In order for any individual to implement changes in the workforce or in their lifestyle a number of conditions need to be implemented in order to create a successful program for change. These four main elements need to be showcased with an advanced knowledge and all must be present for changes to be permanent and successful. Here are the top four main conditions any individual needs to satisfy in order to create a successful change program. Keeping these in mind as a manager will also help to make sure that you can have more success implementing changes with employees.
- Current knowledge base of an individual:
In many cases a person may have the knowledge or skills required for managing a change. Whether it’s through past experience, hobbies or from their schooling a person minority have the present knowledge to address gaps in changes. In some cases however there needs to be a large knowledge gap addressed before person can become comfortable with changes. A great example might be updating a salesperson for selling new computer technology where they were previously selling mobile phones. Although some of the hardware is similar, it will take some time before a salesperson will have the knowledge and requirements to sell with confidence. It’s this gap between a person’s current level of knowledge and the knowledge requirement associated with making changes that can change the probability of success for implementing a change. While a person may have the full qualifications they need for their current level of experience, with changes in business a person is often asked to step up and take on more as well as showcase extra skills and education that they may have.
2. A person’s capacity and capability for learning:
Making changes requires adapting and learning new skills. If a large gap of knowledge needs to be filled, different people are bound to have different capacities for learning. Some people may not be as receptive to training as others. This means during the process of implementing changes certain employees may find it difficult to learn new processes, utilize new tools or memorize information. We all learn in different ways and some employees will be able to pick up new concepts and utilize them as habit very quickly. Others may take extra reinforcement before new processes become automatic. There are also some people that have difficulty learning new technical skills or understanding the technical concepts. While we all learn in different ways and at different rates, it is important to have the people with the greatest receptive nature for training involving changes. There are bound to be differences from employee to employee it is just important that a company has plenty of resources and training materials on hand to help fill a knowledge gap. Anticipating the need for different styles of learning and different capabilities for implementing a change will help to make sure that every staff member can adapt and create change.
3. The resources that are available for training and education:
As mentioned in the previous element, everyone’s going to learn differently and by having access to the right resources and training for different learning styles in the workplace it’s possible that everyone has an equal opportunity learn. While some companies will have extensive resources for training and even funding to send employees away on training, there are also businesses that struggle to provide the right educational resources and time devoted to training. If a company is unable to present the resources that you may need to create a change or that other employees require to complete a training program, it will face difficulty as a whole implementing changes. Any company needs to make sure that they have the right level of support, training, funding and time to devote to education and training programs for changes.
4. Access to knowledge or existence of knowledge:
Sometimes changes within a company need to be inacted that have never been done before. In some cases knowledge is inaccessible for certain programs or for creating changes within a company. Some of the barriers to accessing knowledge can vary by geographical location, funding requirements, time constraints and lack of info. A great example from the past where there was little to no training on how to make a change would be with Henry Ford and the invention of the assembly line. Utilizing assembly line business processes was something that had never been done before and as a result there was no training or education on the process. While this process is something that we take for granted today all of the information, training materials and testing would have had to be done in house and created. Many organizations today implement custom technology, custom software and other efficiency changes for which there is no information as well. In order for employees to learn however the documentation needs to be in place for how the program was theoretically work. This is how other companies eventually gain access to knowledge for adapting similar processes. Major barriers for access to knowledge can also come as a result of poor Internet connectivity, geographical location, lack of technical expertise in a company and more. With rapid advancement and a lack of documentation changes can be made but it is important to note that advances are much more difficult to achieve. Once an access to knowledge or at least a basis theory for how new technology, changes can be made is in place however it’s possible to start creating those changes.
These are the 4 knowledge conditions that need to be met in order for a change to be implemented and successful. Keep these in mind if you are an individual in an organization or an organization with the desire to make a change.