Welcome readers to a new year… Happy New Year !!! Today’s article is a collaboration article about change.
As the year 2021 was approaching, most individuals anticipated if they would be alive to ring in the new year, what the year would bring and made new year’s resolutions. A month in the year has passed. How many of us have implemented our plans that we thought of at the beginning of the year or have we been procrastinating? You will need to decide if you want to be at the same level, in the same situation or you want to rise above challenges and make a difference. Individuals may make changes for many reasons, some reasons may include personal development, getting back at someone, tired of the same old routines and knowledge but change should only be implemented for good reasons.
For example, I have a mango seed and I envision receiving mangoes from it. The mangoes will not come about by my talking that I want mangoes but there are tasks that I will need to accomplish, and considerations made in order to make this vision come to fruition. First, I will need to decide on where I would want to plant the seed as it may grow into a large tree so it will need adequate space. The type of soil, the appropriate time and the right temperature are very important because if the conditions are unfavorable, there will not be growth. After planting the seed in the correct environment, it does not stop there, watering, pruning, fertilization will be needed to guard the plant against fungus that may retard its growth. As you continue to do this, you will start to see a little shrub above the soil and as time goes by you will see your mango seed transformed into a strong tree. Please note that this does not happen overnight and takes patience. The tree will then eventually start to blossom which is a sign that the time of reproduction is near. You feel so happy and have a sense of hope when you see more than one mangoes on the tree but the mangoes although they are on the tree do not mean that they are ready to be picked as they are immature so you will have to continue waiting until they become ripe and ready to eat. This analogy demonstrates the principles involved in the change process. There are many change theories in management that can be implemented in the workplace however, I will focus on Kurt Lewin’s change theory. This theory was developed in 1951 and has three main phases namely Unfreezing, Movement and Refreezing (Marquis & Huston,2012).
The Unfreezing phase involves the change agent (the individual who wants to implement the change) convincing his/ her members the need for a change. In order for the change to be effectively implemented, the change agent should assess the extent of, the level of motivation, the level of interest in the change and the environment in which the change is to occur. This assessment should be thorough and accurate as one should not exert undue pressure on his / her workers (Marquis & Huston,2012). The change agent should be mindful that when individuals are asked to come out of their comfort zones, they may become anxious, feel guilty or have concerns, thus the change agent should anticipate these behaviors from the staff members. In addition, the change agent should not move to the other stage (Movement) unless he/ she has disturbed the status quo (the normal practices/ what the members are used to and are counterproductive) (Petiprin, 2020).
The Movement stage involves identification, planning and implementation of appropriate strategies. Seeing that the change agent will be taking the members out of their comfort zone, he/ she must be mindful that there may be some members who resist the change or factors that may negatively affect the change (restraining forces) while there are some members who will ‘buy into’ the implementation of change/ factors which support the change to be implemented. These are called the driving forces. In order for the change to be effective, the change agent must ensure that the driving forces exceed the restraining forces by using appropriate strategies (Marquis & Huston,2012). The change process is a complicated one that requires intense planning and timing. In addition, in recognizing, addressing and overcoming the behaviors of those members who are not in agreement of the change will take time and the reality is that some members will need more time to be convinced about the change than others. The change agent must be supportive and encourage the members throughout the process. Evaluation of the change and modification if needed are also done during this phase (Marquis & Huston,2012).
In the Refreezing phase, the change agent assists in stabilizing the change as it is implemented in the system (status quo), offers support and reinforces the adaptive behaviors of his/ her members affected by the change. The change agent must be patient and involved in the process until the change is completed. If this phase is incomplete, the members will return to the ‘old behaviors’ that they had prior to the change (Marquis & Huston,2012). Some changes will take a longer time to implement than others but as long as it is attainable, implemented in the right environment at the right time, it can be achieved. You have the chance to reflect and have the opportunity to change or not and that decision lies within you. Do you want to improve or prefer to remain in your comfort zone? The ball is in your court
Changes come with all things as mentioned above and so does change occur once a woman conceives. She has to now get her mind prepared for the changes that will occur with her body for the duration of the pregnancy, as well as after delivery adjustments will have to be made by each family member with the new addition to the family unit. The environment will also need to be changed to accommodate the new addition, if it’s an only child the parents will now have to change their way of thinking in order to provide for the new addition, if there are other children in the family; they will need to adjust to the new member of the family as well to foster inclusion and prevent sibling rivalry. Parents will need to make adjustment to their daily routine as the family dynamics will change.
Advise on preparedness- Life can be filled with so many surprises and at times we are not prepared for what comes at us thus in order to reduce the negative effects of events in our lives, we have to learn to prepare. It is good to plan although sometimes things may not go the way you have planned them. There are many instances where we make the necessary preparations such as when there is a hurricane warning, when we have an examination or when we are planning an event such as a wedding or dinner. How prepared we are for any event will be dependent on the level of planning we invest in the process.
Preparation gives you a sense of being calm and facilitates confidence knowing that you are able to confront anything with the mindset that you will come out on top. Preparation can be dealt with on a short- term or a long-term basis. One should be cognizant that everyone is different so your level of preparation for a particular situation may differ from another. For example, next month you will be having your final examination in your area of study. You know that in order for you to be successful in that examination, you will have to start pre- reading from now. You will have to be engaged in self- directed learning, have group meetings, write questions on your study cards and respond to them. In addition, prior to the day of the examination, you will need your good night’s sleep and on the day of the examination, do not look at any material pertaining that course. If you do, you will not be able to recall all that you have studied. On the other hand, another classmate may not need to make as many preparations as you did in order to be successful. He or she may just read few times and on the night prior to the examination, study and become successful. It might seem unfair to see one putting in so much while another does not, and the outcome remains the same, but it is best to:
P- Plan & be
A – Aspire
R- Regardless of
E- External factors
than not to and regret it in the future. Do you have a contribution to make about the topic above? Place it in the comment section below, Like, Share with someone who you think can benefit from the discussion, follow to receive updates when they become available. Have a topic you would like to have a discussion about share it with me in the comment section as well… Thanks to all followers and readers. Keep safe.
Petiprin, A. (2020). Lewin’s Change Theory. Retrieved from https://nursing-theory.org/theories-and-models/lewin-change-theory.php
Marquis, B. L., & Huston, C. J. (2012). Leadership roles and management functions in nursing: Theory and application (7th ed.). Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Today’s contributors: Kadene Leslie and yours truly