Organizational Change and Development
(Managing Change and Change Management)

Today, teams and organizations face rapid change like never before. Globalization has increased the markets and opportunities for more growth and revenue. However, increasingly diverse markets have a wide variety of needs and expectations that must be understood if they are to become strong customers and collaborators. Concurrently, scrutiny of stakeholders has increased as some executives have been convicted of illegal actions in their companies, and the compensation of executives seems to be increasing while wages of others seems to be decreasing or leveling off. Thus, the ability to manage change, while continuing to meet the needs of stakeholders, is a very important skill required by today's leaders and managers.

NOTE: This site distinguishes the difference between "organizational development" and "Organization Development." The former phrase refers to the nature and scope of change in organizations, i.e., the change is to the entire organization or to a significant portion of the organization. The latter phrase refers to a field of well-trained people with expertise in guiding successful organizational development.

(For training about consulting to organizations, see the Consultants Development Institute.)


Sections of This Topic Include

Foundations for Managing Change in Organizations

Introduction
- - - Why Is It Critical for Leaders and Managers to Be Successful at Organizational Change? Because It's Their Job
- - - Focus and Scope of this Library Topic
Broad Context for Organizational Change and Development
- - - Understanding Organizations, Leadership and Management
- - - Understanding Organizational Performance Management
- - - Systems Thinking
Professionalism of Practitioners Focused on Organizational Change and Development
- - - About the Field of Organization Development (OD)
- - - Understanding Yourself as an Instrument of Change
- - - Consulting -- Professionalism and Ethics

Approaches and Methods for Managing Change

Overview of Change Management
- - - Clearing Up the Language About Organizational Change and Development
- - - An Orientation to Change Management
- - - Specific Types of Organizational Change
- - -
Key Roles During Change Management
- - - An Example Philosophy and Some Various Perspectives and Models From Which to Manage Change
- - - Miscellaneous Perspectives on Organizational Change
Example of a Planned, Systemic Change Process -- Action Research
- - - Phase 1: Clarifying Expectations and Roles, Assessing Readiness, RFPs, Contracts and Getting Buy-In
- - - Phase 2: Joint Discovery and Feedback to Identify Priorities for Change
- - - Phase 3: Joint Planning of Organizational Development Activities to Address Priorities
- - - Phase 4: Change Management and Joint Evaluation
Possible Organizational Development Activities ("Interventions") to Use in Change Management Processes
- - - How People Choose Organizational Development Activities
- - - Human Process Interventions (Group and Individual Human Relations)
- - - Technostructural Interventions (Structures, Technologies, Positions, etc.)
- - - Human Resource Management Interventions (Individual and Group Performance Management)
- - - Strategic Interventions (Organization and Its External Environment)

General Resources

General Resources
- - - Service Organizations Focused on Organizational Change and Development
- - - Online Groups
- - - Toolkits, Etc.
- - - Bibliographies of Books About Change Management

Also see
Related Library Topics

Also See the Library's Blogs Related to Organizational Change

In addition to the articles on this current page, see the following blogs which have posts related to Organizational Change. Scan down the blog's page to see various posts. Also see the section "Recent Blog Posts" in the sidebar of the blog or click on "next" near the bottom of a post in the blog.

Library's Consulting and Organizational Development Blog
Library's Leadership Blog
Library's Supervision Blog



FOUNDATIONS FOR MANAGING CHANGE IN ORGANIZATIONS

Introduction

Why Is It Critical for Leaders and Managers to Be Successful at Organizational Change? Because It's Their Job

Significant organizational change occurs, for example, when an organization changes its overall strategy for success, adds or removes a major section or practice, and/or wants to change the very nature by which it operates. It also occurs when an organization evolves through various life cycles, just like people must successfully evolve through life cycles. For organizations to develop, they often must undergo significant change at various points in their development. That's why the topic of organizational change and development has become widespread in communications about business, organizations, leadership and management.

Leaders and managers continually make efforts to accomplish successful and significant change -- it's inherent in their jobs. Some are very good at this effort (probably more than we realize), while others continually struggle and fail. That's often the difference between people who thrive in their roles and those that get shuttled around from job to job, ultimately settling into a role where they're frustrated and ineffective. There are many schools with educational programs about organizations, business, leadership and management. Unfortunately, there still are not enough schools with programs about how to analyze organizations, identify critically important priorities to address (such as systemic problems or exciting visions for change) and then undertake successful and significant change to address those priorities. This Library topic aims to improve that situation.

Don't Do Change for the Sake of Change -- Do Change to Enhance Organizational Performance

Organizational change is undertaken to improve the performance of the organization or a part of the organization, for example, a process or team. Therefore, it's very useful for the reader to scan the topic Organizational Performance in the Library, to get a basic sense of an overall framework to enhance the performance of an organization. Then return to this topic on organizational change to learn more about how to guide successful change within that framework.

Focus and Scope of This Library Topic

The focus of this Library topic is on principles and practices to successfully accomplish significant change in organizations.Successful organizational change can be quite difficult to accomplish -- it can be like trying to change a person's habits. Fortunately, there is an increasing body of research, practice and tools from which we all can learn. A major goal of this Library topic is to make this body of information much more accessible to many -- to give the reader more clear perspective on overall organizational change and development, along with sufficient understanding to begin applying principles and practices for successful change in their roles and organizations.

The following resources are not sufficient to guide a large, comprehensive and detailed organizational change effort -- that amount of resources comprises a significantly sized book -- and besides, there is no standard procedure for guiding change. However, the following resources might be sufficient to provide the reader at least a framework that takes him or her from which to begin guiding change in smaller efforts for organizational change -- and then to begin to learn more.

There are many approaches to guiding change -- some planned, structured and explicit, while others are more organic, unfolding and implicit. Some approaches work from the future to the present, for example, involving visioning and then action planning about how to achieve that vision. Other approaches work from the present to the future, for example, identifying current priorities (issues and/or goals) and then action planning about to address those priorities (the action research approach is one example). Different people often have very different -- and strong -- opinions about how change should be conducted. Thus, it is likely that some will disagree with some of the content in this topic. That's what makes this topic so diverse, robust and vital for us all.



Broad Context for Organizational Change and Development

Understanding Organizations, Leadership and Management

To really understand organizational change and begin guiding successful change efforts, the change agent should have at least a broad understanding of the context of the change effort. This includes understanding the basic systems and structures in organizations, including their typical terms and roles. This requirement applies to the understanding of leadership and management of the organizations, as well. That is why graduate courses in business often initially include a course or some discussion on organizational theory. This topic includes several links to help you gain this broad understanding. The following links (broadly reviewed in the following order) might be helpful to establish some sense about organizations, and their leadership and management.
Introduction to Organizations (to get a sense for the system, forms, roles and structures)
Introduction to Leadership (to get a sense for what leadership is, its scope, and where it might fit during change)
Introduction to Management (to get a sense about planning, organizing and controlling resources)

Understanding Organizational Performance Management

Organizational change should not be conducted for the sake of change. Organizational change efforts should be geared to improve the performance of organizations and the people in those organizations. Therefore, it's useful to have some understanding of what is meant by "performance" and the various methods to manage performance in organizations.
Basics of Performance Management
Employee Performance Management
Group Performance Management
Organizational Performance Management

It's also to have some sense of what it takes for an organization to be sustainable. See
Organizational Sustainability

Systems Thinking

The past few decades have seen an explosion in the number of very useful tools to help change agents to effectively explore, understand and communicate about organizations, as well as to guide successful change in those organizations. Tools from systems theory and systems thinking especially are a major breakthrough. Even if the change agent is not an expert about systems theory and thinking, even a basic understanding can cultivate an entire new way of working. The following link is to many well-organized resources about systems thinking and tools.
Systems Thinking

In that topic, the subtopic, Systems Thinking in Organizations, is particularly useful to understand.



Professionalism for Practitioners Focused on Organizational Change and Development

About the Field of Organization Development (OD)

The field of Organization Development is focused on improving the effectiveness of organizations and the people in those organizations. OD has a rich history of research and practice regarding change in organizations. Why not learn from that history? This topic includes links for the reader to get a basic understanding of the overall purpose of the field and also provides many resources from which to learn more.

NOTE: This site distinguishes the difference between "organizational development" and 'Organization Development." The former phrase refers to the nature and scope of change in organizations, i.e., the change is to the entire organization or to a significant portion of the organization. The latter phrase refers to a field of well-trained people with expertise in guiding successful organizational development.
About the Field of Organization Development (OD)

Understanding Yourself as an Instrument of Change

Your nature and the way you choose to work has significant impact on your client's organization, whether you know it or not. You cannot separate yourself from your client's organization, as if you are some kind of detached observer. You quickly become part of your client's system -- the way the people and processes in the organization work with each other on a recurring basis. Thus, it is critical that you have a good understanding of yourself, including your biases (we all have them), how you manage feedback and conflict, how you like to make decisions and solve problems, how you naturally view organizations, your skills as a consultant, etc. The following articles will help you gain understanding of yourself, how you might prefer to work and how you actually work.
Understanding Yourself as Instrument of Change (ends with a self-assessment)

Consulting -- Professionalism and Ethics

Nowadays, with the complex challenges faced by organizations and the broad diversity of values, perspectives and opinions among the members of those organizations, it's vital that change agents work from a strong set of principles to ensure they operate in a highly effective and ethical manner.

Before reviewing the resources listed below, do a quick can of the list of subtopics in the overall topic of Consulting to get a sense for the broad field of consulting, because people who work to guide and support organizational change are consultants. See All About Consulting

Principles for Effective Consulting
Ethical Consulting
Boundaries for Consultants
Multicultural Consulting
Minimize Consulting Liabilities and Risk



APPROACHES AND METHODS FOR MANAGING CHANGE



Overview of Change Management

Clearing Up the Language About Organizational Change and Development

There are several phrases regarding organizational change and development that look and sound a lot alike, but have different meanings. As a result of the prominence of the topic, there seems to be increasingly different interpretations of some of these phrases, while others are used interchangeably. Without at least some sense of the differences between these phrases, communications about organizational change and development can be increasingly vague, confusing and frustrating.
Cleaning Up the Language About Organizational Change and Development

An Orientation to Change Management

The following links are to articles that together provide an increasingly comprehensive and detailed orientation to change management.
Basic Overview of Organizational Change
Biggest Mistakes in Managing Change
Requirements for Successful Organizational Change
Change Management 101
Education Systemic Change Tools

Specific Types of Organizational Change

There are different overall types of organizational change, including planned versus unplanned, organization-wide versus change primarily to one part of the organization, incremental (slow, gradual change) versus transformational (radical, fundamental), etc.. Knowing which types of change you are doing helps all participants to retain scope and perspective during the many complexities and frequent frustrations during change. Read the following article to understand more about each type of change.
Types of Organizational Change

The following articles provide another perspective on types of change.
The Three Shades of Change
Coping With Type I Change
Managing Type II Change

Key Roles During Change Management

Successful change efforts often include several key roles, including the initiator, champion, change agent, sponsor and leaders. The following article describes each of these roles.
Major Roles During Change and Capacity Building

Organization-wide change in corporations should involve the Board of Directors. Whether their members are closely involved in the change or not, they should at least be aware of the change project and monitor if the results are being achieved or not.
How to Make Sure the Board of Directors Participates in the Project for Change
Benefits of Involving Boards in Projects for Change (Part 1 of 2)
How to Ensure Board is Appropriately Involved in Projects for Change (Part 2 of 2)

As the change agent, you might be performing different roles during the project. The following article might help you decide which role to perform.
How to Know When to Facilitate, Train or Coach

Example of a Philosophy and Some Perspectives and Models From Which to Manage Change

This section helps the reader to appreciate the diversity of ways that people can approach the management of change in organizations.

Appreciative Inquiry -- Example of Overall Philosophy From Which to Manage Change

Appreciative Inquiry is a recent and powerful breakthrough in organizational change and development. It's based on the philosophy that "problems" are often caused as much by our perception of them as problems as by other influencing factors. The philosophy has spawned a strong movement that, in turn, has generated an increasing number of models, tools and tips, most of which seem to build from the positive perceptions (visions, fantasies, wishes and stories) of those involved in the change effort.
Appreciative Inquiry

Various Perspectives From Which to Manage Change

The following articles provide ways or perspectives from which to manage change.
Four Change Management Strategies
An Educational Process for Change and Improvement Efforts

Various Models for Change Management

There are numerous well-organized approaches (or models) from which to manage a change effort. Some of the approaches have been around for many years -- we just haven't thought of them as such. For example, many organizations undertake strategic planning. The implementation of strategic planning, when done in a systematic, cyclical and explicit approach, is strategic management. Strategic management is also one model for ensuring the success of a change effort. The following links provide more perspectives on approaches to managing change. (Note that, with the maturation of the field of OD, there are now more strong opinions about which are change management approaches and which are not -- there seems to be no standard interpretation yet.)
Strategic Management (systematic, explicit implementation of a strategic plan)
Action Research (probably the most popular approach -- and much more familiar than we realize)
Plan Do Check Act (this approach also is quite common)
Lewin's Freeze Phases
McKinsey 7S Model
Embedding Adaptive Change

Many people would agree that traditional models of organizational performance management are also models for managing change.
Examples of Organizational Performance Management Systems

Various Perspectives on Organizational Change

There is now a vast array of highly reflective articles about the nature of change. Many of these articles focus primarily on the role of leaders during change. However, it's not likely that the reader can gain useful frameworks for change primarily from reading numerous reflective articles, so be sure to review at least some of the other articles in each subtopic in this overall Library topic. You can learn a lot about the overall design and approaches to change even by scanning how the subtopics are organized in this topic, as listed at the top of this page.

Role of Change Agent

Here We Are. Now What?: Tips for Change Agents in 2011
Change Agents: The Power Behind Effective Change Management
Harnessing the Energy of Change Champions
Change Agents: The Power Behind Effective Change Management
Jack Griffin's Ouster: Lessons from a Failed "Change Agent"
Organization Change: Learning from the Best

Reflections on Change

Teaching the Caterpillar to Fly
Reflections on Change
Change Is Not Necessary?
The Case for Change Management
I Hate Change and So Do You
Conserving Our Best During Change

Factors of Change

Seven Drivers Of Organizational Success
Factors of Change

Guidelines for Change

Six Keys to Changing Almost Anything
Hard Side of Change Management
Top Down or Bottom Up Approaches to Change
Managing Change More Effectively
Improvement Planning for Taking Charge of Change
Implementing Successful & Sustainable Change
Balancing Top-Down and Bottom-Up Change Processes
Change Management and Employee Communication Strategies
Four Ways to Increase the Urgency Needed for Change
Change Model 3: John Kotter's 8 Steps of Leading Change
7 Dimensions: Principal Skills of Change Facilitators
Change As Influence: How to Get the Attention of Deniers, Followers, Dreamers, and Leaders?
6 Lessons for Successful Change Implementation
You Don't Need an Empire to Build Strength for Change
Effective Communication: Getting Everyone On Board The Change Train
Change Management: How to Avoid Resistance Part 1
Change Management: How to Avoid Resistance Part 2


Example of a Planned, Systemic Change Process -- Action Research

A typical planned, systemic (and systematic) organizational development process often follows an overall action research approach (as described below). There are many variations of the action research approach, including by combining its various phases and/or splitting some into more phases. This section provides resources that are organized into one variation of the action research approach. Note that the more collaborative you are in working with members of the organization during the following process, the more likely the success of your overall change effort.

Phase 1: Start-Up -- Clarifying Expectations and Roles, Assessing Readiness, RFP and Contracts, Getting Buy-In

This phase is sometimes called the "Contracting" and/or "Entry" phase. This phase is usually where the relationship between you (the initial change agent) and your client starts, whether you are an external or internal consultant. Experts assert that this phase is one of the most - if not the most - important phases in the organizational change process. Activities during this stage form the foundation for successful organizational change. The quality of how this phase is carried out usually is a strong indicator of how the project will go.

Types of Clients (this helps answer the critical question: "Who is the current client?")
Defining Project "Success"
Assessing Client's Readiness for Change
Whole Field Assessment And The Change Readiness Checklist
Example of an Entry Conversation Between Consultant and Client
Requests for Proposals, Proposals and Contracts
Before You Can Get Buy-In, People Need to Feel the Problem

Here are some useful skills for the change agent to have at this point in the process.
Interviewing
Listening
Non-Verbal Communications
Questioning
Building Trust

Phase 2: Joint Discovery to Identify Priorities for Change

The more collaborative the change agent is in working with members of the client's organization, the more likely that the change effort will be successful. Your client might not have the resources to fully participate in all aspects of this discovery activity -- the more participation they can muster, the better off your project will be.

Whether you are an external or internal change agent in this project, you and your client will work together during this phase to understand more about the overall priority of the change effort and how you all can effectively address it. It might be a major problem in the organization or an exciting vision to achieve. Together, you will collect information, analyze it to identify findings and conclusions, and then make recommendations from that information. Sometimes the data-collection effort is very quick, for example, facilitating a large planning meeting. Other times, the effort is more extensive, for example, evaluating an entire organization and developing a complete plan for change. The nature of discovery also depends on the philosophy of the change agent and client. For example, subscribers to the philosophy of Appreciative Inquiry (referenced above) might conduct discovery, not by digging into the number and causes of problems in the organization, but by conducting interviews to discover the visions and wishes of people in the organization.

Sometimes, people minimize the importance of - or altogether skip - this critical discovery phase, and start change management by articulating an ambitious and comprehensive vision for change. Many would argue that it is unethical to initiate a project for organizational change without fully examining (or discovering) the current situation in the client's organization. Focusing most of the change efforts on achieving a robust vision, without at least some careful discovery, often can be harmful to your client's organization because your project can end up dealing with symptoms of any current issues, rather than the root causes. Also, the project could end up pushing an exciting vision that, while initially inspiring and motivating to many, could be completely unrealistic to achieve -- especially if the organization already has many current, major issues to address. Therefore, when working to guide change in an organization that already is facing several significant issues, you are usually better off to start from where your client is at -- that usually means conducting an effective discovery to identify priorities for change.

Preparation -- Establishing a Project Team

One of the most powerful means to cultivate collaboration is by working with a project team. Besides, no change agent sees all aspects of the situation in the organization -- team members help to see more of those various aspects.

Establish the Project Team
Team Building

Joint Planning and Conducting Data Collection

Basic Research Methods (planning, selecting, methods, etc., to collect data about performance)
Designing Assessment and Evaluation Tools (to evaluate during and at end of project)
Diagnostic Models (these sometimes suggest what data to collect)
Organizational Assessments (tools to assess current performance)
Selecting from Among Publicly Available Assessments
Some Common Types of Data to Collect
Some Sources of Data and Methods to Collect that Data

Joint Analysis of Research Results

Analyzing, Interpreting and Reporting Results
Diagnostic Models (these can guide the overall analysis and also suggest findings)
Systems Thinking (see recognize overall patterns, cycles, themes in the data)
Critical Thinking (for more robust analysis of data)
Problem Solving (for means to make conclusions, etc., from data)
Maximum Performance -- Different Things to Different People

Joint Generation of Findings and Conclusions

Decision Making (to make final recommendations)
Some Types of Issues Reported, or Found from Data, in Nonprofits
Some Types of Issues Reported, or Found from Data, in For-Profits

Writing Reports

Communications (Writing Research Findings and Recommendations)

Joint Sharing of Findings and Recommendations in Client's Organization

Meeting Management (if recommendations shared in a meeting)
Group Facilitation
Presenting
Sharing Feedback
Managing Group Conflict
Handling Difficult People
Negotiating

Phase 3: Joint Planning of Organizational Development Activities to Address Priorities

In the previous phase about discovery, you and your client conducted research, discovered various priorities that needed attention, generated recommendations to address those priorities, and shared your information with others, for example, in a feedback meeting. Part of that meeting included discussions - and, hopefully, decisions - about the overall mutual recommendations that your client should follow to in order address the priorities that were identified by you and your client during your discovery. This phase is focused on further clarifying those recommendations, along with developing them into various action plans. The various plans are sometimes integrated into an overall change management plan. Thus, the early activities in this phase often overlap with, and are a continuation of, the activities near the end of the earlier discovery phase. This is true whether you are an external or internal consultant. Action plans together can now provide a clear and realistic vision for change. They provide the "roadmap" for managing the transition from the present state to the desired future state.

Development of the various action plans is often an enlightening experience for your client as members of their organization begin to realize a more systematic approach to their planning and day-to-day activities. As with other activities during change management, plans can vary widely in how they are developed. Some plans are very comprehensive and systematic (often the best form used for successful change). Others are comprised of diverse sections that are expected to somehow integrate with each other. Subscribers to the philosophy of Appreciative Inquiry (referenced above) might do planning by building on past positive outcomes and on the strengths of members of the organization.

Selecting Organizational Development Activities to Address the Findings from Discovery

NOTE: A following section in this topic, Possible Organizational Development Activities ("Interventions") to Use in Change Management Activities, includes many other examples of activities (or "interventions") for organizational change and development. During this phase, you might select one or more of those activities from that section, as well.

Some Types of Capacity Building in For-Profit Organizations (and how clients choose them)
Some Types of Capacity Building in Nonprofit Organizations (and how clients choose them)

Joint Development of Action Plans

Basic Guidelines to Successful Planning
Visioning (in context of strategic planning, but applies to change management, too)
Setting Goals
Action Planning

Joint Development of Evaluation Plans

Basic Guide to Program Evaluation (is also relevant to projects -- use to develop evaluation plans)

Joint Development of Learning Plans

Complete Guidelines to Design Your Training Plan (to capture the learnings during the project)

Phase 4: Change Management and Joint Evaluation

During this phase, emphasis is on sustaining and evaluating the change effort, including by addressing resistance that arises from members of the organization -- and sometimes in the change agent, as well.

Client's Ongoing Communication of Action Plans

Basics of Writing and Communicating Plans (in context of strategic planning, but applies to change management plans, too)
Basics of Internal Organizational Communications (to communicate the actions plans)

Client's Implementation of Action Plans

Project Management (to manage implementation of the action plans)
Basics of Monitoring, Evaluating and Deviating from Plan (in context of strategic planning, but applies to change management plans, too)

Client and Change Agent Maintain Momentum During Change

Motivating Others (e.g., to implement the changes and action plans)
Coaching (e.g., to clarify and achieve goals, and learn at the same time)

Delegating (e.g., for leaders and supervisors to ensure action plans are implemented)?
Dealing with resistance (scroll down to the section, "Resistance to change")
Stress Management

Joint Evaluation of Project Activities and Desired Results

Evaluation occurs both to the quality of implementation of plans so far during the project and also regarding the extent of achievement of desired results from the project. Results might be whether certain indicators of success have been achieved, all issues have been addressed, a vision of success has been achieved, action plans have been implemented and/or leaders in the organization agree the project has been successful.

Basic Guide to Program Evaluation (use to conduct evaluations during and at the end of the project)

As part of the final evaluation, you might redo some of the assessments that you used during the discovery phase in order to measure the difference made by the project.

Also see
Evaluation (in Training and Development)

If the Project Gets Stuck

During this phase, if the implementation of the plans gets stalled for a long time, for example, many months, then you might cycle back to an earlier phase in the process in order to update and restart the change management project. Projects can get stuck for a variety of reasons, e.g., if the overall situation changes (there suddenly are new and other priorities in the client's organization), people succumb to burnout, key people leave the organization, the relationship between the consultant and client changes, or people refuse to implement action plans.

Project Termination

(Many times, this activity is defined as a separate phase in the project plan.) These activities are very important to address, even if all participants agree that the project has been successful and no further activities are needed. Project termination activities recognize key learnings from the project, acknowledge the client's development, and identify next steps for you and your client. They also help to avoid "project creep" where the project never ends because the requirements for success keep expanding.


Possible Organizational Development Activities ("Interventions") to Use in Change Management Processes

The field of Organization Development uses a variety of processes, approaches, methods, techniques, applications, etc., (these are often termed "interventions") to address organizational issues and goals in order to increase performance. The following partial list of interventions is organized generally in the order presented by Cummings and Worley in their "Organization Development and Change" (West Publishing, 1993). The following types of interventions are often highly integrated with each other during a project for change.

How People Choose Organizational Development Activities

There are no standard activities that always successfully address certain types of issues in organizations. Many times, the success of a project lies not with having selected the perfect choice of activities, but rather with how honest and participative people were during the project, how much they learned and how open they were to changing their plans for change.

However, there are some basic considerations that most people make when selecting from among the many choices for organizational development, or capacity building, activities. Considerations include:

  1. First, does the change-management method (if one was used) suggest what organizational development activities to use now, for example, the method of strategic management might suggest that a SWOT analysis be done, strategic goals be established along with action plans for each goal, and then implementation of the action plans be closely monitored.
  2. Is the activity most likely to address the findings from the discovery, that is, to solve the problems or achieve the goals? To find out, review any research about use of the activity, discuss the potential outcomes with experts and also with members of the organization. Consider posing your questions in online groups of experts about change.
  3. Does the nature of the activity match the culture of the organization? The best way to find out is to discuss the activity with members of the organization.
  4. Does the change agent and key members of the organization have the ability to conduct the activity? For example, technostructural and strategic interventions sometimes require technical skills that are not common to many people.
  5. Does the activity require more time to conduct than the time available in which to address the problem or goal? For example, a cash crisis requires immediate attention, so while a comprehensive strategic planning process might ultimately be useful, the four to five months to do that planning is impractical.
  6. Does the client's organization have the resources that are necessary to conduct the activity, considering resources such as funding, attention and time from people and facilities.

The following article provides another set of considerations.
Four Change Management Strategies (scroll to near the bottom of the article)
Management for You: Interventions for Change

Before you and your client select types of interventions for the project, be aware of your strong biases about how you view organizations. Without recognizing those biases, you might favor certain types of interventions primarily because those are the only ones you can readily see and understand, even if other types of interventions might be much more effective in your project.
Understand the Preferred Lens Through Which You View Organizations

Human Process Interventions (Group and Individual Human Relations)

With today's strong emphasis on humanistic values, the following interventions are getting a great deal of attention and emphasis during efforts for change. They focus on helping members of the organization to enhance themselves, each other and the ways in which they work together in order to enhance their overall organization. Although the types of interventions selected for a project depend on a variety of considerations and the interventions in a project often are highly integrated with each other, the following human process interventions might be particularly helpful during change projects in organizations where there is some combination of the following: many new employees, different cultures working together, many complaints among organizational members, many conflicts, low morale, high turnover, ineffective teams, etc.

Guiding Individuals

Coaching
Counseling
Delegating
Leading
Morale (Boosting)
Mentoring
Motivating

Group-Based

Conflict Management
Dialoguing
Group Facilitation
Group Learning
Self-Directed Work Teams
Large-Scale Interventions
Team Building
Virtual Teams

Technostructural Interventions (Structures, Technologies, Positions, etc.)

The following are examples of activities that focus on improving the performance of organizations primarily by modifying structures, technologies, operations, procedures and roles/positions in the organization. Although the types of interventions selected for a project depend on a variety of considerations and the interventions in a project often are highly integrated with each other, the following technostructural interventions might be particularly helpful in the following kinds of situations: rapid growth but few internal systems to sustain that growth, much confusion about roles, a new major technology or process has been introduced, many complaints from customers, etc. These interventions might also be useful in new organizations where internal operational systems must be developed and implemented.

Balanced Scorecard
Business Process Re-Engineering
Downsizing and Outplacing
ISO9000
Management by Objectives
Organizing Staff
Organizing Tasks, Jobs and Roles
Six Sigma
Total Quality Management
Six Overlooked Keys to Organizational Alignment
Strategy First ... Then Structure

Basic Principles of Organizational Design (Part 1 of 2)
Basic Principles of Organizational Design (Part 2 of 2)
A Strategic Nonprofit Reorganization Plan
The Importance of Organizational Design and Structure

Human Resource Management Interventions (Individual and Group Performance Management)

The following activities aim to enhance overall organizational performance by improving the performance of individuals and groups within the organization. Performance is in regard to setting goals, monitoring progress to the goals, sharing feedback, reinforcing activities to achieve goals and dissuading those that don't. Performance also is in regard to developing employees, including by enhancing their overall sense of well-being. Although the types of interventions selected for a project depend on a variety of considerations and the interventions in a project often are highly integrated, the following human resource interventions might be particularly helpful in the following kinds of situations: new organizational goals have been established, a major new system or technology must be implemented in a timely fashion, many new employees, plans don't seem to get implemented, productivity is low, ineffective teams, etc.

Employee Performance Management

Establishing Performance Goals
Performance Plans
Observation and Feedback
Evaluating Performance
Rewarding Performance
Recognizing Performance Problems ("Performance Gaps")
Performance Improvement / Development Plans
Staffing
Firing Employees

Employee Development

Career Development
Leadership Development Planning
Management Development Planning
Personal Development
Personal Productivity
Personal Wellness
Supervisory Development Planning
Training and Development

Employee Wellness Programs

Diversity Management
Drugs in the Workplace
Employee Assistance Programs
Ergonomics: Safe Facilities in the Workplace
HIV/AIDS in the Workplace
Personal Wellness
Preventing Violence in the Workplace
Safety in the Workplace
Spirituality in the Workplace

Strategic Interventions (Organization and Its External Environment)

The following activities focus especially on the organization and its interactions with its external environment, and often involve changes to many aspects of the organization, including employees, groups, technologies, products and services, etc. Although the types of interventions selected for a project depend on a variety of considerations and the interventions in a project often are highly integrated, the following strategic interventions might be particularly helpful in the following kinds of situations: rapid changes in the external environment, rapid or stagnant sales, significantly increased competition, rapid expansion of markets, mergers and acquisitions, the need for quick and comprehensive change throughout the organization, etc.

Business Planning
Cultural Change
Large-Scale Interventions
Open Systems Planning
Organizational Alliances
Organizational Transformation
Strategic Planning



General Resources

Service Organizations Focused on Organizational Change and Development

International Association of Facilitators
International Society for Performance Improvement
Institute for Cultural Affairs -- World-Wide
Midwest Facilitators' Network
National OD Network
Regional OD networks
Society for Human Resource Management

Online Groups

Online groups

Toolkits, Etc.

Change Management Resource Library
Organizational Change Resources
Change Management Toolbook
Managing Change

Bibliographies of Books About Change Management

Here's several lists of books about OD, some of them seminal and foundational books.
Books about OD and organizational change.


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Additional Library Resources in the Category of Organizational Change and Development

Related Library Topics

Recommended Books

Managing Organizational Change

Growing Your Organization



Managing Organizational Change

Consulting and Organization Development - Book Cover Field Guide to Consulting and Organizational Development
by Carter McNamara, published by Authenticity Consulting, LLC. Provides complete, step-by-step guidelines to identify complex issues in for-profit or government organizations and successfully resolve each of them. This book is also helpful to organizations that are doing fine now, but want to evolve to the next level of performance. This is one of the truly comprehensive, yet practical, books about this complex subject! Includes online forms that can be downloaded. Many materials in this Library's topic about guiding change are adapted from this comprehensive book.
Consulting and Organization Development With Nonprofits - Book Cover Field Guide to Consulting and Organizational Development With Nonprofits
by Carter McNamara, published by Authenticity Consulting, LLC. Provides complete, step-by-step guidelines to identify complex issues in nonprofit organizations and successfully resolve each of them. This book is also helpful to organizations that are doing fine now, but want to evolve to the next level of performance. This is one of the truly comprehensive, yet practical, books about this complex subject! Includes online forms that can be downloaded. Many materials in this Library's topic about guiding change are adapted from this comprehensive book.

The following books are recommended because of their highly practical nature and often because they include a wide range of information about this Library topic. To get more information about each book, just click on the image of the book. Also, a "bubble" of information might be displayed. You can click on the title of the book in that bubble to get more information, too.



Growing Your Organization

The following books are recommended because of their highly practical nature and often because they include a wide range of information about this Library topic. To get more information about each book, just click on the image of the book. Also, a "bubble" of information might be displayed. You can click on the title of the book in that bubble to get more information, too.



Also See for For-Profits

Strategic Planning -- Recommended Books

Business Development -- Recommended books

Financing Your Business -- Recommended Books

Product Development -- Recommended books

Planning and Project Management -- Recommended Books

Also See for Nonprofits

Strategic Planning -- Recommended Books

Social Entrepreneurship (Nonprofit) -- Recommended Books

Capacity Building (Nonprofit) -- Recommended Books

Fundraising -- Recommended Books

Program Management -- Recommended Books

Planning and Project Management -- Recommended Books

Capacity Building (Nonprofit) -- Recommended Books




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