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Change Process - the Role of Leadership

Essay by   •  September 8, 2012  •  Essay  •  980 Words (4 Pages)  •  1,838 Views

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The world of human resource management is in constant flux. Competition, consumer choice, diversified product choice, improved technology, unrestricted trade territories etc., have contributed significantly to the necessity of bringing about change in the organization and embracing it as an ongoing process. Globalization and liberalization have further fueled the necessity for change. Orientation to change within organization starts from the top and percolates downwards, while interplay of many elements is involved in the smooth succession. During the change programs, the most important determinant of "getting through the swamp", is the ability of leadership to...well, lead. It has been observed that the nature of the change is secondary to the perceptions that employees have regarding the ability, competence, and credibility of senior and middle management. If you are to manage change effectively, you need to be aware of the three distinct times zones where leadership is important. We can refer to these as: Preparing for the Journey, Slogging through the Swamp, and After Arrival. We will look more carefully at each of these.

The Role of Leadership:

In an organization where there is faith in the abilities of formal leaders, employees will look towards the leaders for a number of things. During drastic change times, employees will expect effective and sensible planning, confident and effective decision-making, and regular, timely and complete communication. Also during these times of change, employees will perceive leadership as supportive, concerned and committed to their welfare, while at the same time recognizing that tough decisions need to be made. In specific terms a climate of trust between leader and the rest of the team needs to be inculcated in an organization. The existence of this trust brings hope for better times in the future, and which in turn makes coping with drastic change much easier. In organizations characterized by poor leadership, employees expect nothing positive. In a climate of distrust, employees learn that leaders will act in indecipherable ways and in ways that do not seem to be in anyone's best interests. Poor leadership means an absence of hope, which, if allowed to go on for too long, results in an organization becoming completely nonfunctioning. The organization must deal with the practical impact of unpleasant change, but more importantly, must labor under the weight of employees who have given up, have no faith in the system or in the ability of leaders to turn the organization around. Thus, Leadership before, during and after change implementation is the key to getting through the swamp.

1. Preparing for the Journey:

It would be a mistake to assume that preparing for the journey takes place only after the destination has been defined or chosen. When we talk about preparing for the change journey, we are talking about leading in a way that lays the foundation or groundwork for ANY changes that may occur in the future. Preparing is about building resources, by building healthy

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