www.downloadslide.com Chapter Fifteen Organizational Change 421 norms may discourage employees from accepting organizational change. For instance, organizational initiatives to improve customer service may be thwarted by team norms that discourage the extra effort expected to serve customers at this higher standard. Incongruent Organizational Systems Rewards, information systems, patterns of authority, career paths, selection criteria, and other systems and structures are both friends and foes of organizational change. When properly aligned, they reinforce desired behaviors. When misaligned, they pull people back into their old attitudes and behavior. Even enthusiastic employees lose momentum after failing to overcome the structural confines of the past. Unfreezing, Changing, and Refreezing 15-3 According to Lewin’s force field analysis model, effective change occurs by unfreezing the current situation, moving to a desired condition, and then refreezing the system so it remains in this desired state. Unfreezing occurs when the driving forces are stronger than the restraining forces. This happens by making the driving forces stronger, weakening or removing the restraining forces, or doing both. The first option is to increase the driving forces, motivating employees to change through fear or threats (real or contrived). This strategy rarely works, however, because the action of increasing the driving forces alone is usually met with an equal and opposing increase in the restraining forces. A useful metaphor is pushing against the coils of a mattress. The harder corporate leaders push for change, the stronger the restraining forces push back. This antagonism threatens the change effort by producing tension and conflict within the organization. The second option is to weaken or remove the restraining forces. The problem with this change strategy is that it provides no motivation for change. To some extent, weakening the restraining forces is like clearing a pathway for change. An unobstructed road makes it easier to travel to the destination but does not motivate anyone to go there. The preferred option, therefore, is to both increase the driving forces and reduce or remove the restraining forces. Increasing the driving forces creates an urgency for change, while reducing the restraining forces lessens motivation to oppose the change and removes obstacles such as lack of ability and situational constraints. CREATING AN URGENCY FOR CHANGE A few months after he became CEO of Nokia Corporation, Stephen Elop sent employees a scorching email, warning them about the urgency for change. “I have learned that we are standing on a burning platform,” wrote Elop. “And, we have more than one explosion— we have multiple points of scorching heat that are fueling a blazing fire around us.” Elop specifically described strong competition from Apple and Google, Nokia’s tumbling brand preference, and its falling credit rating. 25 Nokia has since sold its mobile phone division to Microsoft, but this incident illustrates how executives recognize the need for a strong urgency for change. 26 Developing an urgency for change typically occurs by informing or reminding employees about competitors and changing consumer trends, impending government regulations, and other forms of turbulence in the external environment. These are the main driving forces in Lewin’s model. They push people out of their comfort zones, energizing them to face the risks that change creates. In many organizations, however, leaders buffer employees from the external environment to such an extent that these driving forces are hardly felt by anyone below the top executive level. The result is that employees don’t understand why they need to change and leaders are surprised when their change initiatives do not have much effect.