Organizational change was defined within the parameters of differences in status, form, or quality over time (Van de Ven & Poole, 1995, as cited in Van de Ven & Sun, 2011). In their own definition of organizational change, Herold and Fedor (2008, as cited in Seo, Shin, & Taylor, 2012) focused rather on the “alterations of existing work routines and strategies” (p. 727) and their impact on the people who experience them as part of the organization itself. Change implies modification, adaptation, evolution, learning, often struggle, and just as often, rewards.
I resonated with the teleological model proposed by Van de Ven and Sun (2011). “A teleology or planned change model views development as a repetitive sequence of goal formulation, implementation, evaluation, and modification of an envisioned end state based on what was learned or intended by the people involved” (Van de Ven & Sun, 2011, p. 61). The cyclical setting of goals, implementation, assessment, and adaptation resonates with how change is approached in my current institution. Special attention and care are dedicated to giving a voice to all stakeholders, especially in the goal setting and assessment stages, which supports the institution’s core values of respect, appreciation, and open-mindedness.
Any leader who has tried to implement change at a given moment, be it a significant change or a minor one, knows that the way one envisions change and the way change is perceived by those who have to experience it and live with it may be very different. Thus, I learned early on as a novice leader that people need certain steps to be taken by the leadership, to prepare the ground and the stakeholders for the introduction and the implementation of change. Here are 4 aspects that I always try to consider, to help our employees not only accept, but also embrace change.
Change is never easy, but change is inevitable, and it is its unavoidable nature that makes it exciting.
Brown Brené. (2018). Dare to lead: brave work, tough conversations, whole hearts. New York: Random House.
Shin, J., Taylor, M. S., & Seo, M.-G. (2012). Resources for change: the relationships of organizational inducements and psychological resilience to employees’ attitudes and behaviors toward organizational change. Academy of Management Journal, 55(3), 727–748. https://doi.org/10.5465/amj.2010.0325
Sinek, S. (2011). How great leaders inspire action. [TED Talk].Retrieved October 11, 2019, from https://www.ted.com/talks/simon_sinek_how_great_leaders_inspire_action.
Van de Ven, A. H., & Sun, K. (2011). Breakdowns in implementing models of organization change. The Academy of Management Perspectives, (3), 58. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&AuthType=sso&db=edsgea&AN=edsgcl.267864968&site=eds-live&scope=site