Managing change is the most important factor in determining the ability of an organization to redesign its management structures, harmonize the culture, and raise productivity. When Change is effected in an organization, it aids in raising productivity, improving value and enabling an organization to operate profitably either internally or externally. In the education sector, the ability to cite the need for improvement in an organization remains a critical element in its operations at all levels. This paper explores techniques through which change in an educational institution can be effected, accepted and nurtured through effective leadership, relationship building, sharing, understanding change and coherent knowledge creation of committed individuals.
Understanding institutional culture-cultural theory
According to Hughes (2005), cultural theory is a crucial model that spins an organization into a responsive system that is defined by beliefs, values, understanding, and orientations which reflect people’s way of life. Therefore, culture acts like a vehicle transferring people from their homes and taking them to the workplace with their own ideals. In an institution, culture drawn from a particular leadership style restricts employees to a particular manner of work behavior and relationship.
As a new leader, instituting change while breaking away from an established culture requires underscoring the need for inherent identity that determines workers’ commitment. It is critical to note at this point that this theory appears to inherently uptake other models such as those of motivation and cultural dynamics by Robert Maslow and Mary Jo Hatch respectively.
Cultural theory also supports the arguments posed by Beer and Foote (2009). It is a model that seeks to redefine an organization by drawing cultures that allow leaders and workers to share their focus on work as a means of achieving present objectives. In organizations, managers are fast shifting their models of assessments by expounding their orientation to determine the culture of their organizations. Scholars appear in agreement that successful organizations and those that expect to maintain sustainable productivity and profitability are usually in a position to maintain positive cultures.
In order to implement change, cultural theory is particularly emphatic on the need of a culture that is based on the need for progress. As indicated earlier, a shared culture creates unity of purpose for an organization and ultimately makes respective stakeholders to carefully seek methods of improvement (Kouzes & Posner, 2007). It is this consideration that makes effecting change in this learning institution possible because sharing enables maintenance of a strong feedback system as a method of supporting change. In particular, this approach seeks to incorporate all stakeholders including teachers and other staff members and therefore, progress towards change is quite easy.
In a similar model, cultural theory seeks to influence people’s beliefs in an organization in order to encourage them to move forward alongside with their respective organizations. Cultural theory is an integral part of harnessing growth in an organisation especially through embracing diverse cultures at workplace.
Kouzes and Posner (2007) in their book The Leadership challenge are apparently sincere in their opinion when they assert that the consideration of change becomes internal and personalized especially by drawing identity and sharing. In this institution, efforts for change will be expected to improve from all levels since all employees will be made to realize that progress in the institution will be possible through participation. However, it is clear that even through change agents or leadership proposition for change, workers may be receptive or can resist changes minimally. The new leadership will adopt a systems approach in emphasizing components such as communication, change, and continued progress.
Building relationships and commitment
Beer and Foote (2009) note that the application of cultural theory alone to execute change is devoid of holistic cultural model demand. A cultural model must not be confused with the highly publicized institutional brands. They pose that it is the underlying harmony and personal reflection that binds an organization together. Building a positive culture from a very rigid one may not be easy because it requires inherent trust and development of values that guide work and relationships.
Workers in their line operations, consider only the methods that would result into the best outcomes, not because they have targets set for them, but because they feel great of being part of an organization. In this administration, the sense of value, believe, and respect that draws commitment results from the view that workers are part of the success will be created.
Peter Senge will remain an icon in organization management and leadership because of his model that leverages on organization learning. According to Senge, this model creates a mechanism that seeks to continuously asses, reflect, and establish methods of improving in organizations (Johnson, Richard & Scholes, 2011). The model has gained great support as its affinity by institutions’ management to continue skyrocketing.
Organization learning to agree with Deal and Peterson (2009) is a theoretical model that organizations adopt to create a method of continuously improving themselves. This occurs when all stakeholders especially the top, middle level management, and employees at the lower levels, reflect on performances in drawing mechanisms for improvement. The reflection, in this case could be comparative or drawn from creativity to create new orientation in the management.
Deal and Peterson (2009) observe that learning may be idealistic in application although it seeks for sense making in complex systems by ensuring that achievements, whether positive or negative, are considered to have room for improvement. The model greatly borrows from the systems approach in the sense that the latter incorporates the need for improvement and emphasizes on change in complex systems.
In this institution, shared visions and team learning on the importance of change will enable the organization to have a shared objective at all levels of application. Deal and Peterson (2009) point out that a learning organization develops common visions that easily nurture behaviours, values, and norms towards the need for improvement. In addition, the adoption of organization leaning is built on the belief that workers and employees learn better and faster in teams because they get the sense of security and identity with their colleagues compared to their senior managers.
Creativity and inventions
Deal and Peterson (2009) indicate that establishment of groups as the main facet of enhancing change provides an institution with an outline consideration of greater power to assimilate its holistic demands. At team level, the applicability of the change considerations becomes practical with the finer details being subjected to the human capacity for precise entrenchment with minimal possible externalities. One of the ways of improving creativity and invention is through research and development. Organizations that undertake rigorous change after conducting adequate research and development are highly likely to record positive growth within a relatively short time.
The theory of change indicates that the best form of change management is the one whereby the change agent focuses on the implementing platform for major and minor adjustments requirements. The latter is common after propositions of the management’s aspirations. At this point, many scholars have differed over the years in regards to the main role which should be played by workers. Though this modification should indeed be approached with great sobriety and consultations with the line management, the contribution of workers is highly invaluable.
To recap it all, it is vital to underscore that change is the most important tool for modern organizations’ demand especially when there is desire to increase productivity and profitability. As noted in the paper, change acts as the link between an organization and its future by deriving the necessary visionary demands for progress. Besides, it forms the main platform upon which all aspects of revitalizing productivity are established. It is worth noting that the education institution discussed in this paper will be able to derive its internal change by creating supporting culture that accepts learning, sharing and relationship building.
Besides, workers and staff must be placed at the core of the change plan with adequate preparation to ensure higher levels of success. The new leadership will need to harmonize the structural design of the school to ensure better cooperation of workers. Finally, it also came out clearly that commutation must be effectively articulated to ensure clear understanding, initiation, implementation and application at all levels of management. Indeed, communication will form the baseline for management of change through the negative feedback of the progress.
Beer, M. & Foote, N. (2009). High commitment, high performance: how to build a resilient organization for sustained advantage. San Francisco, CA: Jossey Bass.
Deal, T., & Peterson, K. D. (2009). Shaping school culture: Pitfalls, paradoxes, and promises. San Francisco, CA: South-western Cengage Learning..
Hughes, R. (2005). Becoming a Strategic Leader: your role in your organization’s enduring success. Oxford: Sage.
Johnson, G., Richard, W. & Scholes, K. (2011). Exploring Strategy: Text and Cases. Harlow, Essex: Pearson Education Ltd.
Kouzes, J. M. & Posner, B. Z. (2007). The Leadership challenge. New York, NY: Jossey-Bass.