional life, and I will share one of them with you now.Smartflow technologies Limited (SFTL) is one of Nigeria’s rapidly expanding fuel management systems companies. The company, which began in 2009 in a small room somewhere in Lagos, Nigeria, with a team of three, has experienced tremendous growth and now employs more than 200 people across the country.When I joined SFTL in 2013, the organization was at a primitive stage in which the managing director was responsible for hiring and firing, the Admin manager doubled as an accountant, the engineering manager was responsible for literally driving his subordinates to the work sites, and all processes, particularly warehouse processes, were done manually through Excel and paper. I’d say that the number of players, i.e. employees, was not a problem for the organization’s manual processes between 2009 and 2015. In 2016, however, the company’s marketing strategy was altered by the addition of aftersales maintenance to its list of turnkey products and services, resulting in a significant increase in customer subscriptions. Numerous major gas retailers, including Total Energies (TE), Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC), Exxon Mobil and Oando, Heineken, etc., have awarded SFTL contracts for the nationwide supply and maintenance of gas station dispensers. As a result, SFTL had to expand departments, increase the number of employees, and geographically disperse them throughout the 36 states. With this new trend came a number of challenges that demanded significant changes to all their processes, and one of the issues that the organization faced was the conversion of work processes from manual to intelligent systems to improve the unification and ease of interaction among all departments by utilizing Enterprise Resource Planning Systems (ERP). However, while the organization was contemplating this major change, the selection of the most suitable ERP for their business posed a challenge, so the following checklist was developed.Assessment of the business structureSelection of the appropriate ERP productModification of all processesSubscription to the chosen ERP systemInitiation of the change management process (update procedures, documentation, and processes)Training of all parties involved (tech, operations, admin, and management)Professional implementation of the ERP system.Stories about change can be a source of valuable practical lessons and contribute to our general comprehension of change (Palmer, Dunford, & Buchanan, 2019). This experience is a story because one could learn that changes in business trends and strategies will have a multiplier effect on the business’s operations as a whole.Change always entails expenses. In my narrative, employees resist change for a variety of reasons, such as a perceived loss of territory and control or worries about how they will be perceived if they are unprepared for new ways of doing things. They were even concerned about maintaining relationships with coworkers if they moved away from their friends. But ultimately, the change resulted in improved collaboration, greater employee engagement, and an energizing work environment.Even the word “change” tends to make people apprehensive (Change Management: Lessons Learned + Best Practices, 2019). Be prudent in your implementation of change. Doing so without sufficient support is doomed to fail, resulting in a great deal of resentment but little buy-in. Instead, adopt a deliberate approach to change management. Consider it as insurance for what is likely to be a substantial investment — an investment not only in space, but also in a holistic experience and new behaviors that will undoubtedly contribute to organizational performance.References Palmer, I., Dunford, R., & Buchanan, D. (2019). Managing Organizational Change: A Multiple Perspectives Approach (4th ed.). McGraw Hill.Change Management: Lessons Learned + Best Practices. (2019, August 8). Steelcase. https://www.steelcase.com/research/articles/topics/culture-talent/change-management-lessons-learned-best-practices/Prosci (n.d.). Definition of Change Management. Definition of Change Management. https://www.prosci.com/resources/articles/definition-of-change-management
Second :Change is an essential thing in everyone’s personal and professional life. It allows us to move forward and experience new and exciting things. I want to share an experience that helped me to change my life. In 2017 I finished my schooling and decided to get a Bachelor’s. For that, I decided to attend a university in a different state in my country. I was very excited about attending the school. On the first day, I entered my class, and it was shocking to see the students because 75% were international students. At that time, I had just gotten out of school, and my English was not so strong that I could talk with them easily. I was watching the students and how fast they were speaking to each other; I was listening and what they were saying but needed more confidence to talk to someone. The motivation I took from this was that I must set plans to build confidence to speak and listen. I met with some soft skills professors in my department and shared my problem. After listening to some professors’ guidance, I chose one professor I felt could help me. In her direction and education, I enrolled in some soft skills clubs whose agenda was weekly debates, discussions, writing, confidence building, and speaking. These clubs helped me immensely in one year to generate confidence and speaking skills, which I feared. The lessons which I take from my experience are:Always have a good planLeave your past behind. If you have decided, then don’t leave in the middle.Don’t care about what people think.Always conclude the day by revising what you did today and where to improve. If you believe you can do it and have a good plan, never be feared of doing something. I believe new mistakes give experience, not failure.