Academic journal article Manager

Responding to Change Ensures Survival

Academic journal article Manager

Responding to Change Ensures Survival

Article excerpt

LIKE death and taxes, change is an inevitable part of everyday life. So many of us fight against it, often to our detriment.

In a corporate environment that is characterised by complexity and dynamism, change is the only constant and resistance to change is not only frustrating for those who wish to secure a future, it is also futile.

Defining change

Change can be defined in a number of contexts. Change per se can be defined as "alteration, modification or addition; substitution of one thing for another; alteration or modification of an individual's behaviour".

In an organisational context, change could be viewed as "a fundamental reorientation in the way the organisation operates; an alteration in organisational design or strategy or some other attempt to influence organisational members to behave differently. "

A common thread runs through these definitions: movement away from the existing status quo! Resistance to change stems from the fact that the status quo - the way things are currently done in the organisation in terms of its business processes and practices - is being challenged.

Change upsets our "comfort zone" and constantly challenges us to think "outside the box" and to behave in new ways that may be alien to us.

If we don't adapt to the opportunities and threats that face us, we run the risk of being left behind in a fast paced environment that is full of ubiquitous forces for change, over which we have no control.

Of course, change should not be implemented for change sake; it must be part of an organisation's strategy, whether it occurs at strategic, tactical or operational levels.

Change and the administrative management profession

2005 is the 90th birthday of the IAM. During my 12-year association with the Institute, I have seen it go through a number of changes - some good, some bad, but all of them necessary to secure its longevity and survival.

The administrative management profession is also changing. Gone are the days when administration was perceived as merely a back office, support function.

The 21 st Century competitive environment is dictating that the administrative function should become a strategic business partner, just like any other corporate function in the organisation. …

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