When it comes to change the statement below summarizes how we/human beings feel about change. The inventor Charles F. Kettering said, “The world hates change, yet it is the only thing that has brought progress.” The digital information age requires management behaviors to inspire plan and manage change within organizations
Humankind has been wrestling with the nature of change for thousands of years. In corporate environments, change threatens the organization’s culture. Leadership may unknowingly create barriers to change if strategies are installed that undermine the embedded guiding corporate values. Leaders are equally vulnerable to the cultural messages that suggest that change may disrupt their individual and collective safe havens within the corporate community.
Many definitions and methods have been suggested to manage change; however, organizations still report a high failure rate of their change initiatives. These high failure rates highlight the continuing need for research and investigation, and imply a lack of a valid framework for managing successful organizational change.
According to Al-Haddad & Kotnour (2015), we are living today in a constantly growing global business environment, where change has become the norm for organizations to sustain their success and existence. Industrial and governmental organizations are constantly striving to align their operations with a changing environment (Ackoff, 2006; Burnes, 2004a; By, 2005; Hailey and Balogun, 2002; Kotter, 1996; Mintzberg, 1979; Moran and Brightman, 2001).The main contribution of Al-Haddad & Kotnour’s (2015) research to the scholarly literature is to connect the three main knowledge areas of change types, change methods and change outcomes.
A leader is the person who makes sure that the organization is heading in the right direction (Winston, 2004). Leadership can be defined as a process whereby a person influences and directs others to accomplish a certain objective or achieve a common goal (Northouse, 2007). Kouzes and Posner (1995) suggest that the five main leadership practices, or what they call the “exemplary leadership,” are: “modeling the way, inspiring a shared vision, challenging the process, enabling others to act, and encouraging the heart” (p. 13). Soderholm (1989) argues that leadership is about the innovation of new ideas and new concepts that brings new desirable outcomes.
Biech and Weiner (2007), both assert that in order for the implementation of the plan to be successful, it requires the engagement of the employees and/or stakeholders, which brings me to the concept of multiple theories to understand change management in different verticals. These theories vary from System theory, Theory E and Theory O to Chaos and Complexity Theory.
The theory that makes most sense in a lot of corporate environments is the Theory E &Theory O Theory E relies heavily on cost cutting, down-sizing, and asset sales to meet its objectives. The organization that I work for recently went through Theory E and simultaneously driving and implementing Theory O
Conversely, Theory O (organizational capabilities) is a long-term approach that aims to create higher performance by fostering a powerful culture and capable workforce. It is characterized by high levels of employee participation and a flatter organizational structure
As far as over the last 20 plus years of my experience in the corporate world goes, I concur that the way of thinking about organizational readiness is best suited for organizational changes where collective, coordinated behavior change is necessary in order to effectively implement the change and, in some instances, for the change to produce anticipated benefits. Some of the most promising organizational changes in different industries delivery requires collective, coordinated behavior change by many organizational members.
The organizations may be for‐profit, government or not‐for profit. As long as people are involved, the leadership role in the change process must be broad and deep. It requires insight into the human elements that may sabotage or accelerate the change process coupled with strategic skill and commitment to continuously scan the external environment and to integrate breakthroughs. Senior leaders must develop the art of the long view to establish a culture that can assimilate incremental changes as well as create a resilient culture where employees can bounce back quickly with radical adaptive change. The leaders’ communication styles must establish an ongoing stream of messaging that allows all employees a sense of predictability and also allows the organization’s own resources and natural tendencies to emerge, as remedies are needed.
In conclusion, I agree with Biech and Weiner (2007), determinants for change efforts which states that two keys to success are important for all change efforts, they are:
1.You need to have a plan. The plan must translate the concepts into concrete steps so that employees can implement them.
2.You need to carry out the plan—all of it. Carrying out the plan requires getting everyone involved who has a stake in the change. So, you must plan the work and work the plan.
Al-Haddad, S., & Kotnour, T. (2015). Integrating the organizational change literature: a model for successful change. Journal of Organizational Change Management, 28(2), 234-262.
Biech, E. (2007) Models for Change. In Thriving Through Change: A Leader’s Practical Guide to Change Mastery. Alexandria, VA: ASTD
Mackenzie, L., M (2008). Managing in the digital environment: Leadership in the information age: A culture of continual change. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1002/bult.2007.BULT1720330404
Weiner, B.J. (2009) A theory of organizational readiness for change. Implementation Sci 4, 67. doi: https://doi.org/10.1186/1748-5908-4-