Change happens. No organisation exists in a vacuum. And no organisation is static, even if it sometimes feels like that.
If your organisation is to stay relevant and achieve success, sometimes it will need to undergo major changes to adapt to its shifting environment and circumstances.
The question is, can you take control of change and steer it towards a purpose or will you let it take you by surprise and lead you down the wrong path?
This section explores:
- The types of change you might face.
- Common reactions to the idea of change.
- How to look at your operating environment to help you to deal with change and make the most of opportunities (strategic analysis).
- Managing risk and uncertainty.
- How to manage change successfully and embed improvements.
- How to communicate the right messages to the right people, in the right format, at the right time.
The causes of change can come from within or outside your organisation.
Your organisation may need to change as a result of something happening outside your organisation. External causes of change might include one-off events or wider trends or drivers such as changes to the law, new funding opportunities, climate change, or increased competition from organisations offering similar services to your own.
Change from within
The need for change can equally come from within your organisation. Measuring your progress against plans and targets, making comparisons with other organisations or against an established quality standard [link to quality assurance and change page], for example, can often help to highlight things that need to change. Changes in key personnel, such as a chief executive, can also create fundamental change.
Types of change
Change can be planned and unplanned and will vary in scale, urgency and importance.
Planned and unplanned change
Change can also be planned or unplanned. Planned changes are usually the result of an identified need generated within your organisation. Other changes may need to take place to respond to unexpected events and crises. A good risk or uncertainty management strategy can help you to prepare for these situations.
Scales of change
- Organisation-wide change affects every part of an organisation, such as a major restructuring or a culture change.
- A sub-system change affects only a particular part of an organisation, such as introducing a new service or reorganising a function.
- Transformational change (or radical, fundamental or quantum change) alters the whole organisation in one massive transition, for example, shifting from a hierarchical to a flat management structure.
- Developmental change builds and improves on current activities and ways of working, such as expanding your client group.
Urgency and importance of change
When trying to solve a problem, you may have to implement remedial change which is likely to be focused and urgent. Bringing about more gradual change can be just as important to the health of the organisation, but it's more likely to result from continuous improvement or organisational development activities.
To deal with change effectively, you need to manage the process.
Perceptions and use of quality standards in voluntary and community organisations
13 June 2012 - Voluntary and community organisations (VCOs) are increasingly expected to demonstrate to funders and commissioners their approach to quality assurance. Quality standards are one way of doing this. Read the details and the report.
Advice and support
- Funding and finance
- Coping with cuts
- Addressing needs
- Managing change
- Planning for the future
- Involving people
- Public Service Delivery
- Governance and leadership
- Compact Advocacy programme
- Campaigning and influencing policy
- Collaborative working
- ICT (information and communication technology)
- Climate change
- People, HR and employment