How to Introduce and Manage Organizational Changes
When performing an organizational change, it is important to be aware of the culture within the company. The organization at Saab Aerosystems has a huge technical focus, which can of course be beneficial when awakening interest for a change. Another characteristic of Saab Aerosystems is that its employees are interested in being involved in change processes and have the ability to influence such changes. It is therefore important that the leader of a proposed change has a good relationship with the employees and excellent communication skills in order to both inform and listen to them. It is also important to create a commitment to change if a change project is to be successful. Within Saab Aerosystems this commitment can be created by engaging informal leaders within the project team. These employees often have a big influence on the organization as well as good knowledge of the technology and their departments’ operations. It is also important to give the organization’s members time to think through and accept a change. Without this time, resistance towards a change project can otherwise be created due to lack of understanding for the change. To create commitment to a change, the employees must also feel that they can manage the change and the situation that comes after the change. It is therefore important that the organization’s employees receive the necessary tools and education in order to give them confidence and motivation to carry out, and be a part of, the change project.
A difficult aspect during a change project can be to anchor the change within the organization. At Saab Aerosystems, changes can be anchored by involving representatives from upper management in change projects. These persons must in their turn request work that has been achieved according to the results of the change and even more importantly ensure that the change is used even upon completion of the change project. Making these demands can motivate the line managers and other employees to work according to the change and prevent reverting to old work methods and models. Finally, it is important to measure the change project progress. Examples of measure variables that can be used are business cases, questionnaires and lessons learned. These general variables ought to be complemented by specific variables for the actual change.
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