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 Lead organizational change

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Staff Sergeant
Staff Sergeant

Number of posts : 456
Age : 25

Lead organizational change Empty
PostSubject: Lead organizational change   Lead organizational change Empty10th January 2009, 10:41

The ability to lead organizational change is the fifth tent pole of extraordinary leadership. The best leaders inspire people to rally around a change, while poor leaders have to push, cajole, or even threaten employees to accept change. A turbulent business environment puts leaders to the test: excellent leaders can turn a significant change into a pleasant journey, while poorly led change might be better described as a "trip through hell". With most organizations today in a constant state of change from dramatic growth to downsizing and restructuring must be able to skillfully shepherd organizations in new strategic directions.

We're not talking about slight tactical shifts in current management processes or procedures. Caretaker managers can keep things going on a steady path. But if the organization is to rise to a significantly higher level of performance extraordinary leaders must be able to sense the direction of the market and alter the fundamental business model. They must be able to envision and create a new organization culture.

How do extraordinary leaders approach this task? The challenge in accomplishing change is not only to provide strong direction, but also to get people involved in making the change work. The most effective leaders are able to strike a balance between directing change and involving others.

Leaders with strong directing tendencies are often prepared with well-organized plans that they communicate clearly. They maintain control, but sometimes end up with employees feeling that changes are being done to them but not with them. The end result is that employees resist change and start to distrust management.

On the other hand, leaders who favor involving others in change sometimes fail to provide enough direction, leaving employees confused about their roles and what they need to do to keep the change moving forward. Sometimes leaders who tend toward involving others are simply unwilling to take risks or make tough decisions.

Our research shows clearly that both sets of behaviors are necessary for a leader to manage change effectively. Leaders need to help their people understand the specific details of the change and also help them feel involved so they will feel committed to the change.

Leading organizational change requires that you:

Create the overarching vision: Using your knowledge of the external environment, determine which trends to pursue and which to ignore. Stay involved in critical decisions. Use your influence to shape their outcome.

Translate the vision into specific objectives: In order to make the strategic vision happen, break it down to the level of specific tasks and expectations for individual workers. It is up to you to determine how resources will be allocated. You must establish the norms that will shape the culture.

Balance the need for direction with the need to involve others: Build support for your vision by getting people on board.
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