How have the theories/models for change adapted to take into consideration our current technological, economic and societal contexts?

People control the pendulum of technology usage and the continual advances that technology offers by supply and demand (Salazar, M. and Holbrook, J.A.D., 2007). With this, there must be an ever-evolving growth of research as to what methods and theories work within a specific climate. Quick responses need to be implemented to help make any transition smooth while keeping the staff happy and this is where leaders come to the forefront to play a pivotal role by motivating and guiding (Al-Haddad & Kotnour, 2015). “Open systems require ongoing change to adapt to the revolutionary environment and this creates a strategy of continuous learning that becomes integrated within the organizational culture” (Al-Haddad & Kotnour, 2015).

Which theories/models do you think best align with your own approach to leadership? Do these approaches align with your organizational context?

Beer and Nohria identified two theories, but I align more strongly with “Theory O”. It is a softer approach where the focus is based on “developing the organizational culture and people’s capabilities and usually welcomes people’s involvement, feedback and reflections” (Beer and Nohria, 2000). This aligns closely with my organizational context, as we have over 17,500 students from 148 countries, which speak 98 different languages (Fast Facts, n.d). This size and multi culturalism can bring added pressure to an instructor, as they are constantly aiming to achieve cultural sensitivity while teaching a course. Continual feedback and reflection are a necessity.One of the models I am most interested in, which takes technological, economic and societal context into consideration are Walker’s four aspects of resilience: Latitude, resistance, precariousness and panarchy (Walker et al, 2004). This helps account for shifts in the climate and helps prepare for change.

What role does leadership play in managing change?

I find it interesting that management and leadership has been mixed up along the journey of life. Just because someone is a manager, does not make them a great leader as being a leader is living by example and motivating/influencing others to complete a task or achieve a goal. “Management and leadership are two overlapping terms which confuse many people. Leadership and management are complementary for each other and they go hand in hand” (Al-Haddad & Kotnour, 2015). Strong leadership helps maneuver the process of managing change by assisting others to unite in a shared vision.

What are the unique challenges in managing change for learning in digital environments? What attributes do you think would work well within your own context?

The digital environment is forever changing and advancing, which would pose the challenge of remaining current and be a subject matter expert within the context. There is also a plethora of tools and softwares to choose from, which could be difficult to select which ones work best together and what would be more appreciated by both the learner and teacher. Communication and strong leadership are attributes which can build a foundation and drive a team to success. John C. Maxwell summarizes it best: “A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way” (Ali, Moazzam, and Kaustav, n.d).

References

Al-Haddad, S., & Kotnour, T. (2015). Integrating the organizational change literature: a model for successful changeJournal of Organizational Change Management28(2), 234-262.

Ali, Moazzam, and Kaustav. “50 Famous and Inspiring Leadership Quotes.” WiseToast, 7 Nov. 2015, wisetoast.com/50-inspiring-leadership-quotes/.

Beer, M. and Nohria, N. (2000), “Cracking the code of change”, Harvard Business Review , Vol. 78 No. 3, pp. 133-141.

“Fast Facts.” (n.d) Fast Facts | Bow Valley College, bowvalleycollege.ca/about/media-relations-centre/fast-facts-and-stats.

Salazar, M. and Holbrook, J.A.D.(2007) “Some notes on theories of Technology, Society and Innovation Systems for S&T policy studies”, CENTRE FOR POLICY RESEARCH ON SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY SIMON FRASER UNIVERSITY, Report 08-02

Walker, B.; Holling, C.S.; Carpenter, S.R. and Kinzig A. (2004). Resilience, adaptability and transformability in social–ecological systems. Ecology and Society, 9(2), (p. 5). Available at: http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol9/iss2/art5/. Accessed 12th December 2012