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Heraclitus, the Greek philosopher said and I quote that “change is the only constant”.  This quote remains true today. The concept of change and change management has been very fascinating and engaging. Change can be analyzed at every phase of every life. Change runs through organizations and through individuals. This article will look at the context of change from an organizational perspective; highlighting to current and further managers some key points on how to go about effecting change. This article has been influenced by the Managing People in Organizations course by Professor Patricia Findlay.

Heraclitus by Johannes Moreelse

Heraclitus by Johannes Moreelse

What is the ideal way to manage change in an organization? Every society provides its own answer to this question, and each, in probing for answers, defines its deepest concerns about the purpose, delivery and effective adoption of change. Great schools of thought have been put forth. Business has quietly but dominantly contributed its answer to this question by evolving a new breed called the manager. A managerial culture emphasizes rationality and control. Whether the manager’s energies are directed toward goals, resources, organization structures, or people; a manager is a problem solver, a change agent.  Rapid technological advancements, high expectations of customers, and ever changing market situations have compelled organizations to incessantly reassess and reevaluate how they work and to understand, adopt and implement changes in their business model in response of changing trends.

 

Research may have shown that only about one-third of organizational change initiatives survive beyond the initial implementation; however today’s demanding marketplace keeps forcing businesses to change at an accelerated rate; so much that the organization’s ability to align, energize, motivate and empower her workforce to embrace new values or behaviors is the key to building sustainable competitive advantage. To move the organizations forward therefore, we must embrace change.  Successful organizational change can lead to innovation for organization, which is the key of long term success and sustainability. One way of effecting successful organizational change is by demonstrating leadership. Leadership plays a vital role in the advancement of an organization. The process of effecting organizational change therefore demands a very effective and highly competent leader (manager) that is well capable of perceiving and stirring the organization in the best direction.

 

To be a leading manager therefore, one is expected to constantly demonstrate leadership. As management students of SBS, present and future leaders; here are some key points to note about being leading managers: Firstly, a leading manager is expected to create; in the mind of the affected group, a substantial picture of the future state of the business by interpreting the vision and mission of the organization – this will help the group to stay committed. A leading manager should be perceptive; one that creates options for those unfavorably affected by the change, and communicates this effectively. A leading manager should also be able to motivate people to want to change by giving them a strong reason to change and above all encouraging seamless change by creating an enabling environment.