Impediments to Change:

“In considering the forces for change, the business decision to be made, and their organizational consequences, leaders need to choose between treating the change in an incremental and linear way or in a fundamental, systems-based, and diagnostic way. If an incremental change strategy is chosen, it is likely to deal with “first things first” and to make the necessary changes in sequential order. If a fundamental change strategy is chosen the implications for the organizations are that the organization itself, its parts, and their relationships will simultaneously change.

The subparts of the organizations must be committed to change and have action plans in place that fit the constellation of changes needed and that are aligned with the leaders’ vision of an end state.” (Wren, 1995).

There are several impediments to change. Below is a list of the most common impediments to change which include change resistance, power struggles, and interoffice conflict.

? “In a company’s organization, change for one department may not be good for change for another. A conflict between the two departments can slow down or even prevent change from occurring. Both organizational groups and individuals can resist change. People can tend to resist change because they feel uncertain or are insecure. Changes can also alter the group norm. When the norm has changed, resistance can occur while individual are adapting to the new norm.” (Taylor, 2007).

Resistance to change or unwillingness to move in a new direction as a result of contentment of traditional practices. Resistance is the act of refusing an implementation of a new strategy, policy, procedure, etc. Many organizations are plagued with the reality of change resistance. Staff members generally fear the unknown factor of a change strategy and are prone to rejecting the very thought of traveling in a new direction regardless of the positive attributes surrounding the change.

Change resistance can greatly impact the effect of a change strategy in which case the lack of change will ultimately cause an organization to remain stagnate within the marketplace.

“Workplace change occurs rapidly and often in many businesses. This change may take place in order to respond to a new opportunity or to avoid a threat to the company. Regardless of the reason, change can be difficult for all parties involved; managers and employees face new challenges with change, and managers must learn to ease the difficulty of the transition. One of the major issues associated with managing change is reactive versus proactive responses to change. Proactive change involves actively attempting to make alterations to the work place and its practices.

Companies that take a proactive approach to change are often trying to avoid a potential future threat or to capitalize on a potential future opportunity. Reactive change occurs when an organization makes changes in its practices after some threat or opportunity has already occurred.” (Advameg, 2010)

? Obstacles to change often include relationships or interactions among groups, teams, individuals, etc. These obstacles occur as a direct result of poor communication, in which case individuals are unable to articulate the reason for the change thus enabling confusion among staff members. In most cases, if staff members are unable to envision the relevance of the change implemented, they will more than likely reject change.

? Emotionally based impediments such a; fear, anger, anxiety, indifference, frustrations. Individuals are often content with the current status of an organization and feel that a change at this point in time is unnecessary. This type of impediment stems from an individual’s fear of repositioning themselves in an unknown territory. For example, I worked for a well known physician, who had an extreme case of change resistance. Instead of incorporating new technology in order to ensure that the day-to-day operations of the practice are functioning smoothly, the physician would rather continue utilizing the manual method of scheduling instead of the innovative contemporary method of scheduling that is both time consuming and efficient.

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