It is undoubtedly clear embracing change in the current business environment has become an essential area of focus for business organizations. There are a lot of social forces that disrupt the normal operations of organizations thus the need to undertake changes to keep up with the new demands. To a large extent the success or failure of change is greatly influenced with the organizational leadership, I thus strongly concur that leadership have a substantial role in change management. For change to take place there is always a need to formulate a strategy that provides guidance to the change process. The strategy is formulated by the leader, thus they need to have the right skills that will enable them to navigate through the upheavals within the company or the organization. A recent study by the center for creative leadership found out that a majority of the change management strategies are unsuccessful and are mainly intrigued by poor leadership. Leaders have a lot of roles to play to ensure the success of a change process. In order for the leaders to navigate through, they have to focus on four essential processes to support any significant organizational change (Belvoir& Hood, 2016). The first role of a leader in the change management process is to understand and formulate the scope of the project. Under this the leaders sets up a plan to set the priorities that will provide guidance for the change process. The next role is deciding on a course for the anticipated changes then mapping the impacts of the change. The next process is implementing the change process and finally adjusting the course appropriately by evaluating the process continuously and taking corrective measures to ensure the change is in line with its stipulated strategies.
The concept of servant leadership for initiating and implementing change in organizations
Servant leadership is primarily about the leaders leading by example and giving directions to their team mates. Typically, in any organization all employees look up to their leaders for a direction and a number of things. Specifically, during the process of implementing change employees expect sensible and effective planning, effective and confident decision making as well as communicating timely. Furthermore, during the change process servant leaders need to be supportive, committed and concerned to the welfare of the employees while at the same time taking into consideration that tough decision has to be made. A servant leader thrives at creating a climate of trust between them and the rest of the team (Baldomir & Hood, 2016). The trust brings hope and enabling the team to cope with drastic changes in the organization much easier. Without servant leadership there is a higher likelihood of distrust thus no hope and there consequently the organization will become nonfunctioning. Servant leadership plays an integral role before, during and after implementing change. Servant leaders understand their position and role in influencing organizational change or performance. Servant leadership focuses on staff engagement. They ensure that they bring their employees onboard with the transition to the new change. Engaging the employees will motivate and give the employees the morale to embrace the change.
In my own understanding, I feel that servant leadership is essential for a successful change management process. I have learnt that leaders through the kind of their leadership can motivate or discourage employees from embracing change process thus future leaders and organizations need to pay a lot of precedence on their leadership styles ensuring that they make joint and effective decision making process as well as engage employees. Leaders such as Nelson Mandela and Robert K. Greenleaf have shown exemplary leadership qualities. They are self-serving and were responsible for implementing change, there communication approach was effective and overcame the fear of change. despite Lewin being highly recognized of his change theory, which involved the unfreeze, change and freeze leadership models, most scholars have refuted and criticized his arguments claiming it is more theoretical and can hardly be applied in the current business environment.
Baldomir, Joel, and Julia P. Hood. "Servant Leadership as a Framework for Organizational Change." International Leadership Journal 8.1 (2016).
Dennis, R.S., Kinzler-Norheim, L. and Bocarnea, M., 2010. Servant Leadership Theory (pp. 169-179). Palgrave Macmillan UK.
Greenleaf, Robert K., and Larry C. Spears. Servant leadership: A journey into the nature of legitimate power and greatness. Paulist Press, 2002.
Sendjaya, S. and Sarros, J.C., 2002. Servant leadership: Its origin, development, and application in organizations.Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies, 9(2), pp.57-64.
The change agent
Any person within or outside the organization that acts as a catalyst for change who helps the organization transform itself by placing a lot of precedence to essential matters such as organizational improvement, effectiveness as well as development. Change agents play a significant role in struggling organizations gain their stability. The concept of change agent can be traced back to Kurt Lewin who developed the change theory (Burnes, 2009). Since then the concept has been extensively developed over the years by organization development movement. The change agent also focuses on the impacts of changing structures, technologies and roles or tasks on group or interpersonal relationships in the organization (Cummings & Worley, 2009). Furthermore, they place of a lot of attention on the people in the organization and how they interact to one another. The argument brought forth by Lewin regarding organizational change provides a comprehensive blueprint for the attributes and behavior of change agents who consequently in return are supported and buttressed by a host of techniques and tools for managing and analyzing organizational change. Moreover, a change agent play a neutral role in facilitating and an ethical and transparent agenda to help the persons in the organizations involved in identifying the various available options to make appropriate and prompt choices.
A change agent is simply a consultant who is either from within the organization or might have been hired from outside. An effective change agent displays four competencies. They include having a broader knowledge of the industry in which the organization is in, including diagnostic knowledge, conceptual, evaluative knowledge as well as understanding techniques of change, they are sensitive and mature, they have relational and operational knowledge and also they are authentic.
Despite having different roles, the essential role of a change agent is to determine the extent of readiness for change. To effectively understand the level of readiness for change, the change agent assesses the macro, micro as well as the meso levels (Pathak, 2010). The specific factors that are looked into include assessing the environmental trust, the strategic plan, the training programs, the group norms as well as the appraisal procedures that promote flexibility among the employees. moreover, the change agents conducts field mapping for the entire system by identifying factors at the group, individual that will either promote or hinder change such as dissatisfaction, sensitivity to pressures, the level of shared belief and trust among the managers and the employees (Caluwe & Vermaak, 2007). Availability of resources to drive and support the change will also be essential.
Boris Johnson played an integral role and acted as a change agent in supporting the UK to depart the EU in the June referendum (Burnes, 2009). He was stern at his argument and support for Brexit despite lawyers from the government refuting his wording. Mr. Boris insisted that the position held by Cameroon was only to be secure if they chose to vote to leave the EU on 23rd June. He added that, to the best of his knowledge there is no EA leader that can surrender or step aside just because of a referendum.
Burnes, B., 2009. Management Change: A Strategic Approach to Organisational Dynamics. Prentice Hall-Financial Times.
Caluwe, L. D., &Vermaak, H. (2007). Learning to change: a guide for organization change agents. Thousand Oaks, Calif. [u.a.], Sage Publ.
Cummings, T. G., &Worley, C. G. (2009). Organization development & change. Australia, South-Western/Cengage Learning.
Pathak, H. (2010). Organisational change. [S.I.], Pearson. http://proquest.safaribooksonline.com/?fpi=9789332510487.
Theory E and Theory O
The advent of the new economy has ushered in numerous great business opportunities as well as numerous turmoil. One of the greatest challenges that most business organizations face is implementing change. Restructuring, downsizing, installing new technology or changing the corporate culture has low success rates. More than 70% of change initiatives are always unsuccessful. The primary reason for failure of most of the change implementation processes is due to the managers rush to implement the change (Beer & Nohria, 2000). leaders become mesmerized and lose focus by the numerous advice available both on print and online media regarding why organizations need to implement change, what needs to be accomplished and how it should be done. The numerous recommendations results in muddle when change is implemented. Typically, every business has its unique change process and is based on two archetypes that are based on unconscious assumptions by the change agents or the managers. Theory E and theory O are the main archetypes (Beer & Nohria, 2001). Typically, theory O places a lot of precedence on change that is based on the organizational capability whereas theory E is change that is pegged on economic value (Beer & Nohria, 2000).
Managers that use theory O have a belief that if they place a lot of prevalence on the price of their available stock, it could be detrimental to their organizations. Their goal and focus is to establish or rather develop human capability or a corporate culture through organizational and individual learning. It involves the process of obtaining feedback, changing, reflecting and making further changes (Luecke, 2003). Business organizations that embrace this theory have long held, strong and also committed-based psychological contract between the managers and their employees. On the other hand, theory E change strategy can be considered a hard approach to change (Chism, 2007). Managers using this strategy place a lot of precedence on the wellbeing of the shareholders. Furthermore, in this strategy, there is heavy use of economic incentives, downsizing, drastic layoffs as well as restructuring.
The following table draws therelationship between the two theories:
Dimension of change Theory O Theory E Theories O and E combined
Leadership Focuses and encourages engagement and participation from the bottom to the top. Encourages management from the top to the bottom. The recommended take is to set direction from the top then engage the people from below.
Goals Places a lot of precedence on organizational capabilities. Focuses on shareholder value than any other organizational aspects. Entirely implement the paradox between the organizational capability and economic value.
Focus Develop a corporate culture among the employees attitudes and behavior. Places a lot of precedence on the systems and structure. Need to focus on soft (corporate culture) and the hard (systems and structures)
Use of consultants The consultants are only engaged to provide support management in align...
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