Comparing ER Director’s Response and Initiative to the Best Change Concepts
Creating the Need for Urgency and Demonstrating the Need for Change
The ER director’s responses to the initiation of the change in University X lacked the best practices that were proposed by Kotter and Cohen (2002). The director reveals that his organization has a culture of avoiding change. It takes too long before the changes are implemented since the opportunities are rarely embraced. According to Kotter and Cohen (2002), creating awareness of the need for change in an organization is vital for preparing every stakeholder to embrace the new way of performing activities. The change leader ought to raise the need for urgency by initiating consultations with the relevant people to seek the visibility of the projected organizational modification (Anderson, 2007).
The university used pilot groups as compelling objects to demonstrate the need for change. The best practice requires the change leaders to use empirical evidence of the shortcomings in the organization. For instance, a dysfunctional procurement department that is unable to bargain for goods from the suppliers should spur action. Pilot groups do not provide supporting evidence for people to see the need for change (Anderson, 2007).
Building a Change Team
The director’s interview showed that the change team comprised a multi-layered HR staff, administrators, and faculty leaders. The university’s change team members (who come from diverse backgrounds) had numerous years of experience. However, experience and diversity are not enough constituents of a successful change team. According to Kotter and Cohen (2002), a robust guiding team consists of the right people with unquestionable leadership skills and appropriate knowledge about the desired change in the organization (Kotter & Rathgeber, 2006).
The members of the team need to possess relevant knowledge about what the change entails both internally and outside the enterprise. In addition, they should exhibit a high sense of credibility and self-drive with a view of achieving the change objectives. Furthermore, the team should have a clear understanding of the organization’s internal operations besides having formal authority and managerial skills related to planning, administration, and control.
Getting the Vision Right
The director’s response to the desired change for the organization did not answer the underlying question. Instead, he pointed out that data collected from the customer surveys and success stories from the industry helped in identifying the change. According to Kotter and Cohen (2002), an excellent guiding team should identify various areas of weakness in the organization to determine the modification of activities by adopting proactive implementation measures (Kotter, 1999).
The team seems to lack direction and a clear mission since it fails to focus on the change needs. The director points out that the stakeholders’ concerns and fears of the change should not be altered. Furthermore, he affirms that intelligibility and collaboration are paramount to the realization of the university’s vision. These responses portray the leader as a person who is unaware of the constituents of a change vision. The vision of the organization seems to revolve around the HR function exclusively. A good vision ought to determine the best values and strategy to execute the desired restructuring of activities in the organization.
The understanding of the vision amongst the team members is paramount to the successful initiation of the implementation process, which involves four related aspects namely the budget, plan, strategy, and vision. The budget entails the financial aspect of change. It is the position of the organization to fund the change process. It calls for the acquisition of new resources such as technology, machinery, human labor, and/or consultancy services.
The plan entails the systematic change implementation process (Anderson, 2007). The strategy dictates the attainment of the proposed change. It requires up-to-date information on the macro-environment that consists of the prevailing competitors and customers. Lastly, the vision is the projected picture of desired goals and achievements. It guides the change team from the start to the last stages of the implementation process.
Communication for Buy-In
The director’s response to the initial question in this section reveals that the organizational vision is not clearly communicated to the stakeholder’s Buy-in communication lets the change teams see and accept the need to embrace the change. The director reveals that the organization’s team does not effectively communicate the objectives of the desired change to all people. He affirms that the organization has a crafted communication plan that contains information for the key people only. Kotter and Cohen (2002) posit that good communication must involve all the stakeholders besides making them see and feel the change (Anderson, 2007).
It should provide a well-prepared presentation on the desired change that offers an opportunity for asking questions. Communication channels should be kept unambiguous since the director claims to keep them transparent and authentic. It is also evident that organizational communication involves various meetings with the leadership groups from the faculties and staff. The employees can perceive the change as an intention to exclude some positions.
This situation can lead to the termination of their jobs thereby creating discontentment, fear, and anxiety (Kotter & Rathgeber, 2006). The director says that he addresses these perceptions by communicating the intention of the change to the stakeholders. Effective communication eludes anger and frustration. As a result, the stakeholders show feelings of relief as they agree to the well-understood organizational change.
Anderson, D. (2007). Change leadership. Leadership Excellence, 24(11), 19.
Kotter, J. (1999). Change leadership. Executive Excellence, 16(4), 16-17.
Kotter, J., & Cohen, D. (2002). The heart of change: Real-life stories of how people change their organizations. Watertown, MA: Harvard Business Press.
Kotter, J., & Rathgeber, H. (2006). Our iceberg is melting changing and succeeding under any conditions. Macmillan: London, England.