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Making Change a Little Less Difficult

Before you can successfully implement change within an organization, says Warner Burke, you should first survey the corporate culture and assess individuals’ attitudes. "You have to understand the nature of the beast you're going to be working with," advises the professor of psychology.

Before you can successfully implement change within an organization, says Warner Burke, you should first survey the corporate culture and assess individuals' attitudes. "You have to understand the nature of the beast you're going to be working with," advises the professor of psychology. Newcomers who are part of projects that require significant changes in how people work can learn about how a company operates by seeing how employees respond to new initiatives. He also suggests that they ask about what changes have already occurred, since a project's team members "[may] simply have initiative fatigue."

Burke, who also provides organizational consulting to SmithKline Beecham and NASA, further suggests that a high-risk environment in which change is not welcomed may be the result of a case not having been made for top management's decision. He says that determining if people understand the reasons behind proposed change should be one of the first steps because if they do not, re-structuring will be an even more difficult process.

The article, entitled "Workplace Culture and Project Readiness" appeared in a recent edition of Baseline Magazine.

Published Monday, Sep. 15, 2003

Making Change a Little Less Difficult

Before you can successfully implement change within an organization, says Warner Burke, you should first survey the corporate culture and assess individuals' attitudes. "You have to understand the nature of the beast you're going to be working with," advises the professor of psychology. Newcomers who are part of projects that require significant changes in how people work can learn about how a company operates by seeing how employees respond to new initiatives. He also suggests that they ask about what changes have already occurred, since a project's team members "[may] simply have initiative fatigue."

Burke, who also provides organizational consulting to SmithKline Beecham and NASA, further suggests that a high-risk environment in which change is not welcomed may be the result of a case not having been made for top management's decision. He says that determining if people understand the reasons behind proposed change should be one of the first steps because if they do not, re-structuring will be an even more difficult process.

The article, entitled "Workplace Culture and Project Readiness" appeared in a recent edition of Baseline Magazine.

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