SUNDAY, MARCH 2, 2014
An Experience With Organizational Change
by Abdel Abuisneineh
Concordia University, Chicago
Former college instructor of insurance
As an owner of a growing financial services organization, the pressure of finding alternatives to our paper-based management system and locally hosted application were becoming critical as our business became more geographically diversified. A change in our organization was essential for it to continue its prominent success.
The pressure on me, as the sole owner of the business, was resulting from my realization that continuing the same old ways of running business will not only hamper the progress of the business, but will also result in decreasing current operations efficiency. I had no choice but to either accept the change or to see my organization standing still while observing other businesses passing us on the path of success. I chose to change, and new structures with new sets of processes and directives were created, consequently.
It was not easy for the staff who felt comfortable doing business the same ways for a while. The new methods required them not only to change their methods of work, but also their personal knowledge and intellect in several technical areas of the work. There was an overwhelmingly broad attitude among employees that “we are doing fine, so why do we have to change?” It was clearly evident that “restructuring … occurs time and time again, whereas recapturing… is what is need” (Fullan, 2007) for the desired change to transpire.
It was necessary to communicate the changes to the employees through series of directives and workshops. Realizing that “the majority of employees take their cures from a trusted colleague rather than from the boss, (Reeves, 2006) I had to focus on two principal employees who seemed to be the most trusted by the members of the organization. Those two employees were, and are still among, the “center of influence” that I also use as stethoscope to check the heartbeats of the organization. The decisions and directives to change the organization would not have been as successful as it is without the efforts of my “center of influence” that promoted the new culture among their peers and made coherent and consistent interactions between the top and the bottom of the organization.
Fullan, M. (2007). The new meaning of educational change. New York, NY: Teachers College Press
Reeves, D. (2006). Of hubs, bridges, and networks, Educational Leadership, p.33