Understanding the importance of organizational change and how leadership impacts change is part of the process of working successfully with change. Listening to organizational stories based on leadership styles, roles, and images from change agents/leaders is important to learning how change may or may not be successful within an organization. Change agents/leaders follow at least one, and often more, of six style images (found in Chapter 2 of your text). The six style images of change managers/leaders and their core uses are identified below:
These six images of change managers/leaders have three core uses:
They highlight a variety of assumptions change agents make about change and increase the awareness of different interpretations of change.
They draw attention to the dominant images of change within an organization.
They highlight a range of perspectives available to change agents.
Director: This is based on an image of management as control and of change outcomes as being achievable.
Navigator: Here control is still seen as at the heart of management action, although a variety of factors external to managers mean that while they may achieve some intended change outcomes, others will occur over which they have little control.
Caretaker: Although the management action is still focused on control in this image, the change agent’s ability to control is severely impeded by a variety of internal and external forces beyond the scope of the manager. The caretaker is seen as shepherding their organizations along as best they can.
Coach: In this image the change agent relies upon building in the right set of values, skills and “drills” that are deemed to be the best ones that organizational members, as players, will be able to draw on adeptly in order to achieve desired organizational outcomes
Interpreter: The agent creates meaning for other organizational members, helping them to make sense of various organizational events and actions. Only some of these meanings are realized as change outcomes, however, and these must be legitimized by the change manager.
Nurturer: This image assumes that even small changes may have a large impact on organizations and managers are not able to control the outcome of these changes. However, they may nurture their organizations, facilitating organizational qualities that enable positive self-organizing to occur.
Step 1: Research. Research via the ECPI library or the Internet, including video content, to gain a better perspective on managing change in different situations. You may also use personal experience as a reference. Each piece of research and reference will give you a better understanding of managing organizational change effectively. This exercise will help you gain an idea of the different situations, attitudes, and perspectives that are possible in managing change.
Step 2: The Change Agent. Examine your place of work (past or present) or any organization where you are involved. In addition to your workplace, you might consider using your school, your church, military command, a sports team, or a club. Identify one change that has taken place along with the primary change agent/leader.
Evaluate the change along with the change agent and answer the following questions: (1) What was the situation and change? (2) What worked in the situation and why? (3) What did not work in the situation and why? (4) Which of the six images of change did the change agent utilize and how do you know that was the image used? (5) Was it the appropriate image, why or why not? (6) Is there a better image to use in this scenario/situation, why or why not? (7) What changes should the agent consider after reviewing the situation? (8) Was the organization affected? (9) Was the culture changed because of the situation? Describe. (10) If you were the change agent, what would you have done differently and what image of change would you use?
Step 3: The Report. When you have completed your research and evaluation, summarize your findings. Your summary should be 2 – 3 pages long (excluding the title and reference page), in APA style, and should include the name of the change agent, his/her position, the name of the organization (if applicable), a description of the change, an analysis of your findings, and a conclusion. Be sure to address all of the questions in your paper and use a minimum of two resources/ references.
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