Every organization needs positive change at one time or the other since it is inevitable. However it is natural for people within an organization to resist change. They will not readily accept new procedures that may be introduced and are ready to frustrate the management efforts in an attempt to maintain their status quo.
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Every organization has to be creative in order to remain relevant and competitive in the market as observed by Karp. This was evidence in the coca cola case as they were forced to change by the trends that affected their business in a negative way.
Karp provides some statements which he argues that they constitute “creative counters” to resist change. In the case of Coca Cola Company, they had to apply innovation as well as change in their product development so as to cater for the required health standards in the market in regards to their products.
Coca Cola management had to provide sufficient leadership in their organization so as to recognize their business as one dedicated to health of their customers. This was one way of influencing people’s perceptions in regards to Coca Cola products bearing in mind that it would be the key determinant on how they would respond to the proposed change.
The management at Coca Cola had to undertake some mental imagery in developing its new products that is, by partnering with Nestle (a Swiss company) in order to produce a drink that is tea based. In order to achieve this, they had to visualize the task they were undertaking in terms of success and not failure.
The main challenge in this case was how Coca Cola would develop an acceptable process by all their employees. In addition, the company would be obliged to assess the impact of change on its employees. This would be one of the most gainful ways of introducing change into the company with minimal side effects.
How to deal with resistance and management responses
A great deal of attention should be given to the way recipients view change. Hence, much of the focus should be geared towards the techniques used so that company employees may reframe their minds and accept change in a positive way. Partnership is a form of strength in achieving change in an organization.
Despite the numerous ways employees in an organization may come up with excuses such as ‘we have always done it this way’, it is up to management to remain firm and steadfast for any positive development to take place. To achieve success in the implementation of a certain task, there is a need for clearly spelt-out rules.
For instance, Coca Cola was relying on the expertise of Nestle Company so as to produce a product that was healthy to the market. This was achieved by well defined rules and also by forging a sustainable partnership.
Managers should not assume that resistance of change is purely an artifact of misconception by recipients of change. It is imperative to note that the effective self- regulation of cognitions can be learned or developed in an organizational setting.
For example, an individual’s pattern of negative thinking can be altered. This can only be possible by provision of clear instructions.
However, Abraham in his prescription of managing resistance emphasized on the detrimental effects of fatigue. He argued that techniques to be used should help people reframe a situation more positively. In the case of Coca Cola, they still use the image of youth, passion and action in their company.
To recap it all, it is vital to mention that resistance should be appreciated and dealt with in a sober way. The Maurer’s fundamentals of success to change should be used.