Change management: how to deal with the human impact ?

In his groundbreaking 1970 book: “Future Shock”, Alvin Toffler argued that accelerating change in technology and society causes in most of us what he coined an ‘information overload’. This leads to stress and feeling of being overwhelmed – a future shock. On an individual level, in our private lives, adoption of new technology is voluntary and led mainly by trends, our friends and acquaintances. But in organizations, workplaces, new technologies, structures and work methods are dictated by a need and by management. A soft conflict between individuals, teams and organizations is to be expected, unless carefully managed.

In addition, globalization and constant innovation of technology results in a constantly evolving business environment. Phenomena such as social media and mobile adaptability have revolutionized business and these effects is an ever-increasing need for change, and therefore change management. The growth in technology also has a secondary effect of increasing the availability and therefore accountability of knowledge. Easily accessible information has resulted in unprecedented scrutiny from shareholders and the media and pressure on management.

With the business environment experiencing so much change, organizations must then learn to become comfortable with change as well. Therefore, the ability to manage and adapt to organizational change is an essential ability required in the workplace today. Yet, major and rapid organizational change is profoundly difficult because the structure, culture, and routines of organizations often reflect a persistent and difficult-to-remove « imprint » of past periods, which are resistant to radical change even as the current environment of the organization changes rapidly.

Read the complete white paper « Change Management: How to deal with the human impact ? » by Jorge Toral, consultant at Initio

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