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Understanding the change

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Understanding organisational change in non profit organisations is key to dealing with it effectively and making the most of opportunities that arise.

Successful change starts with understanding in detail the change you want to see. The frameworks in this section will help with understanding  your present situation, the changes you want to see and so what needs to happen.  

What do you want to achieve through change?

How do you know if you've got there if you don't know where you're going? Before you embark on your change process, explore and detail exactly what the situation will be like once the change has been achieved.

When all the changes have been implemented:

  • What will you see? Will there be changes to the layout of the working environment? Will your meeting agendas be different? Will the reception area be changed?
  • What will you hear? What kind of conversations will staff and volunteers be having? What will beneficiaries be saying? What will funders and partner organisations be saying about your work?

Forces influencing change

The Forcefield Analysis is a popular technique developed by Kurt Lewin to help understand what forces or influences will encourage a change to be successful and which will discourage success or work against the change. 

If you understand what these are then you can work to strengthen  the 'positive' influences or forces and be aware of and potentially weaken those which are less helpful.

The effect of power on the success of your change

There are different types of power in organizations and it is important to understand how they can affect the success of your change.

If you want to implement any change, you need to have a sharp awareness of who can help you make it happen. This is about understanding your stakeholders and appreciating that power comes in all shapes and sizes.

For example, some people derive power because they have been given authority by the organisation to tell others what to do. Other people might have particular expertise or knowledge which the organisation is dependent on, which gives them power. Some individuals might not have formal authority or expertise but might be very popular and thus have power through their own personal presence and charisma.

See also Communicating change and involving staff and volunteers.


Page last edited Jul 25, 2017

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