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Leading Change- The Leadership Imperative

Leading the ‘Change’ and managing it, is a critical phase in the OD cycle and demands a significant amount of time, energy and effort. Once the diagnosis is done and the causes of the issues in the organizations are identified, the process of initiating change gets triggered. The OD practitioner, collaboratively with the organizational members, begins designing the interventions and planning the change; and draws upon the deployment and implementation framework for change for the organization.

In organizations the extent of what changes varies from mundane notional symbolic change to radical changes in People as well as Process.

The scale of complexity can be determined by the scope and extent of change and by the degree, to which, the organizational members find it easy to cope, manage and finally adopt the change.

  • In the OD body of knowledge there are several views on managing change and these could be classified into 5 major actionables. To begin with “Motivation for Change” is the stepping stone of the entire process through which the organizational members are made aware of the need for imminent change. This involves letting all sections of the organization know what would go wrong if the change does not happen. The OD practitioner’s interventions on this are such that the need for change is inherently felt collectively by the organization.This firms the foundation on which the entire process of leading and managing the change stands upon. The success of the subsequent steps in a way determines the effectiveness of the first actionable which is Motivating the Organization for Change.
  • The second activity is that of Visioning and comprises of creating and adopting a vision which is a representation of the Larger Strategic Intent of the organization by way of measurable milestones. The vision helps the organizational members to visualize, and know the ‘Destination’ they are to reach alongwith the ‘How’ they are to drive to achieve ‘What’ they want to achieve. This gives them the appropriate perspective of the Planned Change Process. Needless to mention, in leading and managing a change, Communication plays a significant role.
  • The next activity is that of ‘Seeking Support from Significant Others’. This activity comprises of acquiring, enforcing and ensuring certain acts from the significant stake holders of the organization that would benefit and support the change intention.The absence of a political will, wherein the power groups and authoritative role holders do not support for the Change, can lead to blockages of progress either visible or directly or at the Collective Unconscious Level.
  • ‘Managing the Change’ is the fourth step which is characterized by ‘Transition’. It involves movement from the current state to the desired state and usually incorporates specific management plan and structures to tide over and sail through the interim period of Transition.
  • Once the Transition is managed, ‘Sustaining the Change’ is the next step. This involves adding resources of all kinds for long term reinforcement of the implemented changes, adopting an appropriate support system for the new system and engaging into efforts to identify and develop critical behaviors and skills that would be required by the organization to sustain the change.
    Effective OD practitioners lay equal importance in terms of time, energy and efforts to all the five phases of activities and believe that any one of the step left loose, can derail the entire process of bringing about planned change.
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