|Organizational Performance and Change Management - Workshop proceedings - October 1-3, 1997, International Institute of Rural Reconstruction (IIRR), Philippines (IIRR, 1997)|
|Summary of discussions|
Planning and implementing change are two major functions of change management. After the change itself has been executed, efforts should focus on how to maintain, sustain and build on initial gains. Participants discussed mechanisms that organizations can use to follow-through such gains.
Pursuing the strategic plan that is supposed to address all the bases for change is the logical and immediate task following change. This includes resolving the bottlenecks that required the change in the first place. Developing measures intended to manage issues that were anticipated to arise from the change is also an important supplementary mechanism for protecting the breakthroughs already achieved.
Four more mechanisms which relate to the continuous nurturing of the human resources to ensure continuity of the organization beyond the period of change were added. These referred to installing stress relief exercises; providing continuous challenges and inspiration for staff; developing new and enhancing existing staff competencies; and establishing and/or strengthening reward and recognition systems for performance.
An important point was raised about which was a more important question that NGDOs as practitioners of the learning organization paradigm should be asking themselves, either:
· How does one sustain the gains of the change process?
· How does one sustain the change process itself?
It was countered that there need not be a trade-off between the two as both are linked parts of one process and not mutually exclusive processes in themselves. The discussion led to the conclusion that for change to be used as an adaptation mechanism by which organizations can continually learn and be relevant to its environment, there should be a change in mindset among NGDOs about the constancy, inevitability and necessity of change. And, for this mentality to be real, it is imperative to establish a system for regular external and internal environment scanning and organizational diagnosis.
As far as the issues in implementing change were concerned, the participants posed the following set of related questions.
· Who among an NGDOs' constituencies should be informed about the changes?
· Up to what level should the changes be communicated?
· Should the rationale for the change be explained to the partner-beneficiaries?
· Should disclosure be controlled in the interest of getting continued funding?
· Or should full transparency be practiced to set a trust-filled stage for advocacy for the funding of change processes among donors?
Again, as with identifying performance assessment factors and indicators and, in selecting and using performance assessment tools, these issues had something to do with stakeholdership.