Leadership & Change
Changes are common phenomenons that happening everywhere. Specifically in an organization, there are several types of changes like planed change and emergent change, internal change and external change that influence both individuals and companies. The forces that drive changes may be the uncertainty of economic conditions, advances in technology and different distribution of work across people etc . Among all the individuals in the company, some are eager for constant changes and challenges while some show resistance to change. The reasons why there are different attitudes toward changes are various. Upon the statement proposed by Mullins arguing that it’s all down to individuals’ personalities, there is little management can do about resistance to change, I consider it partly right. Whether people prefer changes or stability is depend on several factors. First and foremost, personality plays a significant role in attitudes toward changes. Habits, inconvenience or loss of freedom, security in the past and fear of unknown are reasons in relation to personality that contribute to resistance to change (Mullins 2013). People who used to working in his own style and formed habits is less likely to change. Moreover, fear of the unknown makes sense in explaining resistance to change for it brings new environment and insecurity. While for those who prefer changes consider them as new challenges and opportunities that keep challenging their abilities and enhancing their overall self-improvement. Apart from that, different organizational cultures and stability maintenance influence the operation of the entire organization. Organizational culture is an vital part in a company that shapes the overall working style of everyone. More importantly, management matters dramatically in people’s options for changes. Since managers and leaders are the important driving force for the development of the teams and groups. Their decisions and leading styles are influential in individuals.
“Leaders are the key drivers of change” (Thechangeforum 2013). A model of change management is introduced to examine the significant roles managers play in avoiding and overcoming resistance to change. JC Penny adapts a rigid management style which requires every employees to adhere to company rules strictly. For example, employees are not allow to call the first name of their boss. Working space decoration and dress code are strictly limited in the company. What’s more, managers possess the great power of making decisions without consensus among workers. As a result of that, it produced two extreme outcomes both including pros and cons. For one thing, the value of resistance to change can bestow to the disciplined working environment. Specially the time for effective decision making is largely shorten to meed the urgent situation. For another thing, overcoming the resistance to change also counts for stability may bring about negative impacts. Before JC Penny changed its managing style, dissatisfaction appeared and workers’ creation as well as innovation are largely restricted. High turnover rate has worsen the performance of the company. After realizing the negative impacts of this centralized power management, JC Penny decided to make changes to the management as well as organizational culture (songx6-CULC 2014). Great impacts have been achieved by the adjusted model of management since then. Workers tend to work in free and high spirits and gain satisfaction from work. Change management is a crucial part in a company’s securing effective methods. John Kotter defined change management as employees buying into the change after leaders convince them of the urgent need which involved eight actions to secure effective change (Normandin 2012). Start with creating a sense of urgency among relevant people. An urgent environment assists to increase the alertness and flexibility among employees so as to adapt unexpected changes quickly. Second, building a guiding team which has credibility. Then, creating visions that are sensible clear and uplifting. More importantly communicating the vision and strategy to induce understanding and commitment. It’s essential to listen to feedback of employees, and bear in main their needs and opinions. Managers need to pay attention to produce short term wins. No matter verbal compliment or financial prize are good motivations for employees’ working harder. Maintaining momentum and remove obstacles also matter. Finally, make changes stick by nurturing a new culture ( Kotter & Cohen 2002). As for as I am concerned, both individuals and managers are supposed to realize the importance of fostering the capacity to adapt to changes. And it will be beneficial for managers to learn those 8 steps to manage changes with effectiveness.
Kotter, J.P. & Cohen, D.S. (2002) The Heart of Change: Real-Life Stories of How People Change Their Organizations. London: Harvard Business Review Press
Mullins, L.J. (2013) Management and Organizational Behavior. United Kingdom: FT Publishing International.
Normandin, B. (2012) Three types of change management models.[online] Available from<http://quickbase.intuit.com/blog/2012/08/28/three-types-of-change-management-models/> %5B 23 March 2015%5D.
Songx6-CULC (2014) Managing Change. [online] Available from<[23″ >https://xsong1117.wordpress.com/2014/04/03/managing-change/> [23March 2015]
The Change Forum (2013) Learning to Lead Change.[online] Available from<http://thechangeforum.com/Change%20Leadership.htm>[ 24 March 2015]