Leading and Managing Change

Introduction

The human race is known to be ambitious and productive. These attributes have over the years seen the man and his environment evolve rapidly. As such we are often faced with situations that demand different courses of action than what we are used to and as a result, change is inevitable. To some, change is perceived as an opportunity to better themselves while to others it acts as a threat to the natural occurrence of things. With these disparities, it is important that change be managed in order to fully realize the potential that comes with it. This paper shall focus on leadership and change management. Factors that influence it shall be highlighted and solutions shall be discussed. Methods through which change can be implemented shall also be analyzed and a conclusion on its effects given in a bid to help understand the whole concept of change.

Brief summary of the situation

Mrs. Groins a fourth-grade teacher has been the center of great discussion among the school administration, the parents and the student as well. This is because over the past months there have developed credible doubts and complaints about her work ethic. The principal out of sheer concern has offered solutions to the problems evolving around Mrs. Goins but her efforts have been futile because the situation has instead worsened. More students are being sent to the principal’s office, more parents floating in to bail out their kids from petty issues and worse of all students are missing lessons without clear instructions on why or what to do. All this has happened within a single month after the lecture given to the teacher about changing or rather improving her attitude and professional ethics. The whole situation has led to an ultimate conclusion that Mrs. Goins clearly does not respect the parents, students and worse of all, the administrative body governing the school. From the information provided, it is irrefutable that she has lost her focus and as such has developed some communication as well as authority issues.

Communication as a key problem

In order to provide the best of service to the students and parents related to this school, there needs to be a major change in the communication system in place as well as management skills from the staff members. This is evident from the fact that the principal of the school has failed in her duty as a leader to manage Mrs. Goins the fourth-grade teacher. This statement is further supported by the fact that despite the principal’s suggestions to Mrs. Goins to handle her class in terms of discipline and learning standards and also to improve on her communication skills especially to both parents and teachers, the situation has only grown worse. This clearly shows that the school leadership (principal), lacks the effective communication skills required to facilitate change. Also the number of students being sent to the principal’s office is increasing even after the teacher has been advised on how to avoid this. This also indicates that the teacher herself has failed to communicate her expectations, goals and objectives to the students and the students have become more rebellious towards her due to her poor professional ethics.

The model used to implement change

This being the case, the administration of Kelsey Elementary School must re-evaluate their communication strategies in order to change the current situation for the better. Fullan literates that effective change can only be realized by adopting a change model that smoothly transforms the communication system without compromising the integrity and comfort of the targeted individuals (2007). The ADKAR change model is therefore the most appropriate tool for installing change in this situation. The model was developed by Prosci and was aimed at managing change on an individual level (Blokdijk, 2008). According to Prosci, there are five stages through which an individual can embrace change. The first one is creating self-awareness of why the change is required and necessary. Secondly is to develop the desire to support and be part of the change. The third stage is gaining knowledge of how to change. Fourthly is to believe in one’s ability to apply new skills and traits and finally input extra effort in order to sustain the change (reinforcement).

Applicability of the model

This model is applicable in the situation because Mrs. Groin is a change manager. This means that she views her students as the source of problems rather than the assets they are to the school, she deals with problems as they come, has short-term goals instead of visions and believes in solving problems through higher authorities irrespective of their magnitude (Bruhn, 2004). Even after being given clear instructions, she still does not change meaning that the communication problem is not on the administrative side but her own.

As a leader I would have implemented this model in a systematic design. First of all I would develop three stages that incorporate the model into the system. The first stage would be educating the members of staff about the benefits that can be accrued from implementing the proposed change. Secondly I would ask each member to suggest ways through which the implementation process can be carried out or even how the model can be improved. This would make them feel like part of the decision-making process and therefore reduce the chances of rejection. Finally, I would develop a follow-up system through which the members can monitor their progress as well as that of their colleagues. This would motivate them to embrace and work on change.

Factors influencing change

According to Cameron (2004), implementing change depends on various factors that consequently influence the process. Factors that influence change positively include; having a common goal, good interpersonal relations within the organization, efficient communication channels and individual desire to change. Those that affect the process negatively are; discrimination, cultural diversity, and poor management. However, these negative influences can be resolved and avoided. The administration should ensure that the organizational goals and visions are communicated to the staff effectively and efficiently. Also, training should be provided to the employees on how to resolve conflicts and cope with diversity in workplaces.

Conclusion

From this paper, the various aspects surrounding change have been discussed. Challenges and benefits derived from implementing it have also been highlighted. Models used to initiate change have been suggested all in a bid to ensure that the process is successful. If the implementation process is poor then the proposed change may end up harming the organization instead of benefiting it. It is therefore important that a lot of caution be exercised while choosing a change model and also as it is applied in any organization so as it can benefit both the individuals involved and the organization that they serve.

References

Blokdijk, G. (2008). Change Management 100 Success Secrets – The Complete Guide to Process, Tools, Software and Training in Organizational Change Management. Lulu.com

Bruhn, J, G. (2004). Leaders Who Create Change and Those Who Manage It How Leaders Limit Success. Uppincott WUliams & Wilkins, Inc.

Cameron, E & green, M. (2004). Making sense of change management: a complete guide to the models, tools & techniques of organizational change. Kogan Page Publishers

Fullan, M. (2007). The new meaning of educational change. Teachers College