Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Discussing Change Models, Diagnostic Instruments, and Specific Change Interventions, Part 2

           Last month we began our discussion of change models, diagnostic instruments, and interventions by examining theories, models, or interventions advocated by Argyris (1970), Chapman (2002), French, Bell, Jr., and Zawacki (2005), Kotter (1995), Lester and Parnell (2002), and Mento, Jones, and Dimdorfer (2002).  It became clear the process of change requires a thoughtful, systemic approach.  This month’s discussion will focus on benchmarking, the balanced scorecard, and dialogue.
          To measure the effectiveness of an organization’s strategies and performance, benchmarking allows the organization to make determinations based on internal and external variables.  In this way, benchmarking becomes an essential element within the total quality management (TQM) system.  TQM is grounded in the methods and theories posited by Shewhart (1931), Juran, (1951), Deming, (1982), and others.  Benchmarking allows identification of best practices that can then be adopted, implemented, or replicated.  Effective benchmarking is actually a seven-phase process (Freytag & Hollensen, 2001):
1. identify the functions to be benchmarked, 

2. rank the importance of each subject area,

3. consider the area/criteria against whom to benchmark,

4. collect data related to the actual benchmark,

5. identify gaps in desired performance,

6. seek to learn from the best-in-class, which is called “bench-learning”,

7. implement changes, which is called “bench-action”.
Benchmarking, bench-learning and bench-action must be part of an ongoing, continuous improvement strategy within the change management process (Freytag and Hollensen, 2001).  Benchmarking allows an organization to move beyond traditional policies and procedures.  The ideal result of benchmarking is the opportunity for an organization to evolve and continuously learn.  This makes effective benchmarking a double loop process, which is beneficial for any organization’s change plan.  Based on assessment results and analysis of data, an effective intervention can be selected to either further develop or improve the organization. 

The balanced scorecard and dialogue are two of the most utilized intervention models.  The balance scorecard measures financial, marketing, production, organizational development, and new product development factors so the organization’s senior managers can achieve a holistic perspective and thereby plan more effectively.  Kaplan and Norton (1992) assert the following four steps must be part of the balanced scorecard design process:

  1. Translate the vision into operational goals.
  2. Communicate the vision and link it to individual performance.
  3. Begin business planning and index setting
  4. Review feedback and learning and then adjust the strategy accordingly.
          The steps extend beyond simply identifying financial and non-financial measures.  The balanced scorecard is intended to illustrate and consider the design process within broader thinking about how the results can be integrated with the wider business management process.  Other than improving the focus of management and change agents, the balanced scorecard (Kaplan & Norton, 1992) has no direct role in the formation of strategy.  
         One benefit of the balanced scorecard model is that it can effectively co-exist with strategic planning systems or other tools that support strategic change.  Using the Balanced Scorecard, the evaluation process would include pre- and post-measurement that assesses core methods used across my change project as well as the specific measures that were developed for each initiative.  The balanced scorecard thereby assesses overall organizational effectiveness, which promote strategic focus such as: return on investment, more cost- effective utilization of assets, recognition of how to work within operating margins, comprehension of profitability and liquidity, and development of a matrix that identifies the value-added per employee (Karanthanos & Karanthanos, 2005).
          As an intervention for change, dialogue should be treated as an act of listening, talking, and thinking together.  As a result of the wisdom and insight of the group’s collective mind, dialogue sets the stage for action (Issacs, 1999).  Given this, Issacs believes personal, corporate, and political communication can provide a process of thinking together and forming consensus.  This is in contrast to thinking alone and then trying to convince others of a position.  There are many diverse resources providing listening and speaking strategies to promote change initiatives.  Wheatley (2002) is widely quoted for her belief that “Human conversation is the most ancient and easiest way to cultivate the conditions for change – personal change, community and organizational change, planetary change.” 
          The utilization of dialogue as a tool in the process of organizational change does not substitute for planning.  Rather, dialogue should inform development of strategic and coordinated actions.  Strategic dialogue should embed diversity and equity concerns within the organization’s normal planning and development processes.  Strategy dialogue actively enlists the people who are involved in the real work of the organization and whose jobs are directly impacted by decisions made by upper management.  Strategic dialogue recognizes and leverages the knowledge and the potential power of the organization as an outcome of increased collaboration and focus upon the organization’s future.  
          When practicing and utilizing essential guidelines for dialogue, community is created and the organizational culture behaviorally, experientially, and attitudinally transformed.  The ten essential guidelines for dialogue were identified by Gerard and Teurfs (1995):

  1. Listening and speaking without judgment
  2. Acknowledgment of each speaker
  3. Respect for differences
  4. Role and status suspension
  5. Balancing inquiry and advocacy
  6. Avoidance of cross-talk
  7. A focus on learning
  8. Seeking the next level of understanding
  9. Releasing the need for specific outcomes
  10. Speaking when " moved " (para 29).
          Ideally, these discussions solidified the realization that the change process requires a thoughtful, systemic approach.  Because the change models, assessment tools, and change interventions identified and discussed in part 1 and part 2 are widely utilized, further research is warranted to explore and evaluate their efficacy.  Crucially, given the many diverse change models, assessment tools, and options for interventions, a prospective change leader must research and understand how to select and utilize these tools to optimally diagnose the organization’s problems in relation to its leadership and stakeholders.  Only then, can a leader exhibit integrity toward his or her role and responsibility as an effective agent of change. 

To cite:
Anderson, C.J. (July 31, 2018) Discussing change models, diagnostic instruments, and specific change
interventions, part 2.  [Web log post] Retrieved from http://www.ucan-cja.blogspot.com/
Argyris, C. (1970). Intervention theory and method: A behavioral science view. Reading, Mass.:
Beitler, M.A. (20030. Strategic organizational change.  Greensboro, NC: Practitioner Press
Chapman, J. A. (2002). A framework for transformational change in organizations. Leadership
& Organizational Development Journal, 23(1), 16-25.
Covey, S. R. (1989). The 7 habits of highly effective people: Restoring the character ethic. New
                York: Free Press
Englehardt, C. S., &; Simmons, P. R. (2002). Organizational flexibility for a changing world.
                Leadership & Organizational Development Journal, 23(3), 113-121
French, W., L., Bell, Jr., C., H., Zawacki, R., A. (2005). Organization development and
                transformation: Managing effective change (6th ed.). NYC: McGraw-Hill
Freytag, P. V., & Hollensen, S. (2001). The process of benchmarking, benchlearning and
                benchaction. TQM Journal, 13(1), 25-33.
Gerard, G. &; Teurfs, L. (1995). Dialogue and Organizational Transformation. Retrieved from
Hughes, M. (2007). The tools and techniques of change management. Journal of Change
                Management, 7(1), 37-49. doi:10.1080/14697010701309435
Isaacs, W. (1999). Dialogue and the art of thinking together. New York, Doubleday
Jacobson, R.D. (2000). Leading for a change: How to master the 5 challenges
                faced by every leader. Boston, MA: Butterworth Heinemann
Karanthanos, D., & Karanthanos, P. (2005). Applying the balanced scorecard to education.
                Journal of Education for Business, 80(4), 222-230.
Kaplan, R. S., & Norton, D. P. (1991). The balanced scorecard -- Measures that drive
performance. Harvard Business Review, 69(1), 71-79.
Kaplan, R. S., & Norton, D. P. (1996). Using the balanced scorecard as a strategic management
                system. Harvard Business Review, 74(1), 75-85.
Koehn, D.J. (2007) Organizational transformations – enabling and sustaining change.
Retrieved from http://www.decpath.com/CALM.pdf
Kotter, J.P., (1995) Leading change: Eight ways organizational transformations fail.
Harvard Business Review, 73(2), 59-67.
Lester, D. L., & Parnell, J. A. (2002). Aligning factors for successful organizational renewal.
                Leadership & Organizational Development Journal, 23(2), 60-67.
Mento, A. J., Jones, R. M., & Dimdorfer, W. (2002). A change management process: Grounded
in both theory and practice. Journal of Change Management, 3(1), 45–59.
Wheatley, M.J. (2002). Turning to one another: Simple conversations to restore hope to the
                future. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler

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