The Theme of Resources
NOTE: This is the fifth in a series of Weekly Briefings on nine major themes for implementing organizational change found in academic journals. We are looking for clues to answer the question, “Why do some men’s discipleship programs succeed while others languish or fail?” For now, I leave it to you to apply these general summaries to your men’s discipleship program. You can also apply the themes more broadly to change your business, your church, or even your family.
Nothing looms larger in men’s ministry that underestimating what it’s going to take to be successful. This week I would like to introduce you to a summary of literature on the highly practical subject of having the necessary resources.
Providing the proper resources is a factor that can lead to successfully sustaining a newly implemented program (Johnson et al., 2004, Repenning, 2002).
The implementation plan needs to allocate enough resources to provide sufficient capacity for the change program (Johnson et al., 2004). Resources include money, training, time, and skills (Okumus, 2003). In addition to the leadership, people, ideas, and planning already discussed, other resources necessary to implement organizational change from the literature include structures, time, budget, expertise, training, and rewards and incentives. These factors will now be introduced.
Structures. Having the right people in the right positions is a success factor (Collins, 2001). To successfully implement a change, appropriate changes in staff assignments are made, a sense of openness is created, impacts on existing constituencies are considered, the attitudes of opinion leaders are taken into account, and challenges to the existing structure are evaluated (Okumus, 2003).
Time. Allowing enough time is a success factor of implementation, including allocating enough man-hours as well as calendar time (Ansoff & McDonnell, 1990; Linton, 2002). Unwavering commitment, even if time delays occur, is a factor in the successful diffusion of an innovation (Houston-Philpot, 2002; Repenning, 2002).
Budget. Proper funding is an essential factor in successfully implementing a change program (Okumus, 2003). Lack of funds was not cited as a major problem by companies that successfully implemented a strategic decision in one study, but the likely reason is that adequate funding was made available (Alexander, 1985).
Expertise. A lack of staff expertise can present a major problem for the implementation of a major strategy (Alexander, 1985). Expertise is a factor in sustaining a newly implemented program (Johnson et al., 2004). The competencies of the organization must be built up to match the proposed change (Ansoff & McDonnell, 1990).
Training. To be successful in implementing change, the personnel tasked with the change must possess or receive the skills training necessary for them to be successful (Beer, 2003). Training also can educate staff personnel about what will be expected of them. Inadequate training and instruction can be a major problem to successful implementation plans (Alexander, 1985). Implementation may be enhanced by training people to understand how they are perceived and how to communicate with each other (Ayas & Zeniuk, 2001). However, efforts to help people better understand themselves are likely to be resisted (Argyris, 1990).
Rewards and Incentives. Changing rewards may foster accomplishment (Ayas & Zeniuk, 2001). Rewards and incentives were not cited as a major problem in one study by companies successful in implementing a strategic decision, probably because those companies offered effective rewards and incentives (Alexander, 1985).
In summary, providing the necessary resources is a major theme in bringing about organizational change. Related factors include creating structures, building in enough time, allocating budget, assigning staff with needed expertise, training those who need it, and providing rewards and incentives. Next week the theme of execution will be explored.
For the glory of Christ and no other reason,
Alexander, L. (1985). Sucessfully implementing strategic decisions. Long Range Plannning, (18)3, 91-97.
Ayas, K., & Zeniuk, N. (2001). Project-based learning: building communities of reflective practitioners. Management Learning, 32(1), 61-76.
Beer, M. (2003). Why total quality management programs do not persist: the role of management quality and implications for leading a TQM transformation. Decision Sciences, 34(4), 623-642.
Charan, R. & Colvin, G. (1999). Why CEOs fail. Fortune 139(12), pp. 68-75.
Freedman, M. (2003). The genius is in the implementation. Journal of Business Strategy, 24(2), 26-31.
Houston-Philpot, K. (2002). Leadership development partnerships at Dow Corning corporation. Journal of Organizational Excellence, 22(1), 13-27.
Johnson, K., Hays, C., Center, H., & Daley, C. (2004). Building capacity and sustainable prevention innovations: a sustainability planning model. Evaluation and Program Planning, 27(2), 135-149.
Kotter, J. P. (1995). Leading change. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.
Kotter, J. P. (1996). Leading change: why transformation efforts fail. Harvard Business Review, 73(2), 59-67.
Kotter, J. (1999). Ten observations. Executive Excellence, August, 1999, 15-16.
Kotter, J. P. (2001). What leaders really do. Harvard Business Review, 79(11), 85-96.
LeBrasseur, R., Whissell, R., & Ojha, A. (2002). Organisational learning, transformational leadership and implementation of continuous quality improvement in canadian hospitals. Australian Journal of Management, 27(2), 141-162.
Miller, D. (2002). Successful change leaders: what makes them? what do they do that is different? Journal of Change Management, 2(4), 359-368.
McNish, M. (2002). Guidelines for managing change: a study of their effects on the implementation of new information technology projects in organization. Journal of Change Management, 2(3), 201-211.
Okumus, F. (2003). A framework to implement strategies in organizations. Management Decision, 41(9), 871-882.
Repenning, N. P. (2002). A simulation-based approach to understanding the dynamics of innovation implementation. Organization Science: A Journal of the Institute of Management Sciences, 13(2), 109-127.
Zaleznik, A. (2004). Managers and leaders: are they different? Harvard Business Review, (82)1, 74-81.