Case Study: Leadership for Change: Enduring Skills for Change Masters
According to Rosabeth Moss Kanter “the people who know how to conceive and lead productive and effective projects, initiatives, or ventures that bring new ideas into use are change masters” (Jick & Maury, 2011, p.475). Not everyone can be a change master but those who poses few characters that are described by Rosabeth Moss can become change master. So we can say that being a change master is not a unique quality that has to be present at your birth time but this is a behavior that can be learned but a sense of seriousness is required. We can become good managers and leaders if we learn to change ourselves before trying to change others. As they say that charity begins at home. In the following discussion I would shed some light on the 7 skills of change masters.
- Turning in to the Environment: To become a change master, a manager or a leader must be able to look outside of the set of skills that he/already possesses. He/she must be able to create an organizational environment that enable each and every member of the team to look for innovative solutions and not just the people who are taking the decisions in a hierarchical organizational structure. For example in Facebook, each employ can come up with solutions and the top leadership has developed a mechanism that the solution is heard by them and not ignored.
- Kaleidoscope Thinking: This characteristic calls for stimulating breakthrough ideas. I mean that the manager should not stick to traditional solution to problems but should be able to challenge traditional thinking. He/she must be able to challenge what the present ideas have been presented and be able to let other challenge him/her as well.
- Setting the Theme: In any organization there should be an overall theme of thinking that anything is possible provided the commitment of the leader and the employs working besides him/her. A leader must be charismatic so that he is being followed. For example if a leade is capable to lead by example, he/she can create a charismatic personality in the eyes of the employees. A leader must be able to communicate his/her vision to the employs as a whole. The employs must be able to understand his/her vision in letter and spirit.
- Enlisting Backers and Supporters: An attempt to bring change should not be unplanned and confusing. For example if a leader or manager wants to bring some sort necessary change, he/she should analyze he circumstances that either support or oppose the change. Then there should be a thorough analysis of the resources available to bring the change.
- Developing the Dream: This is the most important factor in my opinion. Usually a team will be assigned to bring about a certain change. But there are obstacles that could pose a resistance to the team and the change. The leader must be able to develop a dream in the whole of the organization about the benefits the change would bring so that there is less resistance to change.
- Mastering the Difficult Middles: When the change process is begin, for example a project begins, there are for sure issues that would come during the implementation and completion phases. A leader/manger must be able to find solution to these problems. This could be some financial obstacles or allocation of extra human resources.
- Celebrating Accomplishments: When a task is completed, there must be a celebration of some sort that signifies the importance of the task and its completion. All team members should be made part of the celebration so each person feels recognized.
Jick, T.D. and Maury, P. (2011). Managing Change: Cases and Concepts, 3rd Edition. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Companies.