Organizations are difficult to change because they are complex systems that are made-up of many different actors. If the organization is going to change from one based on individual effort to one that operates on principles of teamwork and cooperation, some very basic assumptions on the part of each actor must change. Individual team members must stay focused on the goal the entire team is trying to achieve, not just their role in accomplishing the goal. Teams also need to have new types of leadership that is capable of communicating and reiterating the team goals to individuals and the team as a whole. Finally, all the members of a team need to recognize that staying in the same routines and same modes of work makes employees very comfortable, but also results in the same unsatisfactory results. Change is not something to fear, even though it may be uncomfortable for a while.
Working as a team is not something that can be treated as a fad or as an objective of senior management that isn’t really workable. Complex work requires the teaming of disparate employees in collaborative and cooperative roles in order to achieve a high degree of success. This change from individual effort to team effort is one of the greatest challenges facing organizations today. Establishing malleable and dynamic teams is only possible is sound principles of organizational change are implemented.
The authors of this article are Amy Thurlow PhD and Jean Helms Mills PhD. In this article they argue that controlling organizational language during a period of change is a key tactic used by leadership to bring about desired results. The problem with this control is that it may inhibit the sensemaking ability of those most affected by the change.
The focus of this article is actually on professionals that come in from the outside to help organizations change. This is a decidedly different approach from implementing change in-house because much