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Change is inevitable due to environmental dynamics that organizations operate. Change is an inherent factor in any organization that wants to keep up with the ever-changing consumer needs. The process of managing change involves planning and involvement of key stakeholders in the change process to ensure successful transformation in an organization.
Successful organizations have to embrace change and aim to bring beneficial modification, which leads to value creation. Successful leaders lead the change process rather than waiting for change to take place. Therefore, managing and leading change is critical in the successful transformation of organizations.
Change can be either incremental or radical. Incremental change affects a portion of an organization while radical change affects an entire organization. Taking a systemic approach to change is critical in successful transformation of an organization.
Incremental change is useful; nevertheless, it does not give all the stakeholders the capacity to accommodate transformation in an organization, thus may cause resistance to change.
Management should establish key players in a change process, develop a plan to implement the change, evaluate how different stakeholders will react to the change process, and finally lead the organization towards successful organizational transformation. In addition, management should analyze how the change will affect the organization’s mission and vision, culture, motivation, and employees.
Moreover, management should understand the dynamics of factors affecting change before starting the process of managing and leading change. Factors influencing change include the organization’s culture, structure, goals, objectives, and leadership.
Goals and objectives
For organizational change to be successful, management should ensure that the proposed change is in line with its goals and objectives. This will ensure that all stakeholders in the change process buy in and commit to transforming an organization. Before making decision to institute change, management should evaluate how the intended transformations will contribute towards meeting organizational goals and objectives.
Change and Organizational Culture
The corporate culture of an organization is exemplified through the values, believes, and way of doing things in an organization. Every organization has its own unique culture.
According to Schein (2010), leadership helps to shape the culture of an organization and the culture of an organization determines the leadership style adopted by management (p.464). Management should ensure that it has a corporate culture that can accommodate change.
An organization’s culture determines its affinity towards change. According to Cameron and Quinn (2006), the management of an organization has to ensure that employees embrace change by creating a learning culture necessary for beneficial change in an organization (p.19). Organizational learning is imperative for any organization that wants to survive in the industry.
Learning creates capacity for change by equipping employees with the knowledge and skills to ease into the transformations in an organization; for example, before introducing new technology in an organization, it is imperative to train employees on how to use the new technology for smooth implementation and transformation.
According to Schabracq (2007), in order to manage and lead the change process, management should incorporate a learning culture in an organization (p.67). One of the main reasons there is resistance to change in an organization is lack of understanding of the intended change and its subsequent influences on the company’s future.
Change creates uncertainty within an organization because it disrupts status quo; therefore, motivating employees towards organizational change will help an organization to achieve its goals and objectives. Management should formulate a vision that helps employees to understand the value created by change. Beneficial change in an organization should create motivation to all stakeholders affected by the change.
Management should associate change with the benefits that employees will enjoy after successful implementation to motivate them towards the intended change. Management should be able to ascertain what motivates employees at different levels. Depending on the level of organization, management can use material or intrinsic rewards to motivate change.
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Change and leadership
Leadership has evolved over time and organizations are moving away from traditional leadership style, exercised only at the top, towards more liberal organization framework where all members are accountable for their performances.
Successful leaders have good communication, interpersonal, and negotiating skills. They should possess competencies such as human resource, financial, and conflict management. In addition, the leaders should be honest, transparent and uphold integrity.
Employee motivation facilitates successful implementation of change in an organization. Leadership offers guidance towards the achievement of organizational goals; it helps employees to understand their role in an organization and hence motivate them towards achievement of the stipulated goals.
Leadership styles vary with the culture of an organization and nature of the proposed change. Good leaders vary their leadership styles depending on the situation; nevertheless, successful management of change requires transformational leaders. Transformational leaders are able to motivate and facilitate organizational change.
Leaders can either be employee or job oriented. An employee oriented leader aims to satisfy the needs of the employee as a means to an end to motivate the same employee to meet the organizational objectives and goals.
On the other hand, a job-oriented leader does whatever possible to help employees meet the organizational goals and objectives. Whichever approach a leader take when implementing change, it should create the momentum necessary for successful completion of the change process.
Leadership is critical in ensuring the successful transformation of an organization. According to Marshall (2007), modern leaders are facilitators, Implementers, motivator, and connectors (p.17). Leaders need to balance the roles of facilitator, implementer, motivator, and connector effectively to ensure change implementation is successful.
The most critical role of a leader in an organization is being a facilitator. According to Koob (2007), managers should facilitate change within the organization (p.2). A facilitating leader ensures employees do the right thing at the right time thus promoting efficiency and effectiveness in an organization.
Facilitating change in an organization involves creating structures, relationships, and providing resources necessary for implementing change successfully. Facilitating leaders create an environment necessary for implementing change thus enhancing employee’s ability to implement change successfully.
Without the necessary factors to implement change, employees are likely to fail in implementing change; therefore, the role of facilitating is critical part of successful leaders.
One of the roles of a leader includes motivation of the employees towards goal achievement. Effective leaders are able to give employees the motivation required to propel them towards greater heights through effective and efficient performance at work.
Effective leaders understand the type of motivation required at different levels of management, for instance, at the operational level the employees will be motivated through material rewards while at higher levels employees are motivated through recognition.
Importantly, leaders should actively participate in the change process. Managers, through the implementer role, aid the implementation of change in order to meet the objectives of an organization. According to Scott and Jaffe (1998), during the process of implementing change, managers need to be seen and not heard (p.13).
Leading change involves the active involvement of the leadership in the change process. Participating in the change process will help managers to be adept with any challenges facing the implementation process thus taking first corrective action.
Managers who can think strategically are able to identify the need for change in the organization and devise ways of implementing the change in an organization.
The strategic thinker role aids the successful implementation of change because managers are able to devise strategies that help the organization to gain competitive advantage in the market. Strategic thinking is necessary because the change process needs reviews and adjustments as the implementation process goes on.
Finally, the connector role aids in formulating alliances and teams necessary for the successful implementation of change within an organization. The connector role communicates with various stakeholders in the change process to get them to buy in and commit to change. The connector role is critical because it helps to gather the resources required for the implementation of change.
It gets sponsors to provide finances to fund the change process and agents of change to implement the same. Therefore, the process of managing and leading change requires effective leaders. Successful leaders have the ability to influence by taking a systemic approach to change. A systemic approach to change evaluates all factors affecting change and ways through which the factors influence change positively.
The ability to influence positive change requires communication, interpersonal, and negotiation skills. In addition, leaders should also possess key competencies to manage human and capital resources during implementation of change. In a recap, leaders should be competent in their roles as motivators, implementers, connectors, and communicators.
Change and organizational Structure
Change is an inherent factor for surviving in today’s dynamic environment in which organizations operate. Organizations are shifting from the traditional bureaucratic structures by adopting flatter structures that can facilitate dynamic change. Flatter organizations are decentralized and autonomous. Decentralized organizations are more flexible; thus, they facilitate the change process.
Autonomy gives employees the discretion to make decisions without following a bureaucratic chain of command. Therefore, the successful implementation of change requires devolution of leadership through creation of team leaders in charge of the change process.
Management is not capable of monitoring change implementation throughout; therefore, team leaders act as the link between employees and management during the process of implementing change. Team leaders should be an individual capable of influencing other employees to commit to change process thus reducing resistance to change.
Organization structure refers to the process, relationship, and communication channels in an organization. To adopt to change, organizations need to have a flexible structure that will facilitate change. According to Isaksen and Tidd (2006), an organization should have processes, technology, and structures that support change from within (p.26). Communication is critical in successful implementation of change.
Organizations should adopt open channels of communication to ensure that all stakeholders understand proposed change and their role in successful implementation of the same. The organization’s technology influences its ability to adapt to change. Organizational procedures and processes should be flexible to enhance adoptability to change.
Moreover, to implement and manage organizational change successfully, organizations need to be innovative. Innovation of the structures by creating borderless organizations or networking alliances will help to facilitate the change process. Borderless structures comprise of members from different levels of an organization that come together to institute change in an organization.
Borderless team structures combine expertise from different parts of an organization necessary for the change process. The borderless teams enhance flexibility, autonomy, and transparency, which are critical factors in the change process. In addition, management can create networking alliances by bringing together employees, suppliers, distributors, and customers to implement change within an organization.
Virtual corporations are similar networking alliances, which are necessary when an organization needs to implement change fast and it does not have the time and resources within the company to carry out the process successfully.
Change management is a critical factor in successful transformation of an organization. Change management entails planning and implementation processes through the involvement of all individuals affected by the transformations. Management should have a plan in order to manage change effectively. The process of managing change should begin by evaluating why transformations are necessary in an organization.
Management should analyze the forces driving change and only institute change if it will lead to value creation in an organization. Management should establish the magnitude of change to establish the approach necessary for successful implementation of change in an organization. In addition, change can be systemic where it affects the entire company or can affect a portion of the organization.
After establishing the need for change, management should identify stakeholders in the change process and their roles.
According to Pettigrew and Whipp (1993), agents of change include individuals, internal and external to the organization, which will help management in implementation of change, for example, employees, and industry experts (p.163). Sponsors are individuals or organization that will provide resources to facilitate the change process, for example, a financial institution.
Finally, targets are the individuals, external or internal to the organization, affected by the change in an organization, for example, employees, and consumers. Management should hold a meeting with each of the stakeholders to get them to buy in and commit to the proposed change for successful transformation of an organization.
Stakeholders’ acceptance and/or commitment into the change process are critical in successful implementation of change. If one of the stakeholders does not commit to the change process, it will cause inability of the organization to implement change.
Motivating change is a crucial component of ensuring successful organizational transformation. Motivating change starts by communicating the anticipated benefits of the change process in an organization. Management then explains how the organization will facilitate the employees to handle the change.
Communication of change is critical because it helps an organization to get employees’ acceptance and commitment during the implementation process. It is imperative for management to communicate the reasons behind the change for it affects employees and the role of each employee in the change process.
Communication helps in reducing speculation about change, which may cause resistance to the same. Management should communicate change by symbols, slogans, and memos to ensure every stakeholder in the change process buys into the change process.
The main factor influencing change in an organization is the human capital. If management of an organization is able to influence human capital to be change oriented, the organization will be able to transform successfully.
During recruitment of employees, the human resource manager should assess a candidate’s ability to handle change to avoid rigid employees who cannot accommodate change. To reduce employee’s resistance to change, management should use the strategies of employee involvement, training, and development.
Employee involvement in the change process is particularly important as it eliminates the problem of resistance to change. According to Thomas (2001), when employees are involved in the change process, they are less likely to resist transformation in the organization because they feel that they own and drive the change (p.97).
Management should encourage employees’ involvement because it will ease the implementation of change, as employees will have developed commitment to the same.
Training and development of employees is critical in managing change because it builds capacity for change. Training and development of the employees improves the way they execute operations in an organization.
In addition, planning the implementation process is fundamental for successful transformation of an organization. An organization may use external experts or employees to institute change within or outside the organization. Management should define the period, departments involved, the agents of change, and the strategies necessary when implementing change.
Management should provide enough resources for the change agents to institute successful implementation process. Resources include time, information, work force, and finances to complete the change process successfully.
According to Cummings and Worley (2009), successful managers lead change and they should create an atmosphere that will sustain the change process to completion (p.164). During the implementation of change, managers should constantly review progress by establishing measures for assessing value created by the change.
After the implementation process, management should reassess to ensure that the change process is successful. Management should evaluate the implemented change to identify whether the goals and objectives of transforming an organization have been achieved. In case of any discrepancies between the desired outcome and actual results, management should take control measures to correct the situation.
Change is critical for gaining competitive advantage in organizations. The process of managing change begins with identifying the nature and if the intended change is in line with the organization’s goals and objectives. To ensure successful implementation of change, managers must ensure the organization structure, employees, goals, objectives, and culture can accommodate change.
Management should evaluate the dynamics of all factors affecting the change process. A learning culture and flexible structures are critical for change. An organization with a learning culture has the capacity to accommodate change through training and development of its employees.
Managers adopt a learning culture to ensure employees are equipped to accommodate change. For change to be successful, the organization’s leadership should put in place structures, resources, and processes to facilitate the change process.
The success of the change process is highly dependent on the leadership of an organization. Depending on the nature and magnitude of the change being implemented, management can adopt different leadership styles. In modern organizations, leaders need to adopt different roles when implementing change to ensure that the transformation process is successful.
Managing change involves identifying the nature of change, stakeholders in change process and their roles, and ways to motivate change. Management should begin implementation of change by communicating the intended process to the various stakeholders.
During implementation, management should provide the resources necessary for change and objectives for change. Constant reviewing and monitoring of the process ensure successful transformation. After implementation, the organization should evaluate the results of the change process to validate its successful.
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