Read this section. Then, thinking back to what you read about Kurt Lewin, discuss why Lewin's research on change is applicable today. You should be picking up on a theme in this course about how the ways our concept of leadership has evolved and differed among various professional environments, such as national politics, professional athletics, and of course, business.
Leaders are in the unique role of not only designing change initiatives but also enacting and communicating them.
Review the strategies leaders must use to lead change effectively
A characteristic or quality of a thing.
To conduct or direct with authority.
Managing change requires strong leadership and an understanding of how organizational change occurs. Leaders are in the unique role of not only designing change initiatives but enacting and communicating them to subordinates. Managing change requires more than simple planning: the significant human element of change resistance needs to be addressed to ensure success.
Successful change management is more likely if leaders:
These six components of change are the responsibility of management to create and implement.
Conner (1998) identified six distinct leadership styles related to change: anti-change, rational, panacea, bolt-on, integrated, and continuous. Each leadership style "represents a unique set of perceptions, attitudes, and behaviors regarding how organizational disruption should be addressed". Stopper (1999) characterizes each of Conner's leadership styles in this way:
Conner says that these six leadership styles are related to two different types of organizational change: first-order change and second-order change. First-order change is incremental, piecemeal change. According to Conner, second-order change is "nonlinear in nature and reflects a movement that is fundamentally different from anything seen before within the existing framework".
Conner identifies the first four leadership styles as appropriate for managing first-order change. When an organization is engaging in discontinuous, transformational change, however, integrated and continuous leadership styles are more appropriate.
There are three main categories of change: business process re-engineering, technological change, and incremental change.
Differentiate between business process re-engineering, technological change, and incremental change as the three main categories of organizational development
Occurring over a series of gradual increments, or small steps.
To use one's intellect to plan or design something.
A method of product development where the model is designed, implemented, and tested incrementally (a little more is added each time) until the product is finished.
Change management is an approach to shifting or transitioning individuals, teams, and organizations from their current state to a desired future state. It is an organizational process aimed at helping stakeholders accept and embrace change in their business environment. In some project management contexts, change management refers to a project management process wherein changes to a project are formally introduced and approved.
Kotter defines change management as the utilization of basic structures and tools to control any organizational change effort. Change management's goal is to maximize organizational benefit, minimize impacts on workers, and avoid distractions. There are different types of change an organization can face.
Business process re-engineering (BPR) is a business management strategy first pioneered in the early 1990s that focuses on the analysis and design of workflows and processes within an organization. BPR aims to help organizations fundamentally rethink how they do their work in order to dramatically improve customer service, cut operational costs, and become world-class competitors. In the mid-1990s, as many as 60% of the Fortune 500 companies claimed to have either initiated re-engineering efforts or begun planning for it.
BPR helps companies radically restructure their organizations by focusing on their business processes from the ground up. A business process is a set of logically related tasks performed to achieve a defined business outcome. Re-engineering emphasizes a holistic focus on business objectives and how processes relate to them, encouraging full-scale recreation of processes rather than iterative optimization of sub-processes.
Business process re-engineering is also known as business process redesign, business transformation, and business process change management.
Incremental change is a method of introducing many small, gradual (and often unplanned) changes to a project instead of a few large, rapid (and extensively planned) changes. Wikipedia illustrates the concept by building an encyclopedia bit by bit. Another good example of incremental change is a manufacturing company making hundreds of small components that go into a larger product, like a car. Improving the manufacturing process of each of these integral components one at a time to cut costs and improve process efficiency overall is incremental change.
Technological change (TC) describes the overall process of invention, innovation, and diffusion of technology or processes. The term is synonymous with technological development, technological achievement, and technological progress. In essence, TC is the invention of a technology (or a process), the continuous process of improving a technology (which often makes it cheaper), and its diffusion throughout industry or society. In short, technological change is based on both better and more technology integrated into the framework of existing operational processes.
Inside forces include strategic and human resource changes, while outside forces include macroeconomic and technological change.
Identify the internal and external pressures for change, which drive organizations to adapt and evolve
Relating to the entire economy, including the growth rate, money and credit, exchange rates, the total amount of goods and services produced, etc.
Change management is an approach to shifting or transitioning individuals, teams, and organizations from their existing state to a desired future state. Examples of organizational change can include strategic, operational, and technological changes coming from inside or outside the organization. Understanding key internal and external change catalysts is critical to successful change management for organizational leaders.
While there are seemingly endless external considerations that can motivate an organization to change, a few common considerations should be constantly monitored. These include economic factors, competitive dynamics, new technology, globalization, and legislative changes:
There are many inside forces to keep in mind as well, ranging from employee changes to cultural reform to operational challenges. Understanding where this change is coming from is the first step to timely and appropriate change management.
Change management can be implemented to change an organization's mission, strategy, structure, technology, or culture.
Recognize and discuss the various components of an organization which may undergo change through the evolution and adaptation of organizational strategy and/or objectives
A group of people or other legal entities with an explicit purpose and written rules.
The controlled implementation of required changes to some system; includes version control and planned fallback.
When an organization requires changes to address counterproductive aspects of organizational culture, the process can be daunting. Cultural change is usually necessary to reduce employee turnover, influence employee behavior, make improvements to the company, refocus the company objectives, rescale the organization, provide better customer service, or achieve specific company goals and results. Cultural change can be impacted by a number of elements, including the external environment and industry competitors, changes in industry standards, technology changes, the size and nature of the workforce, and the organization's history and management.
Prior to launching a cultural change initiative, a company should carry out a needs assessment to examine the existing organizational culture and operations. Careful and objective consideration of what is working and what is not, as well as what is parallel with the broader organizational objectives and what is not, are critical to success here.
Areas that need to change can be identified through interviews, focus groups, observation, and other methods of internal and external research. A company must clearly identify the existing culture and then design a change process to implement the desired culture.
Common areas of organizational change include:
Organizational change management should begin with a systematic diagnosis of the existing situation in order to determine the organization's need for and ability to change. The objectives, content, and process of change should be specified as part of the change management plan.
Change management processes can benefit from creative marketing to facilitate communication between change audiences and a deep social understanding of leadership styles and group dynamics. To track transformation projects, organizational change management should align group expectations, communicate, integrate teams, and manage and train people. Change management should also make use of performance metrics including financial results, operational efficiency, leadership commitment, communication effectiveness, and the perceived need for change in order to design appropriate strategies that make the change in organizational culture as smooth and as efficient as possible.
Organizational development is a deliberately planned effort to increase an organization's relevance and viability.
Explain the role of organizational development in leadership and organizational change
The ability to live or to succeed.
Someone or something that encourages progress or change.
Organization development (OD) is a deliberately planned effort to increase an organization's relevance and viability. Vasudevan has referred to OD as a systemic learning and development strategy intended to change the basics of beliefs, attitudes, and relevance of an organization's values and structure. This process helps the organization to better absorb disruptive technologies, market opportunities, and ensuing challenges and chaos. Essentially, organizational development is the framework for a change process that is designed to produce desirable and positive results for all stakeholders and the environment.
Organizational development is a lifelong, built-in mechanism to improve an organization internally. This is often done with the assistance of a "change agent" or "catalyst" who enables appropriate theories and techniques from applied behavioral sciences, anthropology, sociology, and phenomenology. The terms "change agent" and "catalyst" suggest a leader who is engaged in transformation leadership as opposed to management (management being a more incremental or efficiency-based change methodology).
The purpose of OD is to address the evolving needs of successful organizations. It represents a concerted collaboration of internal and external experts in the field to discover the processes an organization can use to become more effective.
Organizational development aims to improve an organization's capacity to handle its internal and external functioning and relationships. This includes improving interpersonal and group processes; communication; the organization's ability to cope with problems; decision-making processes; leadership styles; conflict and trust; and cooperation among organizational members.
Weisbord presents a six-box model for understanding – and thereby changing and improving – an organization:
Lewin's description of the process of change involves three steps:
The efficacy of organizational development is predicated on the adaptability of the organization and the overall successful integration of new ideas and strategies within an existing framework. Resistance to change is a fundamental organizational problem as all organizations have a degree of general inertia. This is further complicated by the difficulty in quantitatively measuring changes in areas that are generally intangible (i.e., culture).
To remedy this, organizations pursuing OD must set clear and measurable objectives prior to committing to a change initiative. An important role of the leader is to analyze and assess the effectiveness of this developmental process and motivate the organization to achieve developmental targets.
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