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Change Management and Leadership

A good leader realizes that things will change. Change is inevitable for a company’s growth. Without change a company cannot grow or compete with the competition. Affective change management is controlled by the success of its leader. A leader must consider options and alternatives that will benefit the company and it’s employees.

Many companies deal with change by informing employees as the change occurs. While other companies do not provide information until the day of the change. There are positive as well as negative results from different styles of leadership when dealing with change in the workplace. A good leader possesses the skills to conform to their employees. Some good leadership styles to take into consideration include: charismatic, instrumental, and missionary leadership. Although, all leadership styles depend on the situation and the employees that it will effect.

As Gill Roger states, “…change must be well managed – it must be planned, organized, directed and controlled – it also requires effective leadership to introduce change successfully: it is leadership that makes the difference.” Without a good leadership role in place, change will result in a bad outcome. Most change occurs from problems or opportunities that are presented to the CEO or higher management. Although leaders aren’t always the CEO, they can be the manager, or a spokesperson that has the ability to make changes that will benefit all that is involved. Although changes are not always surprising, a Leader needs to be ready for change at any time. As change occurs a leader needs to be capable of giving the employees direction and a goal to work toward. Management also needs to take the employee’s views into consideration when making decisions in regard to the change in the workplace. Employees are the key to a successful company.

Companies publish their values or mission statements in an attempt to structure a specific culture. A company establishing the culture and values of the office is a way of keeping the company uniformed – everyone working toward the same goal. By teaching the values the company wants to emphasize, the company will grow in the way the leader wants it to.

Management and leaders also need to take the employee’s values into effect when promoting change. If a leader is aware of the resistance that may occur with an employee, they can adjust their own behavior to reflect positively. By communicating with employees and setting a reward or pay-based goal, employees will have something to work toward that will benefit them.

Leaders can also react appropriately to critical situations. Being able to act calm under sticky situations shows employees that there is someone in control.

A leader must be able to overcome resistance to change. As one commentary explains, “Change is not only desirable but inevitable if we are to thrive in our practices. That said, most human beings are uncomfortable with change. Our job as leaders and managers is to make change as comfortable and rewarding as possible”. There will always be someone resistant to comply with changes in the workplace. A fear of not knowing or having little information about the change can be causes for stress among employees. By not taking the negative resistance into affect, the changes will not be made as efficiently and productively as possible, if at all. A leader must also be able to see their limitations and be able to communicate with their employees.

Good leadership in the face of change management includes three functions: charismatic, instrumental, and missionary leadership.

Charismatic leaders are able to set high expectations, show a strong vision in which to work for, and show co-workers the confidence to do the job and succeed. They inspire the people they work with by having empathy and confidence.

Instrumental leaders are the plan makers. This type of leader builds teams, creates structures, goals, standards, and responsibilities. It gives the team the idea of what they are working toward and how to get there. It facilitates the plan.

Missionary leaders take their vision and sell it to management on their team. They influence managers and other co-workers to lead the change in the workplace. The managers of their team then go out and spread the vision throughout the company to succeed at their vision.

When confronted with change a leader or manager should focus on the results they plan to accomplish. Leaders can do this by giving incentive awards to the employees that are accomplishing these goals by using company procedure.

Leaders also need to overcome barriers. If a manager is not on board with the change that is taking place then it may be necessary to change out that manager for this specific plan. While doing so a positive message must be communicated to the team to keep up morale and ward off any negative resistance. Last, but not least, a leader must constantly monitor the progress of change. A leader needs to be able to view the possible roadblocks, and a plan to combat them before they get to overwhelming. This will ensure a positive outcome for all involved in the process of change.

Ten years ago, leaders and managers were doing things differently. A company’s success is based on the changes that are being made to ensure the company is up-to-date in all areas. If a company is unwilling to change, it will be left behind. A leader cannot expect to do the same things that they did five or ten years prior. Because something may have worked in the past, does not mean it will continue to work in the future. For example, this article on the lack of change in the economy and the way the country is ran in Arab nations explains the impact on society. “Standards of education and health services in the Arab countries are declining as a result of stagnant economic policies. Prevalent economic policies have caused unemployment to worsen and standards of living to drop”. If companies did not adjust to change, the world would not grow and in turn would affect the families and lives of us all. Imagine where we would be if no one tried to change the way cars ran, or airplanes flew.

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