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What is an Organization’s Capacity for Change?
Organizational capacity for change entails the organization’s preparedness and ability to respond to situations requiring change. It is comprised of three elements:
- Human skill sets and resources,
- Formal systems and procedures,
- Organizational culture, values, and norms.
An organization’s capacity for change is measured along eight dimensions:
- Dimension 1: Trustworthy Leaders – To what extent is the leader trustworthy? Trustworthiness is the ability to rely on an individual to pursue objectives that are consistent with their beliefs.
- Dimension 2: Trusting Followers – To what extent are the members and stakeholders of the organization trusting in the leader?
- Dimension 3: Capable Change Champions (“Change Agents”) – To what extent are change agents present? What is their level of proactiveness and influence?
- Dimension 4: Involved Middle Managers – “Unsponsored” middle managers provide support, stability, and sell the idea of change. They facilitate information flow, adaptability, and are crucial in the process of implementing the elements of change.
- Dimension 5: Systems Thinking – To what extent do all participants in the process engage in system thinking? Systems thinking concerns how the whole affects its parts and how the parts affect the whole.
- Dimension 6: Communication Systems – How effective is communication up, down, and throughout the organization?
- Dimension 7: Accountable Culture – To what extent are leaders, managers, and employees obliged or willing to accept responsibility for one’s actions.
- Dimension 8: Innovative Culture – To what extent do employees demonstrate creativity and imagination in developing new ideas, combining existing ideas in new ways, and effectuating those ideas.