Managing Change

For successful transitions

Prasanthi Potluri

Prasanthi Potluri

It's never easy but is always necessary. Culture change is harder than trying to go in and fix something. But culture change is important because otherwise you don't have sustainability,"—Joseph Fortuna, Chair of the American Society for Quality's Healthcare Division.

Change is an essential concept for any organisation. However, managing change is not an easy task. Willingness, ability and leadership play a key role in adapting to changes. Care providers need to actively identify problems and resolve issues.

Despite the willingness of healthcare leaders to change an organisation’s environment, they are sometimes let down by the inability to change. Proper co-operation from all the teams and availability of resources also matter, identifying areas of change and initiating change become difficult in such situations.

Change management models need to be created according to the requirements of the organisation. Understanding the status quo using detailed research and planning and evaluating communication needs are critical to successful change management. The process of managing change to attain desired change includes developing and deploying plans to address, mitigate and overcome barriers.

Where change really begins also matters. Engaging right people in the right place for the right entity is very important. Irrespective of the level—top management, middle level or bottom line—organisations will need to develop proactive strategies to recruit new people, implement new goals, develop leaders to meet consumer demands with an eye on cost efficiencies and quality of the care.

Numerous theories of how people respond to change and the various models used to plan successful change processes have been developed so far. Most change models focus on the organisation finding a reason and need for the change with a vision or desired business result. Some theories also address the concept of changing or creating organisational processes to deliver change.

To remain competitive in the current market, healthcare organisations need to undergo changes almost constantly. Aligning with new technology, effective communication, addressing potential resistance and teamwork can drive successful change management.

In the cover story of this issue, Professor of Harvard University, University of Monterrey Business School, David A Shore shares his views about the change resister: those saboteurs who are harmful to the health of next innovation. A current or future healthcare leader must understand that success will not be possible unless you leverage resistance management strategies en route to converting that large body of change resisters into change insisters.

For feedback on the cover story and other articles in this issue, please reach me at prasanthi@ochre-media.com.

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