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Leading a team through a period of change - Essay Example

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Leading a team through a period of change

Leadership, essentially a synthesis of arts, reflects individual experience, understanding, values and capabilities, interacting with situations where, realistically, there is rarely an 'ideal' solution. Success as a leader, so often results from the unique originality of individual responses, rather than by following established precepts, without sufficient thought to context and circumstances. This does not mean that today's leaders cannot learn from their predecessors or, for that matter, blithely ignore what is currently reckoned to be 'best practice' (Adair. 2002). Clearly, the distilled wisdom and experience of generations of leaders - successful and otherwise - and the lessons to be drawn from those presently operating in conditions akin to our own, are invaluable sources of learning for anyone in a leadership role, in the dramatically changing and many-sided world of business. Effective leadership must include the intellect, temperament, core values, energy and courage of the individual leader. More recently, the conveniently distorted, or logic of political correctness has also sought to exclude 'nature', by concentrating inappropriately upon 'nurture', as the predominant, if not sole, determinant of leader effectiveness (Belbin, 2004).
Traditionally, future trends and events have been projected as extrapolations of past events and data. Based on the premise that the future is the product of the past, planners have developed such forecasting techniques as trend extrapolation and econometric modeling. Elegant as these methods are, their performance in the last several decades has been far from satisfactory (Bridges, 1995). The primary role of the leader, within the organization's executive structure, his or her degree of formal, positional authority, as well as the nature and dynamics of the management hierarchy itself, are all major potential influences in creating the boundaries that must be coped with. The speedy, essentially 'organic' nature of the burgeoning inter-departmental relationships, quickly lead to a series of major restructures, and the emergence of a typical flatter organization, where the informal processes become not only legitimized, but are actively stimulated and encouraged as the previous formal boundaries progressively disappeared (Chemers, 1997).
Before the adoption of a certain leadership strategy or style, the company's executive or manager should analyze and evaluate the nature of change and transition stages (Chase, and Podlesni 2006). Changes are defined as allowing the emerging of a new state of being. The transition strategy is embedded in perspectives on change such as strategic choice, developmental stages, and organizational life cycle. It is also based on the traditional approach to planned change. From these perspectives, organizations eventually proceed through distinct stages, and the task of managers is to effectively manage the transition from one stable state to another. Transition seems to start where transformation ends (Chemers, 1997). The main purpose of transformation is to help organizations to accept the need for change and to generate a new vision, the main purpose of transition is to turn these into reality. Although transition may be seen as ...Show more

Summary

Today's firms can no longer ignore changes in the global environment. These changes have given rise to a dilemma, and business leaders are faced with a severe risk fail to meet demands and needs of customers and vendors. On the one hand, the dilemma requires understanding each change individually to adjust a firm's strategic direction relative to each change in the environment…
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