Change management plays a crucial role in an organization. Business organizations usually work to meet the needs of consumers through the production of goods and services. To ensure that sustainable profits are achieved in an organization, a positive change that affects all the critical areas in an organization should be embraced. While many modules have been developed to guide the organizations in the change process, one of the best ones is known as Beckard and Harrison’s change management formula. Beckard and Harrison Change Equation have the key aims of serving a simplified way of a comprehensive analysis of potential success or failure in an organization in regard to change initiative within the workplace. The change management formula critically describes the situation which is needed for the desired change initiative to be successful in an organization. This paper discusses the strengths and weaknesses of Beckard and Harrison’s change management formula.
The Beckard and Harrison change management formula has a series of strengths which are described by four issues of change are Dissatisfaction; Vision; First Steps and Resistance to Change. Under the dissatisfaction, the key question that paves way for the need for change in an organization is analyzed. For instance, is an organizational issue unproductive or bad enough that the individual yearns for the need for change? The concept systematically describes that in the majority of cases, individuals are not aware of the need for change. Under such a situation, the intervention of management is required where the employees will be encouraged to consider the issue with an organization (Green, 2007). Clear communication is required on the reasons why the organizational current situation is not acceptable.
Secondly, Beckard and Harrison’s change management formula captures organizational vision as an important strategy of enhancing change in an organization. In this regard, the change models describe the need of employees to buy into the short and long-term benefits of change that are being implemented in an organization. The vision is suggested that it should be centered on the values and beliefs of an organization and extensively reinforced through the change process (Green, 2007). The change formula also advocates for the change to be explained in a manner that is succinct and clear not forgetting to adequately explain to the team members all their dynamic roles to ensure that the change in the organization becomes a reality.
The third strength of Beckard and Harrison’s change management formula is third it explores well the first steps that an organization should take to initiate the new changes. First Steps (F) is a description of practical steps that should be taken in an organization. In this context, employees are extensively required to fully understand their respective roles in the implementation process. As such, each of their steps is required to be so easy to follow. To ensure that the motivation process is retained, each of the given small progress is expected to be in the sight of those who are engaged in the implementation process (Green, 2007). By understanding their steps, the employees will gradually be prepared for the changes, and all the necessary support be agreed on between the management and the employees.
Finally, Beckard and Harrison’s change management formula has another two important strengths which are resistant to change and application. In these aspects, all the issues that will result in the resistance of change are analyzed. It is argued that in nature, humans are normally motivated by avoiding any losses that might occur than they are during the process of making gains and improvements. Humans are wired not to engage in risks taking and retaining the status quo. In this case, the change formulae through the aspect of resistance to change highlight the forces that require overcoming so as to initiate the change in the most successful way possible (Green, 2007). Finally, the application model describes well what is intended to do in an organization to ensure that motivational and effective change initiatives are embraced.
A few weaknesses are associated with Beckard and Harrison’s change management formula. The first one is known as the strategic shortcomings. Ideally, successful change management normally starts with a sound strategy. It is important to become aware of why an organization requires change and the expected outcomes of such change, which will be impacted by the change, and how to systematically plan for the change process. Beckard and Harrison’s change management formula does not address such issues, and it will be expected to be misleading because it lacks tactical and logistical details.
The second weakness is that the formulae underestimate the scale and scope. Once the organization uses such formulae, it is important to note that the failure might occur because many organizations tend to fail because of a lack of resources, underestimated scope, or clock running out.
The third weakness of Beckard and Harrison’s change management formula is its lack of buy-in. Normally, during the implementation of change, there is the process of identifying stakeholders and the need to earn their buy-in. Buy-in which is derived from both entry-level and senior leadership, plays an essential role in an organization. It contributes to the legitimacy of the initiative that is being pushed by the management. As such, Beckard and Harrison’s change management formula fails to come up with a protocol that enables the organizational leadership to think horizontally and earn buy-in from the peers in organizational departments. As such, the leadership will lack the helpful resources that are needed during the execution process.
Beckard and Harrison’s change management formula is a powerful tool that can be used by organizational management to initiate change. As explored in this paper, Beckard and Harrison Change Equation has the key aims of serving a simplified way of a comprehensive analysis of potential success or failure in an organization regarding change initiative within the workplace. The change management formula critically describes the situation which is needed for the desired change initiative to be successful in an organization. It has key strengths that make it a suitable tool to be used when exploring change in an organization. To ensure that the Beckard and Harrison Change Equation operate effectively, the management should determine the ways of addressing the above weaknesses. Once addressed, it’s my opinion that Beckard and Harrison Change Equation remains to be the most reliable model that should be used by the managers to exercise new change in the business organizations. In the entire change process, the management should always be proactive to ensure that the team becomes conversant with what is being required for the change process to be effected.
Green, M. (2007). Change management masterclass: A step-by-step guide to successful change management. Kogan Page Publishers.