Leadership has become a vital issue in most organizations as a result of the rapidity and unpredictability of change. An organization can be successful only if it is ordered, more efficient, pioneering, and competitive. The workforce is undergoing continuous change and employees demand admiration, just treatment, and a chance to contribute. Organizations undergoing quick-change need to keep the organization structure most flexibly. Good organizational leadership requires committed “ego-less” leadership from the executive suite down to the employee level and an organizational culture that encourages and rewards this behavior. Every organization requires leadership and management because all of them are affected by their contexts, philosophies, governance structures, value systems, and the legal ground rules under which they operate. These are the forces and factors that control their leadership and management needs. This paper discusses the importance of change and leadership in organizational progress.
Organizational culture on the other hand is the collection of values and norms that are shared by individuals and groups in an organization and that control the way they interact with each other and with stakeholders outside the organization. Organizational culture has been an important theme in research for several years (Wikipedia n.pag). It is always important to build a leadership that blends with the organizational culture. The work of the leader is easily comparable with the work of a farmer. Just as the farmer has the belief in the seed that it will sprout, and provides enough water and soil nutrients for the growth of the plant, a real leader believes in the potential of his team to grow and maintain a positive growing environment. The most important aspect of leadership is to distinguish the self-reinforcing process of development. However, if this attempt fails to operate, change will not produce the desired result or will lack energy and on the other hand absorb energy (Senge n.pag). The leader’s attention must also focus on the second set of forces that are the host of limiting conditions. In other words, leaders need to work on the negative or the weak points to succeed.
Role of Effective Leadership
Effective leaders do not drive change rather they partake in the growth processes and take the edge off the constraints on change. The first reinforcing growth process most leaders identify and try to establish is fueled by enhanced results. Achieving important practical results does not happen immediately but it takes time. The second growth process functions through enhanced personal results. People around the world today are seeking to understand the concept and practices of leadership. There are several reasons for the popularity of this topic, including that organizations are faced with changes like never before. The concept of leadership is valid to any aspect of ensuring effectiveness in organizations and in managing change.
It is a well-known fact that leading change is a difficult task. Kotter (1996) states that “The rate of change is not going to slow down any time soon…[it] will probably speed up even more…change is inevitable and to resist is at best unproductive…the key is in your response to change”. Corporate managers in organizations are often required to kick off major changes or revolutions in their organizations. Hence these managers are often required to possess a unique leadership called the “change leadership” (Kee and Davis n.pag). This concept of leadership is different from the normal leadership or management of a corporate agency. They need to carefully assess the risk and rewards, and a skill to manage risk in a way that protects the leader, the agency, and other stakeholders.
High-risk changes involve a superior probability that the change process or the outcome may be negative with an undesirable penalty whereas low-risk changes involve smaller chances that the change process or result will involve fewer penalties. By assessing risk in this manner, a manager’s change leadership efforts most likely fall in the most advantageous action. On the other hand, the efforts by the manager that occur without the knowledge of change risk factors are much more unpredictable and potentially counterproductive. For instance, pushing for too much change, too fast, could be risky for both the corporate manager and the organization itself. Besides, pushing too slowly may also be dangerous—organizations may miss major opportunities or be viewed as unmanageable and ineffective (Kee and Setzer n. pag). For instance, government officials need to quickly respond to changing demands brought about by globalization, new threats, such as terrorism, and uncertain events, such as Hurricane Katrina. One of the common factors in all of the above factors is the need for agencies to change themselves which is not easy. Though potential rewards may be good enough, change carries risks for the agency, the manager, and other stakeholders. Here a failure to change can bring about negative results.
Motivation is one more important part of organizational behavior. It is a widespread belief that when employees are having job satisfaction, their level of motivation that has a great impact on their performance. Organizational change should take these aspects into account and need to encourage employees. On the other hand, if employees are not having job satisfaction their motivation is low and unable to produce peak performances. According to the research conducted by Bateman and Snell (458), it is said that “if people feel fairly treated from the outcomes they receive or the processes used, they will be satisfied”. Any change should not alter these conditions. There are a variety of factors that can influence a person’s level of job satisfaction; some of these factors include the level of pay and benefits, the perceived fairness of the promotion system within a company, the quality of the working conditions, leadership and social associations, and most significantly the job itself. From the time of the earliest writers on organizational culture (including, for example, Deal and Kennedy n.pag; Ouchi n.pag), it has been recommended that organizational culture affects such outcomes as output, performance, dedication, self-confidence, and ethical behavior. Similarly, more recent researchers have repeated the assumption that “organizational culture impacts considerably an organization, its employees’ behavior and motivations and, eventually, that organization’s financial performance (Holmes and Marsden, 26-53).
The effective management of knowledge is critical for organizations that are determined to gain or uphold an aggressive advantage over other similar organizations. Decision-making is the main component of an integrated knowledge management system and is very essential when change is a major concern. It is a major factor for growing organizational records with recently created facts and a broader base of perspectives to use in future decision-making situations. These records through integrated knowledge management systems may be able to respond more quickly and appropriately to a rapidly changing environment (Hall et al.).
Leaders in an organization have to make several decisions daily. Some of these decisions are routine and inconsequential and do not require additional resources to solve the problem. However, in this changing world, there are several new problems faced by organizations that make the decision-making process complex. Besides, some of these decisions could occupy financial commitments that may eventually result in a gain or loss, or could even have an impact on the organizational objectives being achieved or not (Arsham). For a systematic decision-making process, there are several important steps to be taken at the proper time. The successful identification and structuring of each of these steps will determine the success of the manager as well as the organization as a whole.
Managing demands a new type of leadership in today’s multifaceted place of work is challenging. Hence the 21st-century managers must lead as visionaries and entrepreneurs, mentors and role models for change, team builders, and servant-followers. To succeed, they must be aggressive in this competitive world, improve service, nurture a diverse workplace and meet extraordinary global, ethical, and business challenges. Organizational success depends on developing and using the leadership skills that move organizations and people forward toward common goals and objectives. Above all leadership is all about changes that are brought about in an organization that leads to success in a much faster and organized manner. However, if the changes are not brought about in correspondence to the organizational culture then it can create serious problems.
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