Not every manager faces a world of constant and chaotic change, but the number of managers who don’t is dwindling rapidly. Managers in such businesses as women’s apparel and computer software have long confronted a world of white water rapids. They used to envy their counterparts in industries such as auto manufacturing, oil exploration, banking, publishing, telecommunications and air transportation, who historically faced a stable and predictable environment. That might have been true in the 1960s, but not today.
Few organizations can threat change as the occasional disturbance in an otherwise peaceful world, and those few do so at great risk. Too much is changing too fast for any organization or its managers to be complacent. Most competitive advantages last less than 18 months. A firm such as People Express a no frills airline was described in business periodicals as the model new look firm; it went bankrupt a short time later. Southwest Airlines however, use this no frills model extensively and is quite successful. The rules are being rewritten. What works for one organization may not work for another and vice versa.
How do Entrepreneurs handle change?
We know from previous discussions that the context facing entrepreneurs is one of dynamic change. Both external and internal forces may bring about the need for making changes in the entrepreneurial venture. Entrepreneurs need to be alert to problems and opportunities that may create the need to change. In fact of the many hats an entrepreneur wears that of change agent may be one of the most important. If changes are needed in the entrepreneurial venture, often it is the entrepreneur who first recognizes the need for change and acts as the catalysts, coach and cheer leader, and chief change consultant. Change isn’t easy in any organization but it can be particularly challenging for entrepreneurial ventures. Even if a person is comfortable with taking risks, a entrepreneurs usually are, change can be hard. For that reason, it’s important for an entrepreneur to recognize the critical roles he or she plays in stimulating and implementing change.
Because organizational change of any type can be disruptive and scary, the entrepreneur must assume the role of explaining the change and encouraging change efforts by supporting, explaining, getting employees excited about the change, building employees up and motivating employees to put forth their best efforts; in other words doing those things coaches and cheerleaders do for a team.
Finally, the entrepreneur may have to guide the actual change process as changes in strategy, technology, products, structure, or people are being implemented. In this role, the entrepreneur answer questions, makes suggestions gets needed resources, facilitates conflict and does else is necessary to get the change (s) implemented.
Organizational change and member resistance:
Managers should be motivated to initiate change because they are concerned with improve their organization’s effectiveness. However, change can be a threat to managers and non-managerial personnel as well. Organizations, and people within them, can build up inertia that propels to resist any change, even if that change might be beneficial. In this section, we review why people in organizations resist change and what can be done to lessen that resistance.
Why do people resist change?
It’s been said that most people hate any change that doesn’t jingle in their pockets. This resistance to change is well documented. But why do people resist change? An individual is likely to resist change for three reasons: uncertainty, concern over personal loss, and the belief that the change is not in the organization’s best interest.