In recent months, Malaysia has witnessed many ministries, government agencies and Government Linked Companies (GLCs) transforming or being re-structured after the coalition Pakatan Harapan’s government came into power.
As famously quoted by Winston Churchill “There is nothing wrong in change, if it is in the right direction.” It is commonly said that people resist change. However from my personal point of view, people do not resist change, they resist being changed. Most people have outright fear to change thus impeding and failing to perceive the effectiveness of transformation. It must be emphasised that our GLCs have remarkably managed to strike a subtle balance between fulfilling their scope in helping the rakyat and simultaneously being sustainable. Our GLCs and government agencies have an important role to play by shaping the economy and assisting the rakyat in specific identified areas as cited by Datuk Mohd Radzif Mohd Yunus, dubbed the ‘Transformation Man’ in his 2017 NST article entitled The way to transform organisations.
Unfortunately, fear and resistance to change is thriving well in many organisations be in locally or globally. Globally now we have embarked into the 4th Industrial Revolution, applying digital technologies make manufacturing more agile, flexible and responsive to customers. Yet, history has proved that in order for organisations to survive in today’s competitive landscape, only those who are effectively prepared for their change initiatives and have gained staff commitment to embrace change, shall succeed. Profound, permanent change in an organisation requires an integrated organisational transformation approach from the grass-roots that is able to remodel a company’s social systems.
A research by King and Peterson in 2007 (How effective leaders achieve success in critical change initiatives, Part 2: why change leadership must transcend project management for complex initiatives to be successful) concisely explains that 80% of organisations achieve substantially less value than the expected value. Two main reasons are because of leaders not managing well the Process of Change and leaders failing to manage the People side of Change.