Change management is a vital aspect of leadership in organizations. Change management ensures that leaders in various organizations and teams can embrace the changes and structure the best possible approaches to transitioning from the current state of the situation to attaining the future success of an organization. Change is inevitable as we are in an evolving world, and therefore, how leaders manage it and ensure their members embrace and adjust determines the growth and success of the organization. Consequently, it is a requirement that an effective leader is sensitive to change and can discern the purpose and hence take diligent action that will still help maintain the focus on the goals of organizations and, therefore, success. Change management involves various systematic approaches that enable proper containment and adjustment in an organization (Tang &Tang, 2019). These processes include precise planning and preparation for change, clear communication and creation of the vision for the change, implementation of changes, ensuring solidarity and minimizing any possible resistance and reviewing and adopting the new system processes. For these processes to be effective, change management requires strong leadership with clear objectives that will give a driving force to the achievement of the various processes.
Change management plays a vital role in ensuring that the school organizations are run well and achieve their primary purpose of providing quality education to the pupils. School settings undergo various evolution changes as the world also keeps evolving every day. Various bodies, such as the Ofsted Reports, are in charge of ensuring quality standards in schools. Therefore, they inspect and regulate educational organizations to ensure smooth running and quality delivery.
The first process for change in school settings is preparation and planning. Ofsted reports have always highlighted areas where school systems should expect change and, therefore, are required to make prior preparations on how to handle the expected future changes. Some changes tend to be risky with different magnitudes; hence, the organizational management should calculate the intensity of the risk and its magnitude and find ways of curbing the adverse effects and, therefore, implement ways that will maintain the focus on the achievement of the main goals and objectives (Lundmark, 2022). This is best shown in, for example, if the UK government announces an expected increase in the number of students to be admitted to various schools shortly, the leadership management of the schools should be quick to establish and implement strategies that will ensure that the increase in the number of students is well managed such as the construction of extra classes and adding more resources. This strategy will help curb the effect of congestion on students’ learning, and therefore, the students can focus on their studies comfortably. When the expected situation is good, the school’s leadership should plan well to embrace the positive change that will enable them to improve the quality of learning. For example, suppose the UK government announces that they will be distributing computers to schools to help learners improve their technological knowledge. In that case, school management should always be ready to embrace and put strategy to protect and utilize the resources strategically.
Secondly, change management requires that the leadership of a specific organization create a compelling vision for change. This change management process enables the heads of the school setting to outline the areas in which the school is likely to face the consequences of change that will affect the standards of education delivered. Creating a clear vision enables the leaders to create an analytical basis for actions that will be required. This process also involves creating a benefit-cost analysis and looking at the disadvantages and advantages of taking various actions. Once these two aspects are determined, the leadership department can minimize any form of resistance by their teams. Clear visions should also be well communicated to avoid many arising questions on a form of proposed change by the leaders.
After creating a clear vision of the change, the leaders can implement the change after clear communications with their members. In this case, the teachers should communicate with the learners, the parents of the learners and the other school management staff. This process is vital as it makes everyone aware of any expected occurrences, helping them maintain the smooth running of the school. The management can, therefore, implement the change and also help their individuals, starting from the staff and the learners, to adapt to the new transition. This stage of the change management process is not relatively easy as it requires strong and assertive leaders who can listen to their team members and give a listening ear to the challenges that their team members are experiencing as they try to adapt to the new changes. The leaders should also find ways of bringing their team members closer by involving counsellors who will walk with them through the journey of change. Some changes in schools can affect the performance of the students, and that is why the school management should be sensitive to change since it can lead to lowering the standards of the school if not well controlled. The school management can also make the parents and teachers aware so that as they advise their pupils, they may help them to overcome any challenges that they may face along their process of adjustment. The process exercises the power of the leaders to have a vision in their work as leaders.
The fourth stage in the change management process is to embed and solidify the changes. However, this stage requires that the leaders make the people understand what and why a particular change is being implemented. This process requires leaders to involve all the necessary parties and also get feedback from the staff, parents, and other management in order to detect any resistance and what can be done to avoid that. People tend to support what they understand, and therefore, the first thing to do in this stage is to create momentum by fully explaining the proposed change, pushing for its benefits and advantages, and how it has come in hand to cover up for the effects, outline the consequences (Shulga, 2021). This enables a smooth environment by making everyone aware of what is happening. The process requires influential leaders who can resist negative energy, which is bound to occur in all settings of organizations (Cameron &Green, 2019). All organizations have those individuals who do not want to embrace positive change, and therefore, they should be tolerated but also be kept under control.
The last change management process is the review and analysis of the change. Completing a change initiative does not guarantee it is fully complete unless its functionality is tested and its effectiveness confirmed. Conducting an analysis of an inevitable transition ensures its success not only at that time but also in the future. This stage is called conducting a project post-mortem, and it helps the leaders to comprehend whether the change initiative will stand the test of time, will fail or will have a mixed, unclear result. This evaluation helps them decide whether to go on with the initial plan or take another alternative plan (Vlados,2019). Doing a review analysis offers valuable insights and lessons that can be enforced in the future. The process also helps to avoid backsliding of the project. Therefore, the leadership system in any organization should ensure the establishment of new structures, reward systems, and other tools that will help stick to change and hence reduce the chances of resistance.
Characteristics of Effective Leadership
Effective leadership comprises a blend of orientation, emotional intelligence, problem-solving and resilience. Effective leadership plays a vital role in any organization that is growth-oriented. Effective leadership comprises critical skills and characteristics that motivate and guide individuals towards achieving a common goal of the organization and inspire the driving force of the team players. Without influential leaders, an organization can quickly go into wrangles and eventually fail to meet its goals and objectives. Therefore, excellent and effective leadership ensures that every component of an organization focuses on the set goals of the organization and can achieve them eventually despite the challenges (Mohan et al., 2022).
The first essential characteristic of effective leadership is vision and goal-oriented. Influential leaders should have a clear vision towards the achievements of an organization. The leaders should give clear guidelines to their team players on what they are expected to do and what they should do to achieve it. This way, the leader can motivate the team players to work on a clear path. Leaders can achieve this by clearly communicating to their team players their roles, expectations and the consequences of not doing what is right. The leaders should also clarify anything unclear to avoid confusion. Once the organization’s goal is clear, and everyone is aware of what they need to do to contribute to achieving the goal, they will find it easy to proceed smoothly. Through this practice, high performance is highly achieved, and even change, in this case, can be easily implemented, embraced, and controlled when the organization is well organized and, therefore, all individuals are working towards a common goal.
Effective communication is a characteristic of effective leadership in any organization aiming to succeed. Communication is one of the critical aspects that determines whether an organization succeeds or not. Ideas should be communicated clearly, and active listening should be practised in order to maintain the smooth running of an organization. Effective communication ensures that there are no wrangles or rumours that arise among the team players in an organization that discourage the productivity of employees in an organization. The ability of a leader to give clear communication helps the organization to accommodate different kinds of people through listening (Porfirio et al., 2021). A listening leader will easily communicate effectively with people from different backgrounds. Through listening, a leader tends to understand each individual’s capabilities, strengths, and weaknesses and can identify areas where they need support quickly. This improves the performance of the individuals and hence motivates them to work better. For example, in a school setting, one will find that leadership management will help identify the strengths and weaknesses of the various teachers and, therefore, assign them the classes they can teach comfortably. Such a teacher will find their work more enjoyable and will perform better. When the team members feel heard and their needs accommodated, there is a creation of trust within the organization.
Emotional intelligence is also another characteristic of effective leadership. Emotional intelligence is the ability of a leader to be aware of their own emotions and understand that different people also have different emotions that need to be embraced. A good leader needs to be empathetic, which will help them understand better the complex emotions of their team members. Emotionally intelligent leaders will know when to be hard on their team members and when to be easy on them. Such leaders stay calm even when situations get out of hand, such as avoiding shouting when angry. When there are complex situations, such leaders encourage their members to remain calm and ensure they are dealt with professionally, maintaining order in an organization. This way, the team members will feel a sense of belonging to the group, hence motivation.
Moreover, transparency is also one of the most critical yet powerful characteristics of effective leadership that leaders should take note. Transparency helps in building trust between leaders and their members. The more open a leader becomes towards the goals of the organization and the existing and expected challenges, the more the team members will be focused on their contributions to the success of the organization. This way, employee engagement is highly embraced, and collaboration has its way in which it promotes teamwork. Teamwork will encourage knowledge-sharing performance achievement and, therefore, the overall success of the organization. A transparent leader can promote the brand of the organization as it promotes the public image of the organization, hence promoting retention (Sims &Fletcher-Wood, 2021).
Delegation and Empowerment
Delegation is the transfer of authority to another individual—usually from a manager to a subordinate. Delegation and empowerment are among the fundamental ideas of management leadership. A manager in an organization is required to handle everything. Thus, the job responsibilities are assigned to subordinates, and in addition to the assignment of tasks, there is also a transfer of power to enable subordinates to do their responsibilities. The individual who assigns the task is also responsible for productivity. Elevation, on the other hand, is the capacity for the power granted to someone to carry out a task. It is the process of growing more resilient and robust. They are assured, particularly in taking charge of one’s life and asserting one’s rights. Utilizing opportunities for empowerment always leads to a rise in the ability to enable the team members to complete their tasks accurately and timely. Elevation gives power to someone to carry out a task.
Leaders in companies designate competent people for specific work responsibilities. They delegate the work to their subordinates when overburdened with work responsibilities. Subordinates can refine their talents and abilities when they are given more responsibilities. However, leaders also have a responsibility to make sure that chances for empowerment are given to subordinates (Virkus &Salman, 2021). They ought to be accessible to voice their opinions, express themselves, and even take part in the decision-making process. Leaders must guarantee that women are granted equal rights and opportunities as men. Subordinates benefit from delegating and empowerment traits, making them satisfied with their jobs. Therefore, it is evident that leaders must regularly put these qualities into practice. By doing this, they are advancing both the workers’ and the company’s overall well-being and the overall success of the organization.
Creativity and Innovation
Imagination or unique thoughts used to build something are referred to as creativity. This is a phenomenon wherein new or valuable information is revealed. Innovation is the application of a novel idea. The act of creating something that has never been done before and is acknowledged as the result of a unique vision is called invention. In order to effectively implement creativity and innovation, executives must collaborate with other members of the business. Before making a choice, the parties must exchange ideas and viewpoints. As a result, in order to exhibit creativity and innovation, leaders and other team members must collaborate and integrate.
Members of the company must improve duties and activities as well as goal achievement in order to utilize the qualities of creativity and innovation. These qualities have improved the manageability of task and activity implementation. Before the invention of technology and machinery, employees handled every task and activity by hand. However, they are using them now that machinery and technologies have become available. They can effectively raise profitability and productivity in this way (Mohan et al., 2022). Implementing these qualities is typically not straightforward; leaders must instil diligence, resourcefulness, and conscientiousness in their followers and utilize resources effectively.
Areas of Improvement
Cross-functional collaboration is the root yet delicate aspect of any organization that wants to succeed. Cross-functional collaboration is the process by which members of different departments and areas of specialization come together, working together and sharing ideas to help them achieve a common goal. This collaboration transforms how teams in an organization work and improves their productivity while strengthening teamwork. This aspect also creates a more enjoyable environment for the employees, attracting them and improving their morale towards work. Cross-functional collaboration, however, has yet to be embraced by many organizations, and yet it is a key to growth and success. Therefore, an organization that realizes its benefits and uses it as a strategy will do well compared to others. However, many organizations have needed help implementing this cross-functional collaboration due to communication barriers and the structures of organizations that hinder collaboration.
For a school organization with one hundred teachers and a total of 1600 students, it is characterized by the best performance in an organization. It aims to deliver quality education to the public. For the school to succeed and ensure that their activities are under control and well managed, the staff need to collaborate and also, for the students to obtain better results, the students need to be taught teamwork and how to support each other academically. In such a setting, you will find that there are talented teachers in various ways while others are not. Therefore, they need to come together and share their diverse ideas to enable success towards a common and particular goal of the institution.
First, by implementing cross-functional projects, an organization can bring their team players closer and enhance the appreciation of different abilities and ideas across members with different backgrounds and expertise. The leaders should organize situations where group members work to complete specific projects (Laurent & Leicht, 2019). Through this, the employees will be able to understand each other’s roles, weaknesses and strengths. In order to achieve this, organizations should first identify the projects that will have a high impact on teams and that will ensure every member of the group participates fully.
The leaders should also choose a project that aligns with the goals and objectives of the organization. Through this, they will be able to equip the employees more on how to perform their tasks more efficiently once they get back to their jobs. Once the management settles on a specific project, then they should also create teams, ensuring each department and expertise is well represented and therefore encouraging diversity among the team players. Moreover, the leaders should monitor and supervise their team members as they work through these projects to ensure they do as required and emphasize the importance of everyone collaborating and the significance of every idea. Lastly, the leaders should recognize and reward the teams that utilized teamwork, encouraging them to embrace teamwork. In the end, the organization will have achieved its goal of cross-functional collaboration.
The strategy for achieving cross-functional collaboration aligns with the values and goals of the organization as they foster innovation by breaking down single-performed tasks to create tasks that can be performed in groups. The organization can realize the different abilities of their employees and embrace them. The strategy also helps in increasing the productivity of the team players, as there are better results when a task is worked on by a team rather than individually; hence, efficiency is increased (Yin et al., 2023). Lastly, collaboration improves employee engagement as they work across all departments. You will find that even those employees who find it challenging and boring when working alone enjoy their work, and hence, productivity is higher (Ton et al., 2022).
Therefore, enhancing cross-functional collaboration is one vital strategic aspect that will enable the organization to remain strong in the competitive world and meet its market and public demands. Many organizations can unlock their full potential in the industry by embracing this action plan.
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