Watch video of interview with Teresa Rose
Length: 8.18 minutes. Type of file: Windows Media Video
Hi, I'm Joaquim Menezes Web Editor of IT World Canada. My guest on this interview is Teresa Rose, a professor with the Department of Management Sciences at the University of Waterloo. Professor Rose teaches courses on organizational theory and strategy and organizational change at the University. She has also done extensive research on the subject of organizational change in global advisory firms. In this interview we'll draw on Professor Rose's expertise and long experience to understand organizational change, the drivers and obstacles to this phenomenon– and the role that IT professionals and IT departments can play in supporting change-management programs within their companies.
Professor Rose, in the past three to five years, we've seen big enterprises in every sector radically restructure the way they do business. What in your view are some of the key drivers of this trend?
One of them, of course, is the rapid changes in technology. Those changes allow for new products and services at an increased rate. We have technological advances that allow us connectivity that we haven't had before at an instantaneous rate. Globalization has also been a huge factor, impacting organizations in a way that they've really had to respond with really large changes.
We've had an increase in diversity in just about every population in the world, which creates significant product service opportunities.
Last year, in an IBM survey of 765 CEOs, more than 80 per cent admitted their organizations haven't been very successful at managing change in the past. Why is change management so difficult?
There are many different levels at which we can look at why change management is so difficult. We can look at the individual level – and look at just…our human nature that we don't like to change. We have an inclination towards security and stability – so each and every one of us is resistant to change at some level. As a group of individuals we have a very real need for a sense of belonging, and once we've gained that sense of belonging, we don't want change to that.
And some of the substantive changes that organizations are undertaking – rearrangement, and groupings and departments – on an ongoing basis is causing a fair amount of stress to the individual person and to groups. I think also if we look at change management at an organizational level, when an organization is successful, success breeds the feeling that there is no need for change. So an organization tends to stay entrenched in what has worked.
One commentator describes change management as "a business process that historically has been long on good intentions and short on execution." Would you agree with this assessment?