Case study - managing change

Topics: Leadership, Management, Situational leadership theory Pages: 14 (4482 words) Published: January 11, 2005

Organisations today are going through constant change brought about by competition, economics, business innovation and a realization that remaining stagnant may mean organizational death. As the business environment increases in complexity and changes rapidly, organization and management consequently experiences significant transformation to cope with these changes. On a micro level (company level), these changes would include the transformation of the internal corporate culture as well as enhancements in the management of human resources in response to increasing workplace diversity and the evolving needs of the workforce. Therefore, the ability to change is an important part of the organization's business environment while the ability to help it adapt to change is equally a critical business challenge for the leadership.

Change is imperative

Organisations can't escape change. So what is change? - It is adjustments, transformations, transitions, and revolutions which is a never-ending cycle of birth, growth and death (Topping, 2002). Change disrupts everyone's life; the only question is for how long.

Leader - the change agent

When an organisation is at the crossroad of change, it is in the crisis stage. DuBrin (1989) defined crisis as a turning point for better or worse, or a situation that has reached a critical phase. When a company is in a crisis, it requires decisive and bold leadership to identify, isolate and manage the crisis (Topping, 2002). Leadership now requires very different behaviour from the leadership tradition that we were used to. It requires leaders who are able to speak to the collective imagination of their people, co-opting them to join in the business journey. It also requires convincing motivators that lead people into making that extra effort of a full commitment. It is all about human behaviour and understanding the way people and organizations behave; creating relationships; building commitment; adapting behaviours to lead in a creative and motivating way (Kets DeVries, 2001). Hence, I do believe that a radical change in leadership is essential to turn the organisation around.

Assessment of Pilay's leadership competencies

Having said about the importance of leadership in a changing environment, I will now assess the leadership competencies of Pilay (myself), who had been recently appointed as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Wood's Departmental Store. My task here is to effect a positive change in the company's performance.

Assessing my own strengths and limitations is not an easy task. Yet, this assessment is important as it provides an evaluation of my strengths and limitations that would allow for the necessary reflections in making adjustments to my leadership styles (Myers, 2002). My background experience which includes twenty one years of working up from an audit clerk to the Head of Audit and Head of Credit had allowed me the privilege to manage the loan's department as well as the audit department of a foreign bank with international status. These vast management experiences from a banking environment have now been transferred to the running of a departmental store, over which I have been appointed. I am aware of the challenges posed by this change and am determined that there would be several adaptations apart from drawing from what I have been comfortable and competent with during my previous employment.

Being an auditor previously, I consider myself to be well-organised with a level of self-discipline - my days at the office usually began with reviews on the previous day's activities. This practice allows me the opportunity to prioritise my agenda for the close of the business day. My scope of work also involves contact with different individuals who require my undivided attention; clients, customer service representatives and co-workers on a daily basis as well as top management personal such as senior executives and company directors. The...

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