Would it be possible to touch the sky? Are you someone who thinks this is impossible? Probably Yes.
But remember that you are not the only one holding this view. It was mentioned in 1902 that Simon Newcomb believed that it is impossible to fly with machines heavier than air. A year later, the Wright Brothers made their first successful flight. The main reason for this skeptical view is that our minds are limited to perceiving things according to a set of thoughts that block the perception of other views. In 1962, Thomas Kuhn was the first to use the paradigm concept to describe the theoretical framework. This term was later used by sociologists to mean how the mind perceives and interprets things. The most accurate definition of Paradigm was given by Joel Barker, as it is a set of rules and regulations that do two things: (1) it establishes or defines boundaries; and (2) it tells you how to behave within the boundaries. (32) People respond differently to a situation according to their own paradigm. A typical example is Romeo who is married to a girl named Joliet; they went to a concert where the host asked them for their own names. Romeo replied, this is me Romeo and this is Joliet. The host at the gate laughed at them and said, thank you, this is really a funny joke. The host behaved this way because of her paradigm that limited her thought of correlating their real names with the fictional lover Romeo and Joliet and not thinking out of this scope.
Each organization has a set of rules or boundaries that define how people behave or behave in their workplace. In your field of work, for example, it is assumed that everyone should work from 8 to 4. This assumption of working time is the limit of their paradigm. If the organization changed this paradigm by implementing as an example of a fixed work plan, this is called a paradigm shift.
For each new paradigm, people have one of three positions against it. They are either paradigm changers, paradigm pioneers, or paradigm people.
Paradigm Shifts: They are the first people to establish and solve the new model. Apple Corporation is a paradigm shifter because they were the first to introduce the personal computer.
Paradigm Pioneers: They are the first people to follow the new paradigm after it is initiated by paradigm shifters. They usually support the new paradigm because they have confidence in their intuition and they have the courage to implement it. Historically, the United States is known for being the best at creating new paradigms. They invented Total Quality Management (TQM). However, Japan is best at paradigm pioneering because they adopted and implemented TQM in their factories.
Paradigm dwellings: They are the last people to follow the new paradigm. They do not accept the new paradigm in the beginning and they only accept it if it works and safely. Usually they only change if the situation causes them.
Changing paradigm is the soul of successful change management. Can it be done at once?
The answer is no. It’s probably a disaster if you do. It’s like a frozen turkey; you cannot cut it until it is thawed. To implement successful changes, take time to develop a proper plan. This can be achieved by implementing the change management process. This process requires a manager who will work side by side with a group of change agents. Here, the leader acts as a paradigm pioneer because he initiates the changes and has the responsibilities and consequences of implementation. He will select change agents who are a group of eager employees or consultants who are willing to fight to succeed in the changes. They respond accordingly to resolve any unexpected issues during the project.
During implementation, it is strongly recommended that the change management team plan the transition using Lewins Force Field Analysis (FFA). The FFA theory suggests that for an organization to introduce a new paradigm, they should strike a balance between two opposing forces, called driving and resistance. The group first describes the current state and identifies the desired future state. The group will then do the following:
1. List of driving forces.
2. List of resistance forces.
3. Numerically weight the strength of each listed item.
4. Set strategy to overcome the opposing forces.
5. Set strategy to support the driving forces.
Consider an example of the company I worked for that has 18 affiliates. It implemented a consolidation project to migrate services such as human resources, information technology, accounting, procurement and general services from all of its subsidiaries. The project is called Shared Services. Unfortunately, the project faced tremendous resistance from the employees. To address this resistance, the paradigm pioneer gathered information on the best practices performed in this new paradigm and selected a group of keen change agents. I have suggested following the FFA to overcome this resistance. The group described the current situation Old Paradigm as non-consolidated services and the desired situation or New Paradigm as consolidated services. Then they listed the forces that are the point that will make the new paradigm desirable and resist forces which are the forces that are opposed to the new paradigm. Then they built similar to the table below to score each of these items with a scale between 20 as very strong and 1 as very weak.
score; driving force; Resistance; power; score
20; Standardize all services; Salary and benefits; 20
18; Reduces spending; Moving; 7
15; Improve productivity; Workload; 9
4; Customer Focus; Leaving Comfort Zone; 1
2; Employee wages increase by 10%; Job title; 2
1; Education; Changing jobs; 2
2; counseling; Fear of competition; 2
** Data is for illustrative purposes only.
After calculating the total weight of all subjects, they found that the driving forces are substantially higher than the resistance forces. Thus, a decision is made to go with the consolidation. Their next step is to overcome the opposing forces. It was noted that they are able to independently resolve each of the opposing forces. For example, they provided advice to employees who feared competition and job change. Generous incentives were given to employees who accepted the transfer. Most of the relocation problem was settled by giving employees home ownership in the new location.
Change agents added that managers and employees perceive change differently. Managers regard employees who resist change as disobedient, while employees see that the new paradigm would not benefit them. Change agents recommended that managers should establish communication with employees to create a mutual understanding of their input. Managers could have a regular meeting with employees to explain and facilitate the transition.
We will say that one of the biggest stimuli of this consolidation success is what happened during the implementation process. The change leadership team looked at each of the resilient forces as positive trends so that they could produce a satisfactory solution. If management looked negatively at this resistance, they could possibly enforce changes that make the employee disobedient and dissatisfied with the new situation. As a result, implementation would not succeed, as was the example of the frozen turkey.