There are specific qualities required to successfully communicate change initiatives within an organization. Drawing from this week’s lecture and readings, discuss some of the most important leadership skills required to develop employee ownership and acceptance of change initiatives within an organization.
Week Five Lecture
The change action has been designed and implemented and now it is imperative that the leader follow the culture and see that the change is sustainable and embedded. That sounds like a simple task; one would assume that the change would be visible and therefore successful. However, how does the leader know if the change initiative is actually embedded and part of the culture? How does the leader know that the organization has become the new dynamic and is not just something they do – like a bullet point on the agenda? How can the change practice be measured? The leader must be fully committed at this point to devote the time and energy necessary to ensure that the change is sticking throughout the organization.
The communication process plays a vital role to the success or failure of change. There are measures that can be taken to help the embedding process. By clearly explaining the roles of each player, the leader is communicating a purpose and importance to the participant. Ensuring that the change actions are tied to the strategic plan within the organization sets the path for future growth and initiatives. Measuring the progress and celebrating successes lessens the chaos that often accompanies change. Recognizing that productive failure is part of the process that allows the participants to own the problem and redesign the footpath helps to develop the collaborative effort important in this phase.
Each of the conductors in the video had a specific technique and style of communication. The orchestra understood the visual actions of the maestro and performed the expected behaviors to achieve the desired outcome. While every situation required the same ending, the guidance of the leader was very different. Developing the communication pattern was not something that happened overnight. The understanding took time and effort.
“Crying wolf” is not an attractive behavior of the change manager. Recognizing when to develop an urgency and an escalation of commitment is important when soliciting ownership and assistance. If everything becomes an urgent matter then nothing is an urgent matter. Declaring victory too soon could cause a critical aspect of the implementation to be overlooked. The savvy change manager carefully paces the process and the communication throughout the initiative. Clear and concise soliciting leadership from within helps to establish a new culture.
The leader must mirror the new culture and the behaviors expected with the initiative (Cingoranelli, 2003). Taking change to the personal level allows the participant to develop an ownership and partnership in the change, which helps to sustain the desired outcomes. The language of change must fit the audience. The dialog for selling change to the internal culture may be slightly different from the dialog for interacting with external shareholders. The bottom line, communication is a key ingredient for change implementation and overall sustainability. Recognizing that each phase of change requires a new path of dialog will help the participants move through each phase and partner in the process.
Forbes School of Business Faculty
Cignoranelli, D. A. (2003). Communicating change initiatives. The practicing CPA. 27(8) p 3-4. Retrieved from ProQuest Database.
TED (Producer). (2009). TEDTalks: Itay Talgam–How to lead like the great conductors [Video file]. Retrieved from the Films on Demand database.
Palmer, I., Dunford, R., & Buchanan, D. (2017). Managing organizational change: A multiple perspectives approach (3rd ed.). Retrieved from https://www.vitalsource.com
TED. (Producer). (2009, July). Itay Talgam: Lead like the great conductors (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.ted.com/talks/itay_talgam_lead_like_the_great_conductors.html This video takes a creative look at communication and the leader’s skills and abilities to develop harmony within an organization.