Writing Assignment # 5
July 2, 2015
Leaders use seven leadership skills in conceiving and managing change projects, whether innovations in established organizations, culture and process changes, or entrepreneurial ventures for industry or social change. The skills leaders need are different at various phases of change projects (Wheatley).Writing Assignment # 5 Organizational change has become a way of life as a result of three forces: globalization, information technology and industry consolidation. In today's world, all organizations, from the Fortune 500 to the local nonprofit agency, need greater reach. They need to be in more places, to be more aware of regional and cultural differences, and to integrate into coherent strategies the work occurring in different markets and communities. The first two forces for change-globalization and technology-will inevitably grow. But it's not enough for organizations to simply "go international" or "get networked." In a global, high-tech world, organizations need to be more fluid, inclusive and responsive. They need to manage complex information flows, grasp new ideas quickly, and spread those ideas throughout the enterprise. What counts is not whether everybody uses e-mail but whether people quickly absorb the impact of information and respond to opportunity (Maxwell, 1998). The Seven Skills for Managing Change
Tuning in to the Environment: As a leader you can't possibly know enough, or be in enough places, to understand everything happening inside-and, more importantly outside-your organization. But you can actively collect information that suggests new approaches. You can create a network of listening posts-a satellite office, a joint venture, a community service. Rubbermaid operates its own stores, for instance, even though it sells mostly to Wal-Mart and other big chains. These stores allow the company to listen to and learn from customers. Likewise, partnerships and alliances not only help you accomplish particular tasks; they also provide knowledge about things happening in the world that you wouldn't see otherwise (Luecke). Kaleidoscope Thinking: Stimulating Breakthrough Ideas: A way of constructing patterns from the fragments of data available, and then manipulating them to form different patterns. They must question their assumption about how pieces of the organization, the marketplace or the community fit together. Change leaders remember that there are many solutions to a problem and that by looking through a different lens, somebody is going to invent, for instance, a new way to deliver health care. There are lots of ways to promote kaleidoscopic thinking. Send people outside the company not just on field trips, but "far afield trips." Go outside your industry and return with fresh ideas. Rotate job assignments and create interdisciplinary project teams to give people fresh ideas and opportunities to test their assumptions. For instance, one innovative department of a U.S. oil company regularly invites people from many different departments to attend large brainstorming sessions. These allow interested outsiders to ask questions, make suggestions, and trigger new ideas (Kotter, 1999). Setting the Theme: Communicating Inspiring Visions: You cannot sell change, or anything else, without genuine conviction, because there are so many sources of resistance to overcome: "We've never done it before; we tried it before and it didn't work." "Things are OK now, so why should we change?" Especially when you are pursuing a true innovation as opposed to responding to a crisis, you've got to make a compelling case. Leaders talk about communicating a vision as an instrument of change, but I prefer the notion of communicating an aspiration. It's not just a picture of what could be; it is an appeal to our better selves, a call to become something more. It reminds us that the future does not descend like a stage set; we construct the future...
References: Brown, J., & Isaacs, D.,(2005). The world café; Shaping our futures through conversations that matter. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.
DePree, M. (1992). Leadership jazz. New York: Doubleday.
Jick, T.D. and Maury, P. (2011). Managing Change: Cases and Concepts, 3 rd Edition. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Companies.
Kanter, R. M. (1983). The change masters: Innovation & entrepreneurship in the American corporation. New York: Simon & Schuster.
Kanter, Rosabeth M. "Leadership for Change: Enduring Skills for Change Masters." Harvard Business School Background Note 304-062, November 2003. (Revised November 2005.)
Kotter, J.P. (1996). Leading Change. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.
Luecke, R. (1994). Scuttle your ships before advancing: And other lessons from history on leadership and change for today’s managers. New York: Oxford University Press.
Maxwell, J. (1998) The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership. Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
Maxwell, J.C. (2005). The 360-degree leader: Developing your influence from anywhere in the organization. Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
Wheatley, M. J., (2002). Turning to one another; simple conversations to restore hope to the future. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.
Please join StudyMode to read the full document