Change is a constant in every setting. Work. Education. Personal. Change affects every aspect. It each circumstance, someone is leading the change; in professional settings it is typically the leader (i.e., boss) or someone who feels passionately about the change (i.e., a team member).
The theories discussed in this week’s readings, specifically those mentioned by Biech (2007) can help lead the ever-changing environments. Even though Biech published these theories in 2007, I think they still apply to what we have today. Biech’s (2007) Complexity Theory specifically seems appropriate for our current environment since it address the interlocked nature of many realities converging in one situation. I do not think that we need new theories since our environment is different than it was at the time of creation of the current theories. It is our responsibility to find ways to implement the existing philosophies and apply them now. The number of theories would become uncontrollable if we created a new one for every environmental change!
I do not have much leadership experience, but I have been on several teams with both good and bad outcomes for change implementation. The idea of change readiness (Weiner, 2009, p. 4) as always intrigued me, but I did not know how to encourage that readiness on a team. My current organization does not spend much time or effort on change readiness; as a result, the announcement of changes come as gospel. It makes it much harder to accept changes when they appear in an instant rather than having some time to ask questions and become familiar with the new idea. If I ever take on a leadership role, I would like to remember to implement readiness techniques when change is on the horizon, while understanding that it is not always possible, especially if I become a leader within my current organization.
As this program focuses on digital environments, I often find that I take face-to-face experience and imagine a digital equivalent. When it comes to change management and leadership in the digital world, I think that it is that much more important than in the face-to-face world. Communication is key when managing any change, when that change is happening in a digital environment it is critical. Digital environments come with the complication of missing facial expressions and tone. In order to manage change, leaders need to create an open environment where team members can discuss the upcoming change(s).
“Some of the most promising organizational changes … require collective, coordinated behavior change by many organizational members” (Weiner, 2009, p. 6). This statement is true in all environments, digital or not.
Biech, E. (2007) Models for Change. In Thriving Through Change: A Leader’s Practical Guide to Change Mastery. Alexandria, VA: ASTD
Weiner, B. J. (2009). A theory of organizational readiness for change. Implementation Science, 4(67).