Learning about change helps you to realize that change is normal. It also helps you understand what's going on in your own organization and what steps you can take to prepare for changes that may affect your job.
Organizational change is change that affects the entire organization rather than a localized change. When organizations make externally-driven changes, they are reacting to the immediate business circumstances they are in. However, making an internally-driven change is proactive and is often a result of innovative ideas. Organizations strive to create stability, but they are forced to adapt to changing environments. The incremental tactical changes that organizations implement on a day to day basis are strategic adjustments. It's relatively easy to adapt to a strategic adjustment. A few small things change, but most people's work stays very much the same. Sometimes, organizations have to change their ways of doing things more significantly with strategic reorientations that involve changes to strategies and new ways of working. When an organization experiences strategic reorientation, people often have to acquire new skills, and the nature of their work may change significantly. Organizations that experience major change are going through transformational change. This is uncommon, but when it happens it represents an upheaval and a change in the goals, identity, or nature of an organization. Transformational change has a very strong impact on employees and can be difficult to handle. Common reactions to high-impact organizational change are negative, instigative, passive-aggressive, neutral, and positive. When organizational change occurs, each person may move through six stages of reaction – shock, denial, anger, passive acceptance, exploration, and challenge. Your reactions to change affect the stages of reaction that you move through. The more positive your reaction, the quicker you move into the more positive stages of reaction. Organizational change is inevitable, but can lead to feelings of fear and anxiety. It's important to be prepared because the ability to handle organizational change is highly valued by employers, and because the stress that accompanies change can have negative effects on your personal and professional life. The characteristics of people who handle change effectively are the ability to acknowledge and share their feelings about the change, a willingness to take risks, an openness to the unknown, and having a good support system of family and friends. Two kinds of skills needed to handle change effectively are self-management skills and stress management skills. Self-management involves identifying and constructively addressing your emotional responses to change, while stress management involves knowing how to deal with anxiety, tension, and frustration. The self-doubt, confusion, and despondency that often result from organizational change can rob a person of all motivation and enthusiasm. So it's important to stay self-motivated by believing in yourself, thinking positive thoughts about the future, having strong goals to focus on, and cultivating a motivating and supportive environment.