Like in the police force, change is a recurring component that shapes most organizations. The changes that occur in most organizations are driven by change in technology, economy, political structures and legal and social issues. During the change process, an organization undergoes through various challenges such as lack of appropriate skills, resistance from employees and lack of enough resources to achieve the change. Thus, a change agent should ensure he/she is equipped with appropriate strategies to mitigate these challenges.
The author gives a brief summary of Rethinking organizational change in policing. This is a case study investigating change in the police force. Moreover, the author explains a number of strategies he will use to effect change in Albuquerque Police Department, and ultimately help the department achieve efficiency in its operations.
Case Summary and Findings: Rethinking Organizational Change in Policing
The case study investigates the transformational of organizational culture in the police sector, in view of implementing community policing in Albuquerque. This case study builds on an earlier case, which had concentrated on organizational and cultural dynamics in the police departments, and between the police and the community. The case study shows the change effected in the Albuquerque police department has been successful. This is indicated by achievements accomplished in terms of decentralizing resources and authority to geographically dispersed areas, changes in academy training, linking area commander by supporting community policing and implementing School Resource Officer (SRO) program to replace DARE. Despite these successes, the police department has faced some challenges constraining it from realizing the anticipated change goals. These challenges include problem solving, differences between proactive policing and community partnership, staff shortage and organizational communications.
The way forward
The case study provides ways in which change can be effected in an organization. It gives a broad viewpoint on how effective change strategies can be used to assist organization accomplish change processes. Thus, from the case study, I have learned that for an effective change implementation, a change should be owned and supported by all stakeholders in the organization. Based on this fact, to drive change process in Albuquerque Police Department, I will integrate the measures that drive change in the change in the change process. These measures will primarily address the behavior and attitudes of the police force. Cummings and Worley (2009) reflect that change initiatives can be incremental or radical; radical changes in the organization are viewed as unsupportive because they do not provide sufficient time to adjust and habitually fail to get stakeholder’s support. I will use a systematic change approach in the department; this will reduce resistance from the departmental employees.
Sustaining Change in Albuquerque Police Department
Police force comprises of various stakeholders such as the employees, civilians and other organizations. To incorporate them in the change process I will ensure they are recognized and comply with change; this is crucial in terms of fostering allegiance towards the change in the Albuquerque Police Department. Similarly, I will create a monitoring division for the change initiative. The division will be tasked with evaluating whether the change process is in line with the set goals of Albuquerque Police Department, and also recognize processes that require new approaches.
Orridge (2009) explains that, during the change process, an organization undergoes learning process; this process shapes the organization’s mode of operations. Learning is a marvelous ingenuity in discovering new approaches to organization’s performance; however, it should be confined within the scope of the change process. I will encourage learning process during the change process focusing on what is already in place. This will avoid undesirable consequences as a result of scope expansion. Learning process will help Albuquerque Police Department employees focus on change processes tailored in attaining organizational goals. I will also maintain change by tracking change initiatives introduced in the Albuquerque Police Department.
I will also ensure the organization’s management supports the employee’s by articulating benefits of change outcome to them and the organization. This is because dwelling more on the merits the change will impact on employees as opposed to the Police Department will encourage more support during the change process. Also, I will keep the success connected with change as a blueprint for future case reference. This will remind employees on the importance of supporting future change in the organization.
Similarly, I will also integrate change within the organizational structure. Integrating change will change the mentality of the employees and stakeholders. Similarly, I will fix change schedule on a robust framework that benefits both the organization and employees. Various authors assert that a change that is not in tandem with the mission and vision of an organization diminishes the confidence of stakeholders and employees in future change strategies (Thomas, 2005). Thus, it will be my responsibility to ensure the proposed changes yield perceived results before convincing the rest of the department to support it.
Thomas (2005) suggests that strong leadership skills are essential in implementing and supporting change in the organization. He also outlines that a committed, influential and enlightened leadership is required in order for change to propagate (Thomas, 2005). In this case, I will ensure that I lead by example. I will assign roles based on individual ability, communicate efficiently and delegate responsibilities with diligent for appropriate action within the department. These practices will ensure change process happen smoothly.
Orridge (2009) note that, change approaches become obsolete when they are not implemented within a given timeframe; thus speed is of the essence. Besides, lack of well planned schedule for change implementation hampers other aspects of change processes such as training of key personnel and resource allocation, among others (McNamara, 1999). To avoid challenges brought about by time, l will ensure change schedules are implemented based on the change milestone already documented.
Sustaining change process requires resources in terms of funding, human resources, time, technology and training. Before embarking on the change process, I will ensure these resources are in place. Lack of these resources and appropriate skills will cause the change process to halt.
Albuquerque Police Department Change challenges and Mitigation
Cummings and Worley (2009) argue that change initiative, which happens in organizations, lacks adequate skills and insight on what need to be accomplished, or rather fail in discovering best strategies needed to implement the change required. To ensure the change occurs smoothly without significant hitches, I will ensure the team involved in the change process has the right skills and training. Personally, I will require knowledge on the way the current organization practices needs to be replaced or affected by the new changes. This knowledge will help me formulate a parameter to ensure necessary steps are incorporated as required.
Also, motivation is a key factor in organizational change. It allows employees to work harder and participate in the organizational activities. Thus, this will be my priority. I will encompass both internal and external elements that motivate employees to act in tandem with the change requirements. I will incorporate aspects such as rewards for complying with change, constant communication and compensation as a key strategy for motivating employees.
Often a change occurring in an organization faces significant challenges because of issues such as attitudes and belief systems of employees. Davis and Wood (2002) indicate that these elements affect how individuals behave and respond to the needs and pressure of life. Similarly, they affect how individuals perceive the costs and benefits of various decisions in life. To challenge these barriers, I will develop strategies such as effective communication, providing training and enhancing collaboration or teamwork. These strategies will help change the attitudes and beliefs of employees resisting change based on their attitudes and beliefs.
Also, I will allow the Albuquerque Police Department employees to manage change based on their knowledge and skills. This is because lack of valuable knowledge and skills in tandem with the change being implemented is a significant barrier to change. Moreover, I will equip employees with training on the new changes to obtain skills required. Davis and Wood (2002) also specify beneficial relationship strategies should be encouraged. They ensure every individual is comfortable during the change process in the organization. I will encourage teamwork between employees and create conflict management division. This will provide a resolution procedure for mitigating any conflicts or indifferences that may occur during the change process.
Change implementation process in the police force is challenging when change agents do not have the required competency to plan and execute it. However, when executed properly, it provides several advantages to the organization.
As discussed in the paper, to ensure change is implemented effectively in my department, I will incorporate measures that will drive the change process, involve all stakeholders, motivate the department’s employees and provide a mechanism for handling resistance to change. These processes will lead to competitive advantage of my department.
Cummings, G. T., & Worley, G., C. (2009), Organization Development & Change. New York: Cengage Learning Ltd
Davis, M. & Wood R.,L, (2002), Rethinking organizational change in policing, summary. Web.
McNamara, C. (1999), Basic Context for Organizational Change. Web.
Orridge, M. (2009), Change Leadership: Developing a Change-Adept Organization. Burlington: Ashgate Publishing Ltd
Thomas, S.,J. (2005), Improving Maintenance and Reliability through Cultural Change. New York: Industrial Press Inc.