Innovation and Leading Change
Module name: Leading Innovation and Change Assignment title: A mid-term draft of the final essay Effective word count (words used): 4,000 word Outline 1-About the assignment : Leading Innovation and change being part of managing human and organization behaviors is kind of a complex processes that include several factors, stages, models, perceptions and definitely outcomes.
In this paper I will get a deep dive and close up view stating the various definitions, different related models, how they work in practical life and what kind of failures such models face in real life implementation; along with a self reflection to the applied experiences of such study and what will be the development plan leading to more successful practices in future.2-Introduction 3-Innovation -What is innovation? -Types of innovation -Managing innovation 4-Change -What is change? -Kotter stages of change -Lewins 3 stages model Types of chnage 5-Leadership -Leading innovation & change -Process of bringing out innovation and change -Stakeholder issues 6-Successful experience -Introducing Recognition program.-Less successful experience (Values and cultural change program) 7-Reflections & Development plan : 8-Bibliography About the assignment: In this assignment, I will state several theories, definitions and models of innovation, change, and leadership of innovation and change.
I will describe, analyze and criticize such theories and models.
Moreover, I will apply such models on a successful project I launched in my company which is the “recognition program “and a less successful one which is “values cultural change program”. Finally will set the lessons learned from such study and future development plan concluding the research done on the “leading innovation & change “topic. •Introduction: Innovation is perceived now as a trendy slogan for a variety of fields, the notion of innovation has in recent years also become attractive in matters of business, economies, technologies, social sciences, political reform, institutions and governance (Berlin, 2012).
Generally, when we say the term innovation attention goes directly to technology, products’ and services’ development, however according to third Berlin forum outline in “innovation in governance” : Attention shifts from novel procedures in science and technology, or economic products and processes, towards the creation and spreading of new instruments for public policy, new modes of governance and new political institutions.
Innovation matters, not only at the level of the individual enterprise but also increasingly as the wellspring for national economic growth (Tidd, J. & Bessant,J, 2009, p5). And Baumol pointed out that ‘virtually all of the economic growth that has occurred since the eighteenth century is ultimately attributable to innovation’ (2002, p13). Moreover, Tidd, J. Bessant,J (2009) stated that: Innovation is becoming a central plank in national economic policy -for example, the UK Office of Science and Innovation sees it as the motor of the modern economy, turning ideas and knowledge into products and services. Additionally, an Australian government website puts the case equally strongly: ‘Companies that do not invest in innovation put their future at risk their business is unlikely to prosper, and they are unlikely to be able to compete if they do not seek innovative solutions to emerging problems’ (2009, p5).
Since innovation have such clear impact on economies it definitely has higher and more direct impact on smaller organizations and entities reflecting that dynamic environment that lead such changing patterns in side each organization. Actually, the type of innovation, guide the response for needed change, its related types and models inside each organization’s context, this leads us to the term change management that is basically the process of keeping these changes under control.
Not only innovation lead to change inside organizations, but also some changes in side organizations can lead to innovation. Moreover, managing innovation and change is not an absolute easy process as it seems, as it requires lots of human interaction with different backgrounds, contexts, cultures that require aligning all your human resources to respond to new innovations, and related changes and this will only be done via good and efficient leadership.
Generally, innovations and related changes may include change in organization structure workforce planning, marketing strategy, geographical distribution , culture, …ect which directly impact human resources in any organization , therefore the role of the leader is so crucial to manage tensions, conflicts, resistances, uneasiness and development areas that usually appear with new changes and innovations.
Leading Innovation and change being part of managing human and organization behaviors is kind of a complex processes that include several factors, stages, models, perceptions and definitely outcomes. In this paper I will get a deep dive and close up view stating the various definitions, different related models, how they work in practical life and what kind of failures such models face in real life implementation; along with a self reflection to the applied experiences of such study and what will be the development plan leading to more successful practices in future. Innovation: Innovation is multi dimensional term that can be viewed from different perspectives. Actually, defining innovation and agreeing on its meaning to an organization is part of managing the innovation process. Defining innovation is the key of setting the strategy for it, which will imply the needed changes accompanied with it.
For instance, an innovation project that I monitored in one of the telecommunication companies in Middle East targeted was launched to change the company culture to be more innovative and lots of investments, incentives and trainings were set for this and 30 million dollars as revenue generation/cost reduction was the target in its first year, the shock came when innovators started presenting their ideas that was really below the top management expectations in terms of ideas’ quality or in other words ideas’ novelty and although the project achieved its target company’s management decided not to invest in such project again due that fact that it didn’t bring something really new or what we call a breakthrough or radical innovation as they expected; so not agreeing on the exact definition and expectation of innovation from beginning setting that clear strategy about it lead to the un-sustainability of the project. In the past, according to Howard Smith innovation was defined largely by creativity and the development of new ideas.
Today the term encompasses coordinated projects directed toward honing these ideas and converting them into developments that boost the bottom line (Tidd, J. & Bessant,J, 2009, p20) This complexity can be seen and evident when displaying the several Innovation definitions, applications where researchers have seen same innovation aspect in different contexts. Mohanbir Sawhney, Robert Wolcott and Inigo Arroniz -from the Center for Research in Technology and Innovation at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, USA- definition of ‘business innovation’ does not focus on new things, but rather anything that creates new value for customers.
Therefore creating new things is neither necessary nor sufficient for such value creation (Tidd, J. & Bessant,J, 2009, p48). Additionally, Richard Branson quoted by Tidd (2009. P16) said: An innovative business is one which lives and breathes “outside the box”. It is not just good ideas, it is a combination of good ideas, motivated staff and an instinctive understanding of what your customer wants’. Often, in common parlance, the words creativity and innovation are used interchangeably. They shouldn’t be, because while creativity implies coming up with ideas, ‘it’s the bringing ideas to life’ . . . that makes innovation the distinct undertaking it is(Tony Davila, Marc J. Epstein and Robert Shelton, 2006).
Generally, creativity and innovation are not synonymous; there is a clear and important distinction between them. Although these two main tracks of definitions put creativity and developing new ideas absolutely on a side and value creation on the other side yet the issue should be viewed differently; creativity and innovation are not an isolated terms actually creativity and innovation interchangeably goes together; hence Creativity is linked to innovation, which is the process of taking a new idea and turning it into a market offering. According to the Innovation Pentathlon Framework; the first step in innovation that leads to creating value is creativity and generating ideas.
However, such liner model of innovation does not pay attention and consider the various feedbacks and loops that occur between the different “stages” of the process, shortcomings and failures that occur at different stages may lead to a reconsideration, reassessments, and re-examinations of earlier steps and this may result in new and more solid mature innovation. The question is why the distinction between creativity and innovation important? A significant reason is because it is impractical to develop a truly innovative organization if creativity is ignored or stifled. Similarly, without effective processes set to convert and transform creative ideas into practical, real world, value added application, creativity will be of no real value whatsoever.
Another direction explained by Goffin (2010, p13) when dealing with innovation in terms of classifying innovation in to two types which are radical and incremental. Innovation can be dramatic like breakthroughs, totally novel and new to the market products such as Ipods, mobile telecommunication at its time, walkmans by sony, and lamps invented by Edison that illustrate pure example of radical innovation where products not there in the market has been invented ,commercialized and accepted by customers. On the other hand, there are several degrees of innovation where some incremental innovations that imply small changes to existing products, services or processes. Although radical innovations often capture the attention of the masses, yet incremental innovation is much more common.
Research investigating over 100 companies showed that 84 per cent of product innovations were ‘line extensions’ -incremental innovation- and that on average 62 per cent of revenues came from such products. 19 As might be expected, though, 38 per cent of revenues and 61 per cent of profits came from the radical product innovations. Actually the classification to radical and incremental is not absolute as the term innovation seems to refer to fundamentally different matters sometimes Goffin (2010, p13). A critic on the categorizing the concept of the newness and novelty is a bit relative as the concept of newness not only refers not only to time, but also to the object dimension (new compared to what? ) and the social dimension (new for whom? ) Roth, S. (2009).
For illustration, a change in the simple process adopting performance balance scorecard system in a company that never used it can be an innovation to it, although the system is already known long time ago and adopted by many other companies; changes accompanied with applying such system may be very hard to a limit that may appear to the employees and management of that organization that such innovation to the company is radical in terms of its newness. The important part about innovation is how to manage it insde an organization; as mentioned by Goffin (2010, p13) managing innovation starts by setting Innovation strategy and its related goals assessing opportunities, marketing trends and related technology taking into consideration all external and internal factors. The second step is pooling Ideas and creating the innovative environments supporting creativity based in research and development and market needs.
Then Prioritization and selection for the ideas generated based on customer and market need analysis. Finally Implementation with efficient go to market approach and managing completion. Most importantly while managing innovation is innovators themselves; without people there is not innovation that’s why when we manage innovation it’s not managing a process so its start with hiring, training, development, incentive schemes, corporate culture performance management systems and even the office set up. Change: In today’s world change has become a constant truth of life. Leading Change is rather different than managing change; similarly leadership rather than management alone is needed to guide organizations through times of change.
Change is the process of moving from the existing state to a vision of the future. Innovation and change are interrelated and linked. According to the 4 Ps of innovation space model definition and categorizing innovation: ‘Product innovation’, ‘Process innovation’, ‘Position innovation’, ‘Paradigm innovation’ (Tidd, J. & Bessant,J, 2009, p21). These multi-dimensional changes that are clearly and directly linked to innovation are not a haphazard process that came as a surprise to organizations. Such changes directly affect and set the destinies of the organizations’ performance as previously stated in the innovation impact on the micro and macro levels.
Hence, researchers gave a strapping attention to such topic specially in the latest decades where vast innovations took place and markets faced vigorous competitions actually Linda Ackerman Anderson, co-author of Beyond Change Management, described how in the late 1980s and early 1990s top leaders were growing dissatisfied with the failures of creating and implementing changes in a top-down fashion. They created the role of the change leader to take responsibility for the people side of the change. Getting closer to the change management concept where kotter defined Change management, as the term most everyone uses, refers to a set of basic tools or structures intended to keep any change effort under control. The goal is often to minimize the distractions and impacts of the change.
While In some project management contexts, change management refers to a project management process where changes to a project are formally introduced and approved (Filicetti, John, 2007). John P. Kotter introduced the eight steps model of transforming an organization as a breakthrough in the field of change management literature; creating an eight stages model as follows: 1. Establishing a Sense of Urgency 2. Forming a Powerful Guiding Coalition 3. Creating a Vision 4. Communicating the Vision 5. Empowering Others to Act on the Vision 6. Planning for and Creating Short-Term Wins 7. Consolidating Improvements and Producing Still More Change 8. Institutionalizing New Approaches otter model is widely spread and one of the most famous theories in change as it draws clear steps that is easy to grasp, yet in implementation things may be a but different as change processes are ‘in reality messy and untidy, and… unfold in an iterative fashion with much backtracking and omission’ (Buchanan and Storey, 1997:127). Additionally, a stage-based model may be applicable to simpler innovations, but in fact innovations ‘rarely progress in a clear and predictable sequence of clear stages’ (King and Anderson 2002: 161). Another remark on Kotter‘s liner model I that it give you the impression that change is a one-time event, a process that must be meticulously managed and promises sustainability at its end; the point her that ignores the loops of feedback as change on real ground goes though very high level of uncertainty and messy environment as earlier mentioned which lead to constant review and feedback on the process should take place along the process.
Another point on the sequence of the change stages is that a clear vision and its related communication should be there before creating the sense of urgency; actually urgency should be based on a real speculated need or ground based analysis spotting a certain state the organization need to move to so gap analysis study, or a clear directed strategy should be a prerequisite for this stage or change dealing with an urgent situation such as a down turn in economy, acquiring new company or experiencing merger with another company is definitely a good reason that can be a spark urging change that need to take place and spread in the organization. it is imperative for all aspiring leaders to determine answers to the critical questions of, What change? , Why change? , and How change?. Change for the sake of change is the abdication of leadership. (Luke, 2009).
Kotter put emphasis on the need to properly select the team of change agents. Generally, people tend to name these agents as senior management, yet a good point kotter emphasized on is that this coalition it normally includes senior management some other supports from outside the actual hierarchy that sometimes becomes awkward. However, kotter did not highlight well the needed competencies that should be there in the change agents additionally didn’t draw the clear roles for and different levels of commitment and responsibilities required as mentioned by Aitken ( 2010,p42) such as change sponsors, change targets, change agents, change advocates.
Additionally, this stage puts massive stress on leaders and managers, and doesn’t include or give much attention to employees. And this top bottom approcach is supported by Theory E introduced by Beer, M. and Nohria, N( 2000, p3) where purpose of change induce the creation of economic value, often expressed as shareholder value. Its approach is planned, programmatic change, based on formal structure and systems; driven from the top with the help of external consultants and financial incentives. A different model introduced by lewin for managing a successful change requires a three-step procedure that involves the sequence of unfreezing, moving and refreezing, known as his three-step model of change (Hayes, 2010, p44).
The model explained by London management center where the first “Unfreeze” stage – this involves creating suitable environment for change, melting the resistance, obstacles, boundaries, discomfort and un-easiness accompanies by any change process and making people ready for change. And second stage “transition/movement” as a period of uncertainty making people start question their old ways of doing things and introducing new ways and processes to be adopted. The third stage “refreeze “stage setting up a new phase to enhance stability levels on the new norms and change paradigms. Although Hendry (1996) testified to Lewin’s lasting contribution to change management that: Scratch any account of creating and managing change and the idea that change is a three stage process which necessarily begins with a process of unfreezing will not be far below the surface. Hayes 2010, p44 ), yet Lewins model of change needed some more elaborations on its three stages as didn’t cover different aspects during the change process to be more controllable and anticipated. Several researches was done by on Lewins model such as done by Lippitt et al. (1958), Egan (1996), Beckhard and Harris (1987) coming out with some more add-ons and enhancements tackled in three core issues; first is diagnosis – as stated earlier a prior diagnosis to the current situation and future state knowing that gap analysis will be the seed for the second concern setting clear strategies and plans with clear direction to the wanted state of change and finally the transformation of the strategies and plans into real on ground actions.
Implementation also involves managing the interpersonal and political issues associated with change. (Hayes, 2010, p46-47). Further arguments done by Dawson (2003) and Kantor et al. (1992) recognized that the “ refreezing” concept is a bit not relevant; as during this dynamic environment organization should be flexible enough to respond well to such uncertain nowadays business environment (Hayes, 2010, p44 ). Additionally the model didn’t tackle well the several internal and external forces that affect the three change stages such as managing politics and getting the buy in of stake holders, it also didn’t tackle well people related issues whom are the main source and core of change.
After all, they type of change and its related magnitude is a key detriment on the way it should be lead, managed and handled. Actually, they type of change is highly dependent on the type of innovation, internal external factors that will trigger it. Since innovation is classified in to incremental and radical innovation, similarly change has same respondent classification of bigbang change and incremental change. Incremental change as stated by business dictionary adjustments made toward an end result in a business environment, making an incremental change to the way that things are done typically does not significantly threaten existing power structures or alter current methods.
On the other hand, Big bang change is a transformational shift in the business culture of an organization resulting from a change in the underlying strategy and processes that the organization has used in the past. A transformational change is designed to be organization-wide and is enacted over a period of time. •Leadership: Innovation and Change always involves leadership in one form or another (Balogun, J. & Hope Hailey, V. 2008). When leadership is exercised effectively the organization’s change initiatives will be effective and there will be ‘good change. ‘ When leadership is exercised ineffectively, change initiatives will be mediocre, ineffective or will fail miserably (Beerel, 2009,p17). The attribute and competency of leadership is vital in organization’ and teams performance.
The capability the leader to digest the organization’s objectives, mission, vision and strategy and communicate this well to his teams is a key attribute for the success of such organization. The integration of leadership with innovation and change to form the organizational environment that will allow the space of innovation and hence related changes. Leadership that promotes innovation and creativity or implements a change program effectively and with the minimum disruption to performance is a real skill and managers need all the available support to equip them for these roles. Again depending on the type of innovation, related change, and their magnitude, timing, context external and internal factors will determine the type of leadership need to need to manage such innovation and change.
For example a company going through a certain new changes in crisis time where there is little or no time to involve groups in decision making may need an authoritarian or what is called autocratic leader who declare clear solid direction, take decisions with minimum feedback. Lewin also found that it is more difficult to move from an authoritarian style to a democratic style than vice versa. Lewin’s study found that participative leadership, also known as democratic leadership, is generally the most effective leadership style. Democratic leaders coach and guide teams inside an organization and they add their inputs and participate actively in decision making.
Again, it is depending on the context the leadership style is assessed, sometimes the change context and type of innovation need an authoritarian style rather than a democratic. The last type of leadership in according g to Lewin classification what is called laissez fair or delegative leaders who offer minimum or no guidance to their team passing on decision making to team members. And this is supported by their by theory o iby Beer, M. and Nohria, N( 2000, p3) where it has the purpose development of the organization’s human capability to implement strategy and learn from experience. It depends on a high commitment culture in which change is continuous & emergent. Change is enabled through participative process which relies less on consultants and incentives.
Although this way of leadership seem to be attractive from some people how usually show high level of competency and expertise it is a discomfort and risky for other less in capability and aptitude. Bringing innovation and change to a company require leadership that is primarily about dealing with people’s capacity for adapting to new realities, i. e. their ability to transform and change (Beerel, 2009. p22). Although models like hays seems to be systematic and concentrating on a linear stage transitions however if we take a close look to the process you will find the role of leadership is primarily about dealing with people’s capacity for adapting to new realities, i. e. their ability to transform and change.
According to hayes, (2010,p55), to reach a certain state of change one must follow eight steps covering many gaps that lacked kotter: such as Recognizing the need for change, diagnosing the current situation and desired future state, sustaining change and post importantly and that what I want to emphasize on is people management issues. As Hayes mentioned “Any strategy for change must address a number of people issues that are ongoing throughout the change process, including: power, leadership and stakeholder management communication motivating others to change support for others to help them manage their personal transitions, training and development. Leadership is the process of influencing others to understand and agree what needs to be done and how it can be done effectively, and the process of facilitating individual and collective efforts to accomplish the shared objectives (Yukl 2007).
While managing change process and dealing with people resistance and uneasiness are always accompanied; stakeholder engagement and buy in is the most common reason for success of change projects. No matter how effective all other aspects of the change are managed, if you don’t have the commitment of your stakeholders, the change process will always have a defect and will be subject for failure and any changes achieved will not sustain. Therefore gaining stakeholder commitment is therefore critical to change project success. Even for soft and small changes engaging your stakeholders is the one of the most effective tools in change management success.
Kotter , lewins, hayes depended heavily in their change models on top management and stake holder buy in as a part of the change process. Hence, a leader who is willing to drive sustainable change need to take a tactical view of stakeholder support via analyzing stakeholder needs and tendencies. Successful experience: Recognition Program: One of my employer’s success stories is the “Recognition Program” which I managed personally. The motto we used is “Discover the Stars“. It is in fact considered one of the most successful programs introduced in one of the leading Telecommunications operators in the Middle East that won several international awards.
The program simply is d=introducing to a very dull operational culture a innovative type of consistent rewarding and appreciation tools and spreading the culture of recognition and appreciation amongst employees and specially middle management layers. Inadvertently, this program embodies “Kotter” eight stages. Through applying Kotter’s stages for successful transformation and renewal process, the program started off with sensible urgency for advocating such a program in the company. The main reason lied behind the annual engagement survey scores conducted by the HR department, where employees scored remarkably low scores in recognition culture which reached around 46%.
We went deeper for further analysis of the case through studying the survey questions related to appreciation and recognition, focus groups were formed, and the main issue was a cultural problem within the middle management in recognizing their subordinates. At that point of time, the company was in a start up phase being in market for four years; hence all managers were focusing on the core operations rather than the motivational issues and employees were really stressed stretching their limits put the company foot print in the market. In addition, there were no available tools or enablement granted to the management to recognize employees. After conducting the study with in-depth analysis, it was found out that this was due to the lack of trust in middle management from top management due to the freshness of the operations in the country.
The initial urgency alarm was created luckily, as it was the first year the engagement score was set as KPI on the CEO and CHRO. Our next step was to involve the other senior management and get their buy in, in order to proceed with institutionalizing the recognition program and its constituents. The concept was presented to the CHRO & CEO and it gained great support from the top management. It was very crucial to attain a clear buy in from CEO and CHRO where this helped out in the gaining the consensus from all Senior Management consequently. I asked tremendous budget amount was allocated for this sole aim of recognition to create this shock and show the significance of the program.
Following to that, the subsequent attempt was to form coalitions and change agents from each department. We formed a committee where a Senior Manager or an effective change agent from each department represents it for the recognition program, where each and everyone was fully aware with the exact employee needs that need to be addressed and fulfilled through the potential recognition program and also act as mentors for their department for recognition issues. The committee members were finely selected where they previously participated in successful cross departmental projects and proved to be true agents of change. At that moment, we started crafting the recognition program’s vision encompassing the main goals.
We were so eager to set a clear plan and tangible objectives, where all the recognition programs were vigilantly tailored to serve the program’s main objectives which include the employee engagement and satisfaction as a top priority which shall guarantee the company’s top performance in the future. Top management hand in hand with the Senior & Middle Management started to diffuse and cascade the recognition culture amongst the employees. We were keen on publicizing the recognition programs across the whole company and all employee levels, for them to get acquainted, engaged and join the programs we also allowed a room for focus groups and feedback from employees about the program before launch. Here came the 4th step which is disseminating the recognition strategy and vision showing its urgency and vital importance through the proper communication channels.
In alignment with the Internal Communication Department, we successfully managed to outline and implement a state of the art internal campaign through conducting recognition program riddles which were sent out to all staff members in order to get to know the programs more ad urge them to discover the program. Choosing the motto “Discover the Stars” was a motive for all staff to go the extra mile. A broadcast e-mail announcement branded with a special logo for the program was sent to all staff; posters and roll ups were used to publicize and announce the launch of the recognition program. The team handling the recognition program was very devoted along with the committee members to spread such culture, and the effect was obvious in the coming year’s engagement surveys where the engagement level increased by 20%.
Training sessions were held for all staff in order to get to know the program details, learn how to use them thoroughly, and to instill the appreciation behavior and related of motivation and recognition leadership skills. Another factor which instilled the recognition culture is institutionalizing the program and making it part of the routine and here we proposed and got approval to include the recognition and appreciation notions as KPIs on all staff and Senior Management. Another hit we worked on is creating on the spot recognition, so that employees can have not only the look and feel of the program through advertisement such as posters, flags, announcements, etc, but also through initiating a monthly recognition for all department specially dedicated to high performers who manage to excel in their day-to-day job related activities.
The reward was “Excellent Job Voucher” which was worth a good sum of money, where employees had the chance to win a dinner for two vouchers in high-end restaurants. This was considered one of the instant recognitions where people sensed the recognition program’s effect instantaneously. We, being agents of change, and leaders who managed to communicate the recognition program to the company’s staff, were so enthusiastic about getting feedback from the employees, knowing the effect the program caused, whether positively or negatively. We didn’t rush into things and jump to conclusions, rather we gave the program a chance to sink in deeply and mingle within the organization’s culture, in order to be able to get valid results.
After one and half year time, we managed to get feedback throughout this period and accordingly new programs were added to the already existing ones that match the employees’ needs and raise their level of satisfaction and engagement. We tackled bigger problems such as rewarding employees working on technical projects, which is surely important in a Telecommunications company. Then we revamped the whole recognition programs and included variety of prizes, comprising 4 more programs adding to the already existing four. Last but not least, and coming to the last stage of Kotter’s theory of change, there was a remarkable distinction in the company’s performance due to the recognition program’s effect on the staff.
The employees along with the management (Middle & Senior Management) are instilling the sense of appreciation, which definitely affected the whole company’s performance in terms of targets over achievement. The innovation in this project as mentioned is kind of relative in terms of its newness to the company; recognition programs have been always there, but to this company at this time of operation and amongst their competitors in market it was totally new to them. Additionally, previous to such program company management was using inconsistent monetary recognitions so the program introduced to them some additional tangible and intangible forms of recognition including untraditional way to the company culture such family dinner vouchers that were considered to them as totally big innovation accompanied with lots of changes in the company.
Surprisingly, this program triggered the management to plan for launching an “innovation program” two years later to recognize such innovative and change initiatives. I have experienced a less successful story than compared to the recognition program. I believe it was less successful and would have been a great success if it gained support from the top management. Agents of change play a vital role in any change process and together they manage to destabilize the status quo and emerge into new favorable behaviors. The story is about the Company’s “Values”. We as a star up company that commenced operations in 2007 comprised of many employees, all of which come from diverse cultures.
It was comprehensible that each department has its own values and distinct culture, consequently a different way of running business and processes. This surely affected the company’s performance. There was a deep need for a change and a call for unity amongst all employees. The culture was full of blame even on the top management level. I was one of the agents of change and advocates for a root cause transformation from the current culture to a united one. I have worked along with the internal communication team through crafting set of values, and we actually got some aid from external consultants, in order to start the formulation of our values.
I shall refer to this exemplary change to Lewin’s three-phase model. To start off, there was a need for unfreezing the current status through destabilizing it, and the sense of urgency was high, due to the number of employee turnover started to increase year after year. We started the change from top to down, it wouldn’t have happened unless we got the management’s buy in. The departmental Chief Officers were encouraged at the beginning to contribute in formulating the company’s values and reinforce it amongst employees and this what appeared to the project leader, however and the most important buy in factor from chief of human resources was not there.
Anyway, feedback from the top management and the employees on the most common problems that they think affect our culture was gathered. The culture dilemmas we sorted out were the blaming culture, the inconsistent and rigid systems and processes and improving the communication between the senior management and the employees, mainly transparency. Afterwards, the next step was involving the top management in setting action plans for the dilemmas in hand. We started designing an action plan along with the Chief Officers in order to start the second phase which is “Movement”. I believe that this phase was the most difficult one as it required great efforts from our side as agents of change and also necessitated the Top Management & CEO support and belief in change.
Working hand in hand with the coalition including the top management, CEO & the aid of a consultant, we managed to set an action plan however it was not clear to all stakeholders. The next step selection for change agents started and Candidates from each department were chosen to act as ambassadors for the values to walk the talk and spread the new culture. And this was the tipping down point I believe it fell short due to the un-clarity of ambassadors change role. A clear problem in communication of the program vision and roles was there that affected the unfreezing stage. The ambassadors initiative proved to be a grand crash, to the extent that the monthly ambassadors meeting was not attended by the selected ambassadors, and later on the meeting was cancelled.
By time, no one fulfilled their commitments to this committee, and the initiative started falling apart. By now, we have almost didn’t reach the second step of Lewin’s model “Movement”, where I believe it didn’t even continue in order to proceed with the third and last step “Re-freezing”, which leads to stabilizing the new behaviors and attitudes. I strongly believe that this values story didn’t succeed due to the problem in not having a clear vision and then communicating that vision properly and belief from the top management to enforce it in addition to not getting the right change agent such as CHRO on board. Also the urgency for the change was not there and most of stake holder treated the project as a fancy nice to have one.
Being introduced to such models of innovation, change and leadership, I noted that it’s not about ideas, design and structure, it is all about the on ground implementation. Additionally, innovation, change and leadership are not absolute terms. For illustration, the first competency I want to tackle is adaptability : I had the perception that being democratic is best way all times yet I found my that leadership style should respond adaptively to the type of change and change perception is determined according to its context in the organization; an action plan for this point is start assessing each project or change factor I am working on evaluating the context, the team members involved, political powers taking place and afterwards to adapt my style to the situation.
Secondly, defining my change roles; where I had to I like a lot to participating in big bang projects and changes yet sometimes simple enhancements on a process are considered by the organization big innovations and valuable changes as well that my add to the achievements more than big bangs that may come once a year if any, an action plan for this is reviewing my current core processes and start adding up some lifts and enhancements on each of it that I believe will add a lot to the business. Additionally, a core competency while working in change management and leadership is managing politics and acquiring feedback: I thought that change is a clear staged process that can be easily followed and I got to be nervous when things when out of the stages track, yet I found out that it is a messy process full of surprises as mentioned by otter and it is not only about managing the process but also managing the politics and internal mechanics is very important in the change process, an action item on this is assessing the stake holders powers and prepare myself for and calmly set contingency plans when things get messy and always acquire feedback to keep track about the changes taking place while processing the change process . Networking is very powerful competency in leadership ; actually I found myself locked in regular work assignments trying to do it very efficiently with low levels of network inside my organization that impacted sometimes my projects flow that sometimes some internal politics and strategic relation to get work done faster than normal tracks, and action item that I started in is that I enrolled myself in a long term training program including many leaders in the company and participated in company social activities to get the expand my network.
Finally, I lead many successful projects in my organization where I had a very good leadership competency which is motivating and managing teams; actually managing people is one of the important traits for a leader and getting things done through them efficiently and happily. Actually this starts from recruiting the team its, communication , creating synergies, and boosting team spirit culture. And action item I had on this is to expand my skills in that field so I will enrolled my self in coaching and mentorship certificate to Bibliography http://www. innovationtools. com/Quotes/Quotes. asp? page=2 Read more: http://www. businessdictionary. com/definition/incremental-change. html#ixzz26vV0DVrm http://cecinsider. exbdblogs. om/2011/08/17/where-kotter%E2%80%99s-8-steps-gets-it-wrong/ Anderson, D. & Anderson, L. A. (2001). Beyond Change Management: Advanced Strategies for Today’s Transformational Leaders. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer. Baumol W (2002) The Free Market Innovation Machine: Analyzing the Growth Miracle of Capitalism. Princeton University Press. Princeton Buchanan and R Badham 2008 Power, politics and organisational change, Sage: London Change management, 2012, http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Change_management Filicetti, John (, 2007). “Project Management Dictionary”, http://www. pmhut. com/pmo-and-project-management-dictionary Gary Yukl, 2007 Leadership in Organizations, Prentice Hall Goffin, K. and Mitchell, R. 2010) Innovation Management: Key aspects of innovation management, Palgrave Macmillan. John Hayes, 2010 “The theory and practice of change management”, Palgrave Macmillan John Kotter 1996 Leading Change, Harvard Business School Press Kotter, J. & Cohen. D. , 2002, the Heart of Change, Harvard Business School Linda, H. (2006),“Understanding change: theory, implementation and success” Elsevier Butterworth-Heinemann London management center, management tools: Lewin’s 3 Stage Model , http://www. lmcuk. com/management-tool/lewins-3-stage-model Nigel King and Neil Anderson 2002 Managing Innovation and Change, Thomson Phillips, J. R. (1983). Enhancing the Effectiveness of Organizational Change Management. Human Resource Management.
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