Change leadership is a planned move toward transitioning persons, groups, and establishments from a present situation to a preferred future state, to accomplish or put into practice a vision and plan. Therefore, the capacity to initiate change is a significant aspect of the business arena and the aptitude to assist the organization adjust to change is a serious business problem.
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Change leadership involves facilitating the attainment of proposed, actual transformation that satisfies the vision of an organization. It involves mutual development and implementation of plans to attain constructive change in an organization.
The change manager learns new ideas from other administrators, develops the vision, and motivates the employees to remain focused on achieving the proposed plan. The change leader inspires others to adopt new methods of thinking and conducting business and regularly invigorates the change course and eliminates obstacles to change. This paper discusses change leadership.
Against a background of rising globalization, rapidity of scientific novelty, advancing knowledge personnel, and changing social trends, many individuals agree that the main duty of administration at present is the leadership of managerial change.
Significant words in the glossary of the recently emerging managerial model comprise innovation, excellence, flexibility, speed, and carrying out tests. “In view of these requirements, the traditional organizational structure, with its hierarchical, centralized control, and historically entrenched values of stability and security, is an anachronism” (Graetz, 2000, p. 552). The momentum at present is towards creating more dynamic, flexible, and nimble administrative models.
These adjustments have prompted a fundamental shift in the position of higher-ranking managers from the conventional authoritarian control model to a more flexible, open, and participative organizational system. Currently, many organizations stress on teamwork and communiqué; therefore, administrators need to embrace various management skills. Habitually, many leaders have centered on the operational element of administration.
Nonetheless, to be an efficient manager in a setting of transformation and volatility, a second, interpersonal element becomes vital. This implies that transformative management encompasses influential and captivating functions and blends operational expertise with superior interpersonal abilities (Ulrich & Wiersema, 1999, pp. 115-120).
Many organizations go through four main stages of change. The first stage of the change process is called the formative period when an organization is newly established. Although at this point there is usually a set vision, formal definitions are often lacking since many tests and advancements usually take place at this point.
The second phase of change in a given organization is often characterized by fast growth or expansion. Coordination and direction are included in the company to maintain growth and facilitate achievement of vision. Change is centered on explaining the purpose of the association and the mainstream activities. The mature phase is the third stage and this is when the growth curve balances with the general trend of the economy.
At this stage, changes are required to sustain created markets and ensuring utmost benefits are realized. The fourth level of change is termed the phase of downfall. This is the most demanding period in any given organization and it involves cutbacks, restructuring, and reorganization.
During change execution, a director should make sure that the correct communication has been relayed through the right channel. Implementation is conceivably the most unfavorable stage of alteration. In this phase, proper communication is vital and without it, the transformation process cannot be executed effectively.
For this reason, the realization of alteration challenges communication competencies of a manager. An efficient leader should demonstrate valuable leadership conduct to mitigate the pressure on transformation tasks, such as harmonization with other directors in an establishment, concern for comfort of the personnel, honesty, and readiness to involve in joint feedback.
Therefore, it is very crucial for leaders to be ready to accept and adapt to change because it is unavoidable. It is also imperative for a leader to uphold the key values of an institution when it is undergoing transformation to ensure that the needs of the clients are fulfilled.
Successful and lasting managerial developments depend on efficient change directors who are familiar with how to make and implement a vision, surmount opposition to change, and deal with disagreements.
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These competencies can make the distinction between a triumphant change attempt and unsuccessful one. “Managing change means having a clear idea of what you want to accomplish; identifying stakeholders and communicating with them; and knowing how to manage the varying levels of support and resistance that will inevitably emerge in response to any change” (Hambrick & Cannella, 2008, pp. 278-282).
Leaders must encounter several impediments and difficult circumstances in their endeavor to transform an establishment. When leaders sort out various problems, they make decisions that influence their personal lives and other individuals. Intrapersonal communication is crucial during judgments and facilitates a leader’s individual development, which is a significant feature of headship.
Self-reflection assessment is one way through which leaders get involved in intrapersonal communication. Interpersonal communication takes place within a person’s mind. This kind of communication can enhance the level of a leader’s personal-awareness.
Leadership capabilities include a cognitive feature, in terms of information and abilities the manager has, and a performance characteristic which allows managers to organize their abilities properly. A leader’s aptitude will affect the activities, arrangements, and procedures that improve the change and reinforce the efficacy in executing change.
Leadership is dissimilar from administration. It improves administration, but it cannot substitute it because administration is concerned with dealing with difficulties. On the other hand, leadership involves handling change. Lastly, a leaders’ judgment and abilities are noticeable through the activities of executing change in the association.
At this point, a leader is supposed to be conscious about evading coordination matters when various useful units in an establishment work on a general assignment. Lack of coordination often leads to disagreements during the execution of change and it lessens the success (Kotter, 1995, pp. 59-67).
Change leadership necessitates social analysis skills to comprehend, judge and examine social circumstances precisely, and relational skills to react to the transformation and deal with them effectively. Since change execution involves accepting different types of persons, social-emotional capability is considered to have a straight effect on the faculty to direct change.
It serves as a superior forecaster of guiding change than organizing complexity. Social-emotional capability comprises examining the workers’ opinions, giving positive response, encouraging the collaboration among group participants, upholding valuable interpersonal associations with other individuals, and treating them decorously regardless of their cadres or social status.
A leader’s position in alteration process is to influence their workers to recognize the need of transformation. Understanding organizational alteration involves assessing kinds of modification within the establishment. Regardless of its magnitude, any transformation has a ripple outcome on business.
The critical problem that several leaders encounter is the opposition to change and it has an observable effect upon the achievement of a managerial alteration scheme. Resistance is generally considered as a conduct, which is not corresponding to the efforts of the transformation leader. Thus, the leaders must examine the confrontation from motivational and personality-based viewpoint (Johnson, 2009, pp. 183-200).
The fundamental features of the transformation management are formation and encouragement of dedication and trust. Apparently, change leaders are not able to encourage these traits unless they have these characteristics. The leaders who focus exclusively on administrative duties may not offer proper leadership that is needed to sustain the performance. Thus, leaders must learn to recognize the sustainability issues and then come up with suitable competencies to handle those challenges.
Based on the reviewed manuscripts on change leadership, several of the investigators propose that efficient leadership relies on three essential individual competencies; they are scientific, inter-personal, and theoretical abilities.
Technical ability is information about particular kind of vocation or action and the individual skill is capacity to work harmoniously with others. Finally, theoretical skill refers to capacity to apply various thoughts and concepts in different work environments.
Leaders from various management backgrounds need varied amount of these indispensable skills. “Leaders from top management level mainly require inter-personal and conceptual skills rather than technical skills, whereas the leaders from supervisory management level require greater proportion of technical and inter-personal skills than conceptual skills” (Graetz, 2000, pp. 551-562).
Consequently, change leaders should apply cognitive competencies, business techniques, and planned skills for the proper achievement of change because they have a serious task of ensuring that the transformation attempt is successful.
Graetz, F. (2000). Strategic change leadership. Management Decision, 38(8), 551-562.
Hambrick, C., & Cannella, A. (2008). Strategy implementation as substance and selling. The Academy of Management Executive, 9(4), 278-885.
Johnson, G. (2009). Managing strategic change; the role of symbolic action. British Journal of Management, 1(3), 183-200.
Kotter, J. (1995). Leading Change: Why Transformation Efforts Fail. Harvard Business Review, 9(8), 59-69.
Ulrich, D., & Wiersema, F. (1999). Gaining strategic and organisational capability in a turbulent business environment. Academy of Management Executive, 13(3), 115-122.