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Change is taking place all around us. From an organizational standpoint, some of the changes being implemented will be successful; others will fail. In fact, organizational change is only successful 25 to 35 percent of the time.1
Change management can take many forms. It can involve a simple policy change, a procedural change, a personnel shift, an organizational change, or anything subject to change from a prior state. To minimize resistance to a change, the people who will be directly or indirectly impacted by it should be involved in the change process. The strategy used to implement the change is just as important as the change itself.
A number of factors can affect the success or failure of a change. This article focuses on how fire service politics and ethics can affect change management. Regardless of rank or number of years in the fire service, you at some point will be part of a change. Fire service members play a significant part in the change management process and in determining if the change will be successful.2 The change manager must consider those people who will be impacted by the change and the political culture within the department to ensure the success of the proposed changes.
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