Organization development refers to a systematic and ongoing process of designing and implementing effective organizational change. It is also a scientific field of inquiry in which scholars study how best organizations can be developed. Leading can be defined as the act of “showing the way” to others or being in the front line in showing others they way. Leading can take place in various contexts like in a family, a school or an organization (Fairholm, 2009). People who are involved in leading are referred to as leaders. Leading change on the other hand is the act of leading other people through a change process. It is an element of leading which requires the leader to have the ability to enable people to understand the need for a change and lead them through the process. Not all leaders can be able to lead a change. Those who lead change are referred to as change leaders.
Body of the text
According to Russel Consulting, leading entails some distinct elements which include building and sustaining teamwork, strategic thinking, managing conflicts, coaching, inspiring a shared vision, problem solving, performance management and accountability, decision making, delegation, systems thinking, leading change, dealing with ambiguities, developing trust, employee development, customer service, innovation and creativity, emotional intelligence, servant leadership, quality and productivity improvement (Russell Consulting, 2011).
Leading change, as I have mentioned earlier, is the act of being in the front line in the planning, initiating, implementing and actualizing a certain change. Based on the journal article by McCormick and White, having a change leader coming from an organization is better than having him or her from outside the organization (McCormick & White, 2000). In an organizational context, change of whatever nature may be received differently by different people. Some may appreciate it while others may resist. This calls for the need for the organization to have a person, who is in a position to lead the others through the change process (Burke, 2010). This person is the one referred to as a change leader. He or she may be a manager, a director or a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of that particular organization. The person leading the change is responsible for the inspiration of the others to see the need of the change and initiate the change through strategies of change management.
Change leaders from organizations have some advantages over those from outside the organizations. One such advantage is that such leaders have the ability to motivate and inspire themselves as well as others. This characteristic is a very important one because the process of change begins in our minds. If we are motivated and inspired enough about a change, we are able to welcome, appreciate and embrace it as opposed to when we are not. Change leaders who have this ability find it very easy for them to initiate a change because they are able to get the support of the organization members. The support of the organization members is very important because they are the engines of the change process. The inspired organization members help the change leader in implementing and actualizing the change (Katzenbach, 2011).
Another advantage of change leaders from organizations is that such leaders are always committed and focused on better ways of doing things. This means that they are ever ready to adopt any strategy, which would improve on the efficiency and effectiveness of the organization which enables it realize its objectives in an efficient and effective manner using minimum resources. This commitment also makes the change leaders more innovative in their thinking and operations (Katzenbach, 2011).
Change leaders from organizations are also courageous enough to challenge the prevailing norms, attitudes and practices within an organization. They don’t fear criticism or the consequences of interfering with the status quo, but rather, they are ready and prepared to challenge the status quo in a positive manner and work with the stake holders of their organization towards establishing new ways of thinking and attitudes.
An insider also has the advantage of being committed to organizational values, morals and ethics than an outsider. It is important to note that everything we do require some efforts. Efforts of whatever nature may therefore be seen as an input which leads to the output of success or good results. It is important to put efforts in everything we do. In the organizational context, insiders are able to dedicate their energy, thoughts and time towards the progress of their organization. It requires them to put a lot of efforts in driving the organization towards the achievement of its mission and vision. However, there is no guarantee that whatever we do must succeed because success does not only depend on how much efforts we put in something, but depends on the efforts and other factors, which are beyond our control. For example, a leader may put a lot of efforts to improve the profit margins for an organization, but due factors beyond his or her control like economic recession, the company or the organization may not succeed.
In this case, the most fatal error the leader may make is to regret and stop trying or applying the efforts in future. This is because it kills his or her morale and motivation to improve on the performance of the organization. It also inhibits his or her ability to become innovative and creative, which may enable him or her come up with new ways, ideas and strategies of achieving his or her objective of improving profit margins for the organization.
Burke , W.W.(2011). Organisation change: theory and practice.(3rd Edn.). Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications.
Fairholm,G.B.,(2009). Organizational Power Politics: Tactics in Organizational Leadership. Goleta, CA: ABC-CLIO Publishers.
Katzenbach J., (2011). Effective Change Leaders. Web.
McCormick, D. W., & White, J. (2000). ‘Using one’s self as an instrument for organizational diagnosis’. Organization Development Journal, 18(3), 49-62.
Russell Consulting. (2011).Leadership in Organisations: What Does it Mean to Lead?. Web.