Posted On: 1st November 2012
Each and every business has a distinct culture. It is true that culture tends to be somewhat difficult to comprehend, but most cultures are strong and deceptively influential. Cultural influences affect many aspects of our professional lives; they affect what decisions are made, who gets promoted, how people dress and how employees behave. Culture binds people into a cohesive group. In a healthy business, that group is committed to the expectations and practices of the business.
However, cultural change can be perceived as a threat. We are all inherently creatures of habit and will continue approach the things we do the same way until those habits are reformed in some manner. Businesses can often be more resistant to change than an individual, as change can require the use of limited resources which are difficult to allocate within a restrictive budget.
The first step in implementing change is to ensure that the employees recognise the need for change and what it will involve. It is important that all employees are informed about the issue, the possible outcomes and the plan for solution. They must also understand their own roles in the process. This will help break down barriers to implementing the change.
It should never be assumed that all changes in a business are brought about because it is not healthy, as many recent approaches to quality management do call for continuous improvement, a concept that implies constant change. Other positive factors include the necessity for change due to mergers or buyouts or other changes in ownership or leadership.
To respond effectively to ever-changing demands, businesses must be prepared to change constantly. Managers must be able to recognize the need for change and identify and manage sources of resistance. With this in mind, it is essential that to involves all employees in each step of the process.