There are many similarities between large companies on one hand and small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) on the other hand. Many concepts that may have been developed for large organizations are applicable for small businesses.
Large organization could benefit from (forgotten) methods that are used by small businesses (and vice versa). Especially when dealing with change.
The choice of setting up a project to guide a change -– for example — will be the most preferable option for large organization, whereas smaller organization will prefer to manage changes through the line organization.
Yet both kinds of organizations could learn from each other in this area. Smaller organizations – which are normally less organized in the sense of professionalism – may benefit from setting up projects to manage the various types of alterations.
For large organization, the default choice for setting up a project could be reconsidered in favor of managing the change by line management. Attention is one aspect that influences such a choice. A project – especially in the beginning – will emphasize the change and will therefore increase the commitment for it. The change benefits from this attention. Yet when the project experiences its first difficulties, the commitment diminishes and the attention decreases, endangering the project (change).
Expertise is another element which supports the project choice over the line management. If you organize a change, you may need different kinds of expertise’s that are not present in the (specific part of the) line organization. So again you may prefer to setup a project to bundle these different set of expertise, but this is more of a knowledge management problem that could be solved by the line instead.
Where Small businesses will benefit from (change) lessons learned by large organization, this last category will benefit from managing like Small businesses.
Attention –- the spotlights that are focused on the change — could be seen as the hinge between both types of companies when dealing with change; large organization can do with less projects (less attention) and small business probably with more.
© 2006 Hans Bool
Hans Bool is the founder of Astor White a traditional management consulting company that offers online management advice. Astor Online solves issues in hours what normally would take days.
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