This paper presents a perspective of the multifaceted components associated with change and offers insight on the strategy to effectively manage the change. For the purpose of exploring an actual change process, I have chosen the area of increasing productivity and the rising demands organizations have today to do more with less. I have chosen the subject because of the critical nature of the requirement to change and the firm belief that organizations that do not take a pro-active and holistic approach are destined to fail.
Surviving and thriving in a multifaceted world requires a versatile change strategy. There must be more variety in the strategy than in the system you are trying to change (Bennet & Bennet, 2004). This is similar to a common saying that implies we cannot envision the future or change the present with the same thought or intellect processes that we carry from the past or that we used to get to the present. One way of looking at accomplishing the task of breaking out of the old mold is to use a combination of past experiences and adding them to current realities and then projecting a vision of the future to be created with the synergy created by the all of the joined forces. The ICAS (Intelligent Complex Adaptive System) change strategy refers to a connectedness of choices. This means having a clear direction for the future with a cohesive understanding of why that direction is desirable coupled with individual decisions, support, knowledge and sharing and some common beliefs and values (Bennet & Bennet, 2004). Conventional wisdom cannot alone sustain the strategy, and is many times restricted by habit and pre-conceived notions.
Habits are funny things. We reach for them mindlessly, setting our brains on auto-pilot and relaxing into the unconscious comfort of a familiar routine. “Habit rules the herd,” William Wordsworth said in the 19th century. In the ever-changing 21st century, the word “habit” carries a negative connotation in that your habit or my habit will be counter productive in the shared vision we must jointly create. Bennet and Bennet (2004) indicate that a shared vision is where employees participate in the development of the vision, and in Chapter 11 they purport that Peter Senge (1990) in The Fifth Discipline emphasizes the importance of a shared vision.
Brain researchers have discovered that when we consciously develop new habits or strategies or plans, we create parallel thought paths, and even entirely new brain cells, that can jump our trains of thought onto new, innovative tracks (Markova, 1996). The more new things we try, the more we step outside our comfort zone and the more inherently creative we become, both in the workplace and in our personal lives. A good innovational thinker is always exploring the many other possibilities (Markova, 1996).
Research has shown that humans are born with the capacity to approach changes using four primary tactics: analytical,...