Change Process




Theimportance of management and leadership cannot be gainsaid as far asthe profitability and sustainability of any business entity isconcerned. Indeed, leaders and managers are primarily concerned withthe making of appropriate decisions that would propel theorganization or firm into higher echelons of profitability. Whilethis is the case, it is well acknowledged that the greatest test ofthe leadership capabilities of any manager or leader comes up ininstances where their organizations are undergoing changes (Kotter,1990). Change is, with no doubt, immensely important to anorganization given the fact that it allows business entities to adaptand align themselves to the dynamic market environment. To assist inthe change process, numerous theories have been crafted guidingmanagers into undertaking the process in an appropriate way.

MichaelFullan, in his article “Change theory A force for schoolimprovement” underlined the fact that change is based on sevenpremises. These include concentration on motivation, learning incontext, capacity building that is aimed at achieving results,changing context, bias for reflective action, tri-level engagement,as well as persistence and flexibility in keeping on the course. Itis noted that the last six premises revolve around motivation andengagement. While it is impossible to achieve motivation in theshort-term, the fundamental elements of motivation include resources,moral purpose, identity, peer and leadership support, as well ascapacity among others. Capacity building entails any strategy thatwould enhance the collective effectiveness of groups to raise bar, aswell as close the gap pertaining to student learning and wouldinvolve the development of collective and individual motivation,resources, knowledge and competencies. With regard to learning incontext, it is noted that appropriate change or improvement involveslearning to undertake the appropriate thing within the settings wherean individual works. In the changing context, it is noted that thebigger context within which an individual works has to incorporateother premises like being motivating and the promotion of capacitybuilding. With regard to bias for reflective action, Fullan (2006)notes that ownership and shared vision is a product of a qualityprocess, rather than a precondition, and that behavior is usuallymodified before beliefs. In essence, programs that are made so as toeducate practicing managers in context must be learnt through havingthe capacity to obtain insight in the process of doing it. Thetri-level engagement revolves the pursuance of strategies thatpromote or encourage mutual interaction, as well as influence in andacross the varied stakeholders. Lastly, exercising flexibility andpersistence in keeping on with the course would ensure theachievement of the vision even in the fact of obstacles andhindrances.

However,it is well known that not all transformation efforts are successful.In his article, “Leading Change Why Transformation Efforts Fail”,John, P. Kotter underlines the fact that leaders who manage tosuccessfully change their business entities must do eight thingsappropriately and in the appropriate order. Kotter (2007) outlineseight steps for changing or transforming an organization. Theseinclude creating a sense of urgency, establishing a powerful guidingcoalition, coming up with a vision, communicating the so-createdvision, giving others the capacity to act on the vision, making plansfor and establishing short-term wins, consolidation of improvementsand creating more change, as well as having the new approachesinstitutionalized. In the establishment of a sense of urgency thecompetitive and market realities would be examined, with potentialand current crisis or fundamental opportunities being identified. Theformation of a powerful guiding coalition would involve the assemblyof a group that has sufficient capacity to guide the change effortand encouraging it to function as a team, while the creation of avision would entail coming up with guidelines that would direct thechange effort and establishing strategies that would assist in theachievement of the vision. The realization of this vision would beimpossible without giving others the capacity to act on it, whichinvolves eliminating the obstacles that stand in the way of change,creating structures that would enhance the achievement of the visionand promoting non-traditional ideas, actions and activities, as wellas risk-taking. With regard to the plans and creations of short-termwins, visible performance improvements would be planned for andcreated, while still recognizing and rewarding the employees who takepart in the improvement. The improvements would be consolidated andmore change produced through developing, hiring and promotingemployees who have the capacity to implement the visions, and comingup with new themes, projects and change agents who would reinvigoratethe process. Lastly, the new approaches would have to beinstitutionalized so as to provide a framework for future performanceand sustain the process of change. This would involve thearticulation of the link between the new ways of doing things and thecorporate success, as well as the establishment of the means thatwould safeguard the leadership development and succession.


Thesetwo articles come with immensely informative insights regarding theprocess of change not only within the context of business entitiesbut also in personal development. One of the key or fundamentalinsights is the importance of a vision. Vision, in the context of abusiness, underlines a statement that defines the goals that are tobe achieved, what the business entity will be doing, as well as whyit would be in existence in the future. This means that all theactivities of the business would be channeled towards the achievementof the vision, in which case it guides the performance and activitiesof the entity in the long-term and the short-term. As Kotter (2007)notes, visions do not simply revolve around the financial plans thatthe business entities or even individuals make for a particular timein the future, rather it must incorporate a statement that comes inhandy in the clarification of the direction in which the organizationmust move. It is this vision that would inform the strategies thatare to be used. Of particular note is the fact that the deficiency ofa proper vision would result in the making of incompatible andconfusing projects that would either make the organization stall orgo in the wrong direction. Similarly, the two articles lay emphasison ensuring that the stakeholders are well informed about the vision.Even in the case of personal development, there will always beindividuals who play a role in the achievement of the vision. It,therefore, becomes imperative that an individual carefully selectsthe stakeholders who would be charged with the achievement of thevision in the long-term and the short-term. This personal developmentor improvement would have to be gauged using some well set short-termand long-term goals.

Question:Influencing others with information from the analysis

Giventhe information provided in the analysis, it is noted that theachievement of any successful transformation in the business entitywould have to entail the incorporation of a properly crafted visionthat spells out the goals that individuals aim at achieving within aparticular time. It is noted that the achievement of the vision willbe determined by the attainment of particular goals particularly inthe short-term. This would be the primary indication that the changeprocess or personal development is on the right course. In essence,the information in the analysis would be used in influencing thepeople that I work with through challenging them to come up with aclear and attainable vision that spells their goals or the goals ofthe organization within a particular period. On the same note, it isimperative that proper rewards and recognition structures are devisedso as to safeguard the motivation of all stakeholders who activelyparticipate in the making of decisions and laying the infrastructurethat would be crucial to the achievement of the vision in theshort-term and the long-term. Properly motivated workers andstakeholders would be perfectly satisfied in providing their servicesto the organization, in which case they would own the process ofchange (Kotter, 1990). This would provide the appropriate zeal foraiding in the achievement of the goals set out by the businessentity. On the same note, it has been acknowledged that individualstakeholders must collaborate in the achievement of the goal andfunction as a team.


Fullan,M (2006). Changetheory A force for school improvement.Centre for Strategic Education

Kotter,J.P (2007). Leading Change Why Transformation Efforts Fail. HarvardBusiness Review

Kotter,J.P (1990). What Leaders Really Do. HarvardBusiness Review

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