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Seaton, Patrick, Innovative Management Tools LLC, "Effective Change Management at the Department Level", 10 pages, January 2006.
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Introduction
Today's fast-paced, ever-changing business climate has raised the stakes in the ongoing competitive battle to do more with fewer employees and with greater efficiencies. More than ever, middle managers and frontline managers are faced with creating results during what seems to be an environment of perpetual change. Bringing employees through these changes in a positive manner only further challenges the managers. Lose employees' support, energy, or drive, and the change movement can be delayed or halted completely and the entire organization can suffer. The precarious nature of this arrangement magnifies the importance of managers having communication and change management tools to assist them during the change process to foster a positive sense of progress with the employees while also meeting the demands of senior management. When it comes to planning for change, preparing for change, defining roles and responsibilities during change, and evolving processes to support changes and directives, communicating with and involving employees on a regular basis as a group process is critical to success. Incremental change on a regular basis is received much more openly than radical efforts on rare occasions. More so, understanding how changes impact employees at the lowest levels of an organization is very powerful knowledge when working through changes.

The Current Situation
Modern management principles recognize the business advantage to having empowered managers who are in communication with their employees and who, as a team, can effect change with minimal stress and confusion. Consequently, companies make efforts to regularly communicate vision and strategies to their middle managers and frontline managers so that the managers can take the necessary actions to move their teams toward the vision. Unfortunately, how…



Seaton, Patrick, Innovative Management Tools LLC, "Small Businesses Can Operate More Effectively by Adopting Practical, Systematic Change Management Approaches", 8 pages, July 2006.

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Introduction Small businesses operate in an environment that is more complex and challenging than ever before. New markets, new technologies, more demanding customers, more empowered employees and the dramatic rise in competition in the new global economy each pose, to one degree or another, a significant challenge to small businesses.

While there are many different challenges impacting small businesses today, the one constant throughout is change. To operate more profitably and in a more sustainable way, or even to maintain current operating levels in some cases, it’s critical that small businesses embrace and respond to change deliberately and systematically.

Challenges Faced By Small Businesses
Small businesses face challenges in any number of different areas each day. These challenges include everything from technology to customer service, and they underscore the need for small businesses to quickly and fully respond to change in order to succeed over the long term.

Costs. Small businesses today wrestle continually with rising costs, especially those related to materials, insurance, energy, and labor. The particular difficulty here for small business owners is that they can’t always pass along their cost increases to their customers, and they eventually run out of areas where they can make cuts.

Capacity. One of the key struggles for businesses is how to manage growth opportunities or successes while also keeping control of related costs associated with new hires and equipment. In short, business owners are continually challenged by how to get more work done with the same resources until they are in a position where they can afford to invest in additional staff and equipment.

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