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3 things need to be accurately diagnosed before planned change can be successful

Organizational diagnosis is the process of assessing the functioning of the organization, department, team, or job to discover the sources of problems and areas for improvement. An accurate, valid diagnosis of current organizational functioning, activities, and problems is an essential foundation for effective organizational change. Information needed to diagnose organizational problems may be gathered from questionnaires, interviews, observation, and company records.

Any planned change also requires a careful assessment of individual readiness for change. Two important aspects of individual readiness for change are the degree of employee satisfaction with the status quo and the perceived personal risk involved in changing it. When employees are dissatisfied with the current situation and perceive little personal risk from change, their readiness for change probably would be high. In contrast, when employees are satisfied with the status quo and perceive high personal risk in change, their readiness for change probably would be low. Employee expectations regarding change should be positive and realistic. If people expect that nothing of significance will change, regardless of the amount of time and effort they might devote to making it happen, this belief can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. And when employee expectations for improvement are unrealistically high, unfulfilled expectations can make matters worse.

Also, the organization's capacity for change must be accurately assessed. If the organization has few resources and its members don't have the time or opportunity to implement the needed changes, the attempt will likely fail.

Finally, potential resistance to change must be diagnosed. Individual may resist change because of their perceptions or personalities. In addition, habits, fear of the unknown, economic insecurities, and threats to established power and influential relationships may generate further resistance to change. Organizational resistance to change may be caused by organizational structure and culture, resource limitations, and interorganizational agreements. Force field analysis can help managers and employees diagnose and overcome resistance to change. Resistance can also be reduced through open communication and high levels of employee participation in the change process.

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