Senior executives must be included in the planning process. The significance of their expertise should not be underestimated.

Senior executives have several years of experience, and we should tap into this vast knowledge base. Senior Management should not be expected to micromanage the planning process, but act in the capacity of facilitated. Their vision and commitment to the planning process will be invaluable and we should consider ourselves fortunate to have this experience at our disposal.Professional staff brings to the bargaining table skills and perceptions that will be needed to facilitate effective changes, and the planning process should draw upon both. We should learn from our mistakes. Each department has its own mission and operating culture and we must harness their energy and adapt it to the overall structure. When contemplating change we must look at the overall impact that change brings upon the organization, but more specifically the impact change has on each department.For example, the recent organizational change to create a new Customer Service Department has left some departments questioning the importance of this decision.

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There is some confusion as to how this new department will benefit the organizational structure and more importantly, how will this change benefit each department. Change has created friction, resentment, and an overall distrust within the organization. How could we have minimized the effects of this situation?We should have communicated a detail plan highlighting the benefits and risk associated with this change and explained how the Customer Service Department will enhance the team matrix structure. I am not suggesting that we should communicate this plan with each employee individually.

We should communicate the proposed plan to department managers and explained the need for creating the customer service department and they in turn could communicate the necessity of this plan to subordinates.CEO’s are not required to explain their actions; however, when a restructuring of this magnitude was being considered a lot of animosity and anxiety could have been displaced if it had been communicated as to why change was needed, the benefits of this change, and how the change would benefit the overall structure of the organization. A change management plan must include clear priorities and an implementation plan that is viable and logical.Mission statements, visions, hopes, and dreams are essential; however, unless accompanied by establishing priorities and a plan of action as to how to implement strategies, the planning process becomes ineffective. Developing a workable strategic plan means putting under the microscope the organization’s objectives and strategies and makes a determination as to what the priorities are. Sometimes, taking the first step is easy, however unless we analyzed the entire objectives we may lose focus and not accomplish the outcome we were anticipating.Prioritizing is an important process during the planning process, without it implementing plans becomes overwhelming and goals are seldom achieved. The best time to make tough choices comes after the research is finished and future trends become clear to us.

The planning committee outlines priorities and determines the order in which they should be completed. Once priorities are established members can identify the strategies needed to achieve the goals and objectives of the planning process.We have grown from a small organization to the mid-sized organizations with plans of becoming a large organization. In a smaller or mid-size organization, strategic planning can move forward at a very fast clip.

However, if we have intentions on becoming a large organization, the planning process will slow somewhat. More attention to detail will be required. It will be important to keep programs on course and maintain momentum, but rushing can be counterproductive. If we rush to change because it is the fashionable thing to do, we will be making a major mistake.Change should be analyzed, scrutinized, and take place only after a thorough investigation is completed the benefits must outweigh the negatives. We must also be patient with employees during a restructuring. We should be willing to allow employees to voice their concerns on change and question how this will affect them. We expect employees to embrace change, however, we must allow them time to adjust and allow time to mourn the loss of co-workers.

We must never forget change may bring about a gain for the organization but there is always a loss.The loss of co-workers being laid off, people lose the old way of doing business, work processes change, communications networks change, and a feeling of stability may be lost during a period of change. If we recognize that these losses have real impact on people’s lives, we will be at a better advantage to assist people to move forward more quickly into the new business structure. We must be committed to change. No matter how relevant our mission statement, no organization can afford to set in stone the same goals operating procedures year after year. As market conditions change, we must be equipped to change with these conditions.We will need to develop new strategies as markets dictate. Sometimes all that is required will be to fine-tune our approach to the way we do business; however, there may be times when our approach needs a complete overhaul.

We must be in a position to rethink our goals, our mission and be ready to adjust as market indicators require. As an organization that is competing on the world market we cannot afford a standstill and must recognize new market trends and capitalize on these trends if we intend to remain competitive and be a leader in the world market.Change is continuous. If we are to manage change effectively both domestically and abroad we must develop a strategic plan that addresses key elements associated with change. As mentioned earlier it is my opinion a good change management plan must include nine key elements that must be taken into consideration before beginning the planning process. These steps are just a beginning reference and should be fine-tuned to meet our organizational needs.


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