Topic: How does a leader set a sense of urgency for change in an organization?
To improve things, change is introduced and learning makes it possible to make the change. Change is a process through which people and organizations move as they gradually learn, come to understand, and become skilled and competent in the use of new ways (Hall & Hord, 2015). Embracing change can be beneficial for organizations, especially since things in the world are constantly changing. Therefore, it is imperative for leaders to act as agents of change. Change Agent is defined as an individual whose “job is to engage with the user system and prospective adopters to introduce and encourage adoption of the innovation” (Hall & Hord, 2015). In simpler terms, an agent of change is an individual that that seeks to increase effectiveness within an organization.
From my experience, most staff members are resistant to consistent change. It, also, makes it more difficult when the consistent change is mandated. Teamwork and collaboration are huge factors that contributes to the success of the company. When the staff are included in the decision making process, it makes the transition more comfortable. “Leadership is a set of processes involving creating a vision of the future and a strategy for getting there” (Kotter, 2010). In regards to establishing a sense of urgency, change one of John Kotter’s 8 Stages of Organizational Change, details the significance of motivating staff to change (Hall & Hord, 2018). As there cannot be a leader without followers, leadership involves interpersonal influence. The leader has the ability to motivate others to get involved with achieving a common goal. Leadership involves the leader being goal directed and action oriented. Therefore, leaders play an active role in groups and organization by using influence to guide others through a certain course of action. It is the leader that sets the tone of the work environment. When the leader embraces and encourages change, the staff will follow suit.
Hall, G. E. & Hord, S. M. (2015). Implementing change: Patterns, principles, and potholes (4th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice- Hall.
Kotter, J. (2013). The Key Differences Between Leading and Managing. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SEfgCqnMl5E&list=PLRA49gaKoVqOdc28ycg8rgTOC6tNoxKP0&index=12)
Change is inevitable and must occur (David & David, 2017). Businesses cannot remain the same as competitors are constantly shifting their practices to improve productivity and customer satisfaction. It is imperative that leaders do not become complacent. Being complacent can hinder the organization from growing, expanding, and increasing productivity. Leaders must consider having competitive rates, excellent customer service, deals, etc. to stay in competition with others. Leaders and employees want to envision change as something positive that than an anxious event or a pessimistic way (David & David, 2017). Organizations must be able to recognize the urgency for the need to change. Kotter 8 step model for leading change discusses leaders creating a sense of urgency.
Kotter and Cohen (2012) mentioned that creating a sense of urgency will require leaders to make bold or risky decisions. Leaders in the position must be okay with making difficult decisions even if others in the organization do not approve of it, as long as it benefits the whole organization. Leaders can create a sense of urgency by recognizing that change needs to occur within the organization. Once the leader realizes that change needs to occur, it is important for leaders to assess what needs to change. Leaders want to ensure that they prepare efficiently and effectively for the change that needs to occur. Communicating the change to the team will be a vital step in ensuring that the change is implemented accurately. Once the change is implemented, it will also be important to track the progression of that change and whether the organization is improving or deteriorating from the change. It is always vital to assess the needs of the organization, for things change, and sometimes change quickly. Leaders want to ensure that they are aware of what is needed to generate effective productivity and overall job satisfaction. As mentioned above, change is inevitable; therefore, leaders want to be aware of when a change needs to occur, how often it occurs, and the outcome of the occurrence.
David, F. R., & David, F. R. (2017). Strategic Management: A Competitive Advantage Approach. Florence: Pearson.
Kotter, J. P., and Cohen, D. S. (2012). Leading Change. Boston, M.A., Harvard Business School Press.