The need for Change Management in the current economic environment
Posted on 19 July, 2019 at 11:10
By Epaphras Chinyakuza
Since being elected into office in 2018, the Government has issued a number of policies in line with the vision for the country to be an upper-middle income economy by 2030. The policies issued by the Government have affected the operations of the organisations in the NPO sector. All the changes and implications on NGOs calls for organisations to be able to manage these changes and be proactive in their operations.
Change is seen as the response to a significant threat or opportunity that arises from outside the organisation (Daft, 1983). It thus becomes important for organisations to be aware of what is going on around them so that they can put into motion change initiatives that will ensure their survival and ability to stay ahead of any competition. Organisations that are able to manage change would have a competitive advantage over competitors. To Nickols (2004), change management referred to both making change in a planned and systematic manner as well as responding to change in which the organisation had little to no control over.
For NGOs that are operating in Zimbabwe, there is need for change as this is necessary for the survival of the organisation. This is true, as organisations that fail to adapt to the current changes might fail to survive as their as their operations might not be relevant to the prevailing situations. Another reason why organisations require change is for the organisation to be able to increase its impact on the society. Adapting to the changes in the operating environment, being innovative, continually modifying programmes and plans will effectively ensure that they met their mission.
Recently, the Government issued Statutory Instrument 142/19 and Exchange Control Regulation 102/19 and these have presented some threats and opportunities for the NGOs and for this reason, there is need for change management in the operations of NGOs.
The SI 142/19 that was announced by the Government has some implications on the operations of the NGOS and there is need for organisations to quickly adapt to these changes in order to proceed with their programmes. Some organisations have suspended programmes for the meantime as they cannot access their funds considering the constrained weekly withdrawal limit and lack of clarity on how they should operate. These are times when the organisations have to ride on the relationships that they have with their bankers. Since banks have been allowed to apply the Know Your Client (KYC) principles, it is possible for the organisation to approach the bank requesting for funds above the weekly withdrawal limit for their activities for a particular period of time.
Currently, organisations are paying higher prices on procurements as suppliers are fixing prices based on the US Dollars and converting to the Zimbabwe dollar at rates above the interbank rate. This has resulted in the loss of value in these procurements for the organisations. Since rate has been liberalised, there is need for organisations to shop around for rates. Banks are now offering different rates and the organisation will have to look for the most favourable rates.
Most organisations had prepared their budgets for 2019 in USD and their donors require them to report in USD but after the announcement of SI142 which requires all the local transactions to be settled in Zimbabwe dollar and this would result in challenges aligning the actuals to the budgets. This can result in overspending on the budgets. Now there is need for these organisations to adjust their budgets. For reporting purposes, the accounting systems and the reporting templates would need to be adjusted and cater for the multiple currencies.
Organisations also need to have to have risk management plans in place, considering changes that have been happening in the country since the beginning of the year and the risk rating that could be placed on this country by donors relative to other countries. In addition, organisations have to be in constant communication with the donors for guidance in their operations.
There is need for change in the operations of NGOs for them to be able to survive and to make greater impact in the societies. The current environment requires organisations that experiment and continually modify their programmes and plans by evaluating and learning from experience and quick to adapt to the environment.
Daft, R. L. (1983). Organization Theory and Design, Wst Pub. Co, United States.
Nickols, F. (2004). Change management 101: A primer.