Changing Organizational Life: Leading Organizational Change and Innovation Strategies
Innovation leadership in the 21st can be a great way to help bring about change in the IT industry (McEntire & Green-Shortridge, 2011). The IT industry is based on the idea that great products require great minds to constantly push the envelope. At the same time, changing organizational life is not easy. Anytime there is a change, there will be obstacles: people who do not like change pushing back and resisting the change. For that reason, leaders have to show respect, appreciation, empathy, fairness and honesty by explaining the logical reason for change, how it will help, and why it is important to embrace (Victor & Franckeiss, 2002). This paper will discuss the reality of changing organizational life; the strategies I will focus on to become a stronger leader of innovation and change; how my strategies are related to my own values, beliefs, and perceived strengths acting in organizations of innovation/change; how I believe these strategies will lead to me being a better leader and ultimately being part of a better functioning organization; a few examples of what acting on these strategies would mean; areas I believe I need to continue to learn and grow in when leading innovation/change; and action steps I will take to continue to improve as a leader of innovation/change.
The Reality of Changing Organizational Life
The purpose of change management is “to assist the organization in achieving its goals which cannot be attained with the existing organizational structure, functioning and client servicing, and to minimize the adverse effects of any changes made” (Vedenik & Leber, 2015, p. 585). However, changing organizational life can be difficult. Workers may resist and frustrate plans for change. To get everyone on board with change, the leader has to be good at communicating the vision of change. The leader also has to be respectful towards all workers and mindful of their feelings and fears. A good way to help workers get on board with change is to use the Kotter 8-step model of change:
1) Create a sense of urgency
2) Create a guiding coalition
3) Create a vision for change
4) Communicate the vision
5) Remove obstacles
6) Create short-term wins
7) Consolidate improvements
8) Anchor the changes
As Hornstein (2015) points out, removing obstacles by listening to workers, acknowledging their fears, and showing empathy and respect is the best way to get workers on board with change. Changing organizational life is not easy, but if you use the right model and communicate well with others by being honest about the need for change and what to expect, people will be more likely to work with you towards change.
Strategies to Become a Stronger Leader of Innovation and Change
Innovation is needed to solve complex problems that are unique to our time and place (Termeer & Nooteboom, 2014). Without innovation and change, a company is…the emotional and social and intellectual support they need to be innovative; 4) promoting change would mean listening to the fears of others and taking these into consideration when communicating the new vision for the organization.
Areas for Growth
Areas I believe I need to continue to learn and grow in when leading innovation and change are: 1) my communication skills—I want to be able to express the vision clearly and with inspiration; 2) my emotional intelligence—I want to be able to understand people’s needs better even when they do not use words to tell me; 3) my ability to motivate workers—I want to find the right balance of intrinsic and extrinsic motivational factors that appeal to people and implement them in the workplace.
Conclusion: Action Steps
Action steps I will take to improve as a leader of innovation and change are: 1) to begin operating more as a servant leader and identifying the strengths and weaknesses of my team and putting the right people in the right positions and then making sure they are supported in everything so that they can be creative and innovative; 2) to begin making a point to practice my communication skills by working on clearly explaining the vision of the organization to my team; 3) to begin understanding the needs of the team by asking them to voice their worries and concerns so that I can take them into consideration during the change management process; 4) to begin finding out what motivates…
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