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Organizational Diagnosis

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Organizational Diagnosis Are companies at the competitive edge problem free? Do any organizations work flawlessly? Not in the real world. How do the winners overcome their problems? What distinguishes them from other companies? How do they survive while others flounder or fall? Like other organizations, winning companies often reach for easy-answers and quick fixes. But if these short-cut responses miss their mark, winners keep searching for solid solutions. They delve more deeply into the situation, ultimately uncovering the root cause.

Top performers distinguish themselves by the way they tackle organizational problems by using organizational diagnosis to make positive changes for the future of their business (Long Term Success through Deep Organizational Diagnosis, 2007). Data collection: The purpose of a diagnosis is to identify problems facing the organization and to determine their causes so that management can plan solutions. The first step in diagnosing an organization is to determine what/where the problem is by using data collection.

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It is very important to acknowledge that there is a problem and it needs solving more on a long term basis in order to keep the future of the organization prospering. The collection of data should begin in areas in which management believes the problems exist. After the data is collected, leaders can more easily identify where the issues lie and begin to resolve them (Beer and Spector, 1993). Data collection can be done by doing a systematic analysis where McKinsey’s 7-S framework can be applied. The change agent at this point strategically analyzes and formulates diagnosis questions.

The elements of the strategy are as follows with examples of typical questions that decision makers will need to answer in their quest for change (Business Diagnostic Questions – “Seven S” Model Framework, 2007). Strategy: the plan devised to maintain and build competitive advantage over the competition. •What are the main strategies in moving this organization to being more successful? •What are the key short-term goals to achieve these strategies? Structure: the way the organization is structured and who reports to whom. •Describe the roles of the main departments. What kinds of role/turf issues occur between departments? •What kinds of communications issues occur between departments? •What key things are done in the organization to help integrate various functions and departments that are interdependent? •How does the structure help/hinder this organization in accomplishing its strategy? What is being done about this now? Systems: the daily activities and procedures that staff members engage in to get the job done. •What are the 5 most important system problems that if solved or improved would significantly improve profitability or organizational effectiveness? Why? What are you doing about these issues now? Style: the style of leadership adopted. •How are important decisions made in this organization? •How does top management communicate with key staff? How does it communicate with the labor force? •What are the key expectations for how your key people and labor force should behave? •How would you describe the organization’s style of management? How would others differ in their assessment of that style? Skills: the actual skills and competencies of the employees working for the company. •What key knowledge and skills are needed to succeed in this business/organization? Why? How is that expected to change over time? •How would you assess the organization’s current strengths and weaknesses against the needed knowledge and skills? •What challenges does the organization face in strengthening or maintaining this match between knowledge and skills needed now and in the future? •What is the organization doing about these issues now? Staff: the employees and their general capabilities •Describe the strengths and weaknesses of the organization’s key people. •Describe their most important roles in the organization. •Who of these are most important to the success of the business/organization?

Why? •What are you most concerned about regarding the quality of the key staff? Why? •Describe the strengths and weaknesses of the organization’s labor force. •What are you most concerned about regarding the quality of the organization’s labor force? •What is being done about this now? Shared Values: called “superordinate goals” when the model was first developed, these are the core values of the company that are evidenced in the corporate culture and the general work ethic. •If the business/organization were operating almost perfectly, describe the key things that would be happening? If I were invisible and walked through the organization, what would I see that contributed to this success? •If I were invisible and could sit in on a number of conversations between the top 10 people and their staff, what themes would I hear? •If this organization were wildly successful, where would it be in 10 years? •If you were thinking of selling this successful business/organization, how would you want to be able to describe it to prospective buyers? •How would you describe the mission of this company to your prospective buyers Organization’s readiness for change:

Once management admits that there are problems that need to be resolved, and then comes the question of whether the organization is ready to change. Organizational readiness is a state of preparedness which includes the psychological and behavioral aspects for change. This requires having the necessary knowledge, skills, resources, and support. An organization’s readiness for change will determine its ability to attend to environmental signals for change as well as its willingness to listen to internal voices saying that change is needed (Cawsey, Deszca p. 101).

It is important for senior management to address the likelihood of change and communicate it effectively with the rest of the organization. Employees are more apt to support change if they are ready to make changes. This means they believe in the changes, have the time and energy to invest in the changes, and the organization is ready to support the changes. More important, the greater the complexity of the implementation task, the great the importance or organizational readiness for change. Creating awareness for change: Change leaders can create awareness of the need for change in several ways.

The first method involves making the organization aware that it is in or near a crisis or creating a crisis that needs to be solved (Cawsey, Deszca p. 104). Most people will welcome the change more easily if they know that their future is in jeopardy if they don’t accept the change. A second approach to enhancing the need for change is by identifying a transformational vision. Transformational visions tap into our needs to go beyond ourselves, to make a contribution, to do something worthwhile and meaningful, and to serve a greater good (Cawsey, Deszca p. 105).

This type of awareness mechanism has the potential to gain positive feedback and negative feedback. People who support it are those individuals who are interested in making things better than they are. The people who oppose it simply don’t find it realistic and believe the change agent is proposing the change for their own benefit. A third approach to the enhancement of the need for change is through transformational leadership. This type of change makes the most sense to people because it is the leaders of the organization who makes all the decisions. If something is not going well, the leaders are the first to blame.

It is important to note that when using any of the three approaches, the change agent needs to be well prepared when entering any type of discussion dialogue about the change. The people in the organization need to trust the change agent and believe in the proposed change therefore, the change agent should have all the right skills to get their point across to the people involved. Vision for change: When the organization is ready to make a change, it is very important for the change agent to provide a clear and detailed vision of the change. Vision is about action.

Vision can empower both leaders and followers to implement change (Vision and the Management of Change, 2008). Change leaders use change visions to create and advance the mental picture they have of the future and to provide directional guidance for others that they need to enlist in the enterprise (Cawsey, Deszca p. 110). Vision can provide both a corporate sense of being and a sense of enduring purpose. Without a sensible vision, change efforts can dissolve into a list of confusing projects that take the organization in the wrong direction. It is important that the vision be easy to communicate.

Once an effective change vision is in place, the change agent can begin to expand discussions to a broader audience or organizational members, paying careful attention to their reactions, suggestions, and alternatives (Vision and the Management of Change, 2008). It is also vital for the change agent to be aware that some people in the organization will understand the vision and want to help transform the organization, but they can’t. The change agent must remove blocks to change, call for new behaviors consistent with the vision, and most importantly, visibly reward the new behaviors (Vision and the Management of Change, 2008).

Approval for change: Once the vision for change is in place, the change agent needs to find the best way of winning the approval for the change project. When outlining all the elements of the change project, the change agent needs to pay careful attention to managing scope. Allowing the project’s scope to change mid-course usually means added costs, greater risks and longer duration. Many projects fail due to poor scope management (Scope and Change Control, 2005). A successful change agent understands that rigorous scope control is essential to deliver projects on time and on budget.

The scope of the project should be clearly defined both in terms of its deliverables and in terms of how it will operate. This scope definition will form the baseline against which potential changes are assessed and against which the project’s performance is measured. In the definition, the change agent should also include factors that could lead to scope change. If possible risks exist; they should be identified in the definition because this will make the decision-makers more likely to allow changes if it became necessary and it will save costs in the long run (Scope and Change Control, 2005). Feedback:

The final step for the change agent is to be open to continuous feedback. Change does not come easily to everyone in the organization. The change agent needs to be aware of all the criticism and concerns of the people involved in the change in order to keep people motivated and keep the business running in a positive matter. Employee involvement is a necessary and integral part of managing change. Managing change is not a one way street. Feedback from employees is a key element of the change management process. Analysis and corrective action based on this feedback provides a robust cycle for implementing change (Change Management, 2006).

Feedback also allows the change agent to stand back from the entire program, evaluate successes and failures, and identify process changes for the next project. Conclusion: An organizational diagnosis can be a valuable and revealing process, if properly approached, and if an organization is willing to take full advantage of it. Ultimately, what you’re trying to accomplish with an organizational diagnosis is a performance check on each of all the moving pieces (Grossman, 2009). During this check, for instance, you will want to examine those pieces that serve to help create the culture of the business and help drive things forward.

Therefore, the key thing with organizational diagnosis is to help utilize a change effort that will benefit the health of the company as a whole and help it maintain its competitive advantage. The overall goal of an organizational diagnosis is to apply what should be happening within the organization, so that the effect is improved business performance overall. References: Beer, M. & Spector, B. (1993, July/August). Organizational diagnosis: its role in organizational learning. Journal of Counseling and Development. 71(6) 642-650. Retrieved from the City University Student Website.

Cawsey, T. , & Deszca, G. (2007). Toolkit for organizational change. Thousands Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. Grossman, David. (2009). The Genesis of an Organizational Diagnosis: It’s All about Improving Performance. Retrieved on February 20, 2010 from: http://www. hrtools. com/insights/david_grossman/the_genesis_of_an_organizational_diagnosis_its_all_about_imp roving_performance. aspx Business Diagnostic Questions. (2007). Seven S Model Framwork. Retrieved on February 20, 2010 from: http://www. change-management. net/7smodel. htm Change management – The systems and tools for managing change. 2006). Retrieved on February 20,2010 from: http://www. change-management. com/tutorial-change-process-detailed. htm Long Term Success through Deep Organizational Diagnosis (2007). Retrieved on February 20, 2010 from: http://www. hrconsultant. com/aw/aw_ter_long_term_success. html#top Scope & Change Control (2005). Retrieved on February 18, 2010 from: http://www. epmbook. com/scope. htm Vision and the Management of Change. (2008). Retrieved on February 18, 2010 from: http://www. au. af. mil/au/awc/awcgate/ndu/strat-ldr-dm/pt4ch19. html

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