Assignment 1: Facilitating Change
In this module, you learned about value-based leadership and developing a leadership mind-set, as well as looked at some of the common mistakes associated with change leadership. The assignments in this module ask you to explore the role of the change facilitator or change leader.
Research value-based leadership and the role of change leaders. Use resources from professional literature in your research. Professional literature may include the Argosy University online library resources; relevant textbooks; peer-reviewed journal articles; and websites created by professional organizations, agencies, or institutions (.edu, .org, or .gov).
Based on your research and experience, in a minimum of 400 words, write a description that illustrates your vision of the change facilitator’s role. In other words, if you were appointed the role of a change leader (either at work or in a community organization), how do you envision your role as a change facilitator in bringing about healthy change? While responding, consider the following questions:
- How would you generate a sense of urgency about the need for healthy change?
- How would you manage and respond to the various reactions of employees (followers) to the change process?
- What activities would you perform or enact to genuinely empower people by creating circumstances that promote and sustain change?
- By the due date assigned, post your responses to this Discussion Area.
- Through the end of the module, comment on at least two of your classmates’ responses. You can ask technical questions or respond generally to the overall experience. Be objective, clear, and concise. Always use constructive language, even in criticism, to work toward the goal of positive progress. All comments should be posted to the appropriate topic in this Discussion Area.
Module 5 Overview
In this module, you will learn about the challenges and opportunities that leaders will encounter when facilitating change. One of the most difficult challenges confronting a leader during times of change is the facilitation and implementation process. A vast majority of change plans require people to adapt to doing things in a different way, but this can often result in failure due to inadequate implementation.
Facilitating or implementing a planned change often fails because of a lack of clear communication. Therefore, it is essential that change leaders very clearly identify why a change will occur, how it will occur, and how the change will affect the individuals involved.
For change to be successful, employees must understand the change and be prepared to participate in the change. It is up to change leaders to be prepared to change the employees’ thoughts and attitudes in order to reduce any resistance and to rally employees to support the change. To do this, leaders must be aware of some of the barriers to facilitating change such as a lack of clarity of intended changes, the discipline that may be required from both the leader and employees, and the accountability and controls in the change process.
This module will discuss some of these challenges and offer some possible solutions. Value-based leadership and developing the leadership mind-set will be emphasized to help expand your awareness and understanding of the common mistakes associated with leading and managing change.
Leadership Challenges and Opportunities
Value-based leadership and the development of the leadership mind-set can help facilitate change. This information will help to expand your awareness and understanding of the common mistakes associated with leading and managing change.
One of the basic constructs of value-based leadership is that leaders should influence their employees through the leaders’ values. Utilization of value-based leadership can assist in influencing relationships, teams, and organizational conduct and behavior, which is not unlike the process of leading by example.
Our values drive our decisions and behaviors and often dictate how others feel about us. In value-based leadership, the leader’s personal values drive the decision making and implementation of organizational change. When team members understand the leader’s personal values, they can work to align with those values and, thus, work as a team to implement changes.
When a leader incorporates his or her values of trust and commitment into his or her leadership styles, it may result in less organizational resistance to change. Because of the trust that team members experience, they may be motivated to work together with leadership to successfully implement changes. When a leader demonstrates a commitment to his or her team, the team in kind may feel motivated to have equal commitment to the organization and its efforts.
Shared values can develop the kind of trust from employees that will enhance the facilitation of change. Value-based leadership can assist the organization in developing a culture of trust, which can be a fundamental variable in determining the success of organizational change.
Value-based leadership means doing the right thing. It means making decisions that focus on the common good, for reasons that agree with core organizational principles. By doing this, it allows the organization to move away from self-interest and the mere generation of profit. In order for leaders to be successful in this endeavor, they need to look at their own values and ask what they wish to stand for as they move forward.
Values and Ethics
Values are those things that are important or valued by individuals, and these values also provide the basis for judgments concerning what is important for the organization to succeed. However, when we think of value-based leadership, ethics can also come into play when leaders begin to internalize their perceptions of a situation. Therefore, while values determine what is right and what is wrong, ethics is the process of doing what is right or wrong, and this is why we refer to ethics in terms of ethical behavior.
Connecting Personal and Organizational Values
Value-based leaders find that by establishing moral principles, their core values can help to guide the organization create higher-performing teams. Value-based leaders communicate organizational values that direct employees on how to behave in order to achieve the organization’s mission. They attempt to do this by first trying to connect with the employees’ personal values, and then establishing a connection between the employees’ personal values and those of the organization.
Value-based leadership focuses on who we are and how we behave as opposed to leading from a position of power. It is expected that all employees act in accordance with the values and ethics of the organization. This is why integrity is such an important attribute in value-based leadership. For without integrity, plain loyalty without values and ethics involved can cause indifferences. It can also lead to unethical behavior.
Loyalty, Trust, and Ethics
While loyalty to an organization is a good thing, loyalty above all else and without guiding values and principles is not a desirable organizational attitude or culture to have. Especially during a transitional period, leaders really need to maintain trust and ethics throughout the organizational change process to garner support and acceptance of the change. Value-based leadership can assist in this effort.
Risks and Rewards of Value-Based Leaders
Value-based leadership is based on the relationship between a leader and his or her followers who share a common philosophy of internalized values concerning moral rights and wrongs. The leader’s values are expressed through the acceptance of moral responsibility, altruism, concern for others, and fairness in decision making. Value-based leadership is one method where authentic leaders actively seek to empower others.
A value-based leader is one who is both a servant and a teacher, one who empowers others to achieve their unknown potential. The rewards of value-based leadership include a strong identification between followers and the leader, an unconditional commitment to the vision of the leader and the followers, an encouragement of followers’ motives relevant to the organization’s vision, and the willingness of the followers to extend work efforts that exceed expectations and to make substantial self-sacrifices.
Value-based leadership instills a sense of community and is inclusive, enabling others to lead by sharing information. The underlying foundation of value-based leadership is the extension of respect for people; organizations strive to model continuous change and renewal undertakings on this theory. A well-structured, value-based leadership model helps leaders develop and establish a set of universal moral principles. Through a participatory process that includes everyone within the organization, the principles are continuously refined and embedded within the organization.
A fundamental risk of a value-based leadership model is the possibility that leaders will introduce faulty strategies, which could result in organizational decay or failure. Regardless of the strategies or values of the leader, however, a leader–follower relationship founded on shared values and visions will result in an improved follower commitment and increased organizational unity. This unity enhances efforts during the change process.
Leadership and Organizational Values
Leaders must project their values in the workplace so that employees can develop trust for the leader and for the organization. A leader’s values and ethics must be understood and visible because he or she is always leading by example and, therefore, he or she cannot compromise his or her position.
Leaders are the source of organizational values, and they have the responsibility of developing organizational objectives and strategies and for ensuring that these strategies can be accomplished without deviating from the organizational values. Outstanding leaders are aware of being a role model as they are aware of the importance of their behaviors to the organization.
Code of Ethics and Values
Leaders need to operationalize their core values so that there is little room for speculation when the organization is making strategic decisions. It is important that a code of ethics and values be placed in writing so as to remind everyone that these issues are to be held in high esteem. Nevertheless, regardless of how these codes maybe posted and reinforced through training, a leader must always remember that it is his or her behavior that usually holds precedence over everything else in the view of the employees.
A leader’s values can have a significant impact on the employees, and this makes it essential that the leader establish an organizational vision to inspire the employees to support the vision, goals, and objectives of the organization. When leaders operate in an ethical manner, their actions and deeds reflect the values of their organization, society, and themselves.
In most cases, when an individual comes to an organization, his or her basic values have already been established by his or her cultural conditioning of family, church, school, community, etc., and some of these values may be somewhat different from those of the organization. Therefore, the new employee has to try and internalize some of these values in order to coincide with those of the organization.
An organization can become dysfunctional when employees of that organization do not share or internalize with the values of the organization. When the organization’s stated values and its operating values are at odds, employees may perceive a disconnect between what is acceptable behavior, causing confusion and uncertainty. This is why leading by example and value-based leadership can be so important in projecting organizational values when making decisions.
Mistakes of Change Leadership
Even though change can be well thought out and strategically planned, the fact remains that we are dealing with systems, as well as with individual attitudes and perceptions. In these situations, the smallest mistakes can result in the development of major problems. For example, not pursuing input from all stakeholders at the onset regarding a need for change can be a costly mistake.
Not Communicating the Reason for Change
If a need for a proposed change is required and a decision to do so has been made, the major problems often begin with a lack of clarity in communicating the necessity for the change and why it must be accomplished in order to sustain the organization. If employees and other internal and external stakeholders do not perceive that the reason for change is relevant, then support for the change may not exist and resistance to the change will develop since it is normally in our natures to resist change.
Not Clarifying Organizational Governance
In spite of the fact that a leader may provide relevance as to why change is necessary for sustaining the business, far too many leaders make the mistake of not providing clarification on organizational governance for implementing the change. Employees need to know to whom they should address or report to during this shift from normal procedures, wherein they may have different-than-usual or additional responsibilities.
During this transitional period, the organization needs to still operate effectively while also trying to meet benchmarks along the way during the change facilitation process. Additionally, organizational change capacity still has to be considered and excessive workloads must be avoided.
Fail to Understand the Impacts of Formal and Informal Cultures
The importance of organizational culture must be considered. While there is a formal organization culture, often there is a similarly strong or even stronger informal culture within the organization. Underestimating or ignoring either or both of these cultures can be very costly when they do not wish for the change.
Fail to Understand Employee Emotions during Change
Leaders may make a mistake in judgment of not understanding the organization’s cultures, but when they do not develop the right leadership mindset, it may prevent them from understanding the importance of the natural emotions individuals experience during the transition of organizational change. When this occurs, leaders may find it difficult to build enough trust among employees to be able to implement change. Leaders need to be aware that change may cause different levels of hardships on some employees, and they need to be able to understand this and deal with it from a humane standpoint. Developing a leadership mindset can help the leader with this and in change implementation.
Common Mistakes of Change Leadership
Developing a Leadership Mind-Set
Leaders and managers need to develop a myriad of important skills in order to become successful leaders, and this is more apt to occur through developing a leadership mind-set. To become a successful leader, you must be able to think like a leader. Developing a leadership mind-set will allow an individual to exploit his or her natural talents through personal development and self-awareness. It will allow leaders to be able to explore their personal leadership behaviors in motivating their employees toward solving problems and accepting change.
Developing a leadership mind-set can be extremely instrumental when having to implement change, as the competencies required to undertake the challenges of change is critical to organizational success. A leadership mind-set will assist you in developing an attitude of accepting problems and aid you in developing plans and strategies for successful solutions. It will also enable you to communicate clearly and persuasively, which can help in reducing resistance to change as well as enhancing and enabling a smoother transition during the change process.
Developing a leadership mind-set means to create a set of beliefs, values, and attitudes that will assist a leader to step up and present the attributes that are necessary in order to take charge of any situation and have the ability to exude that sense of confidence that everything is under control. By projecting this attitude of extreme confidence, developing a leadership mind-set can help leaders to implement and manage change and motivate others to produce creative and successful results when implementing the strategic change strategies.
Developing a leadership mind-set will assist leaders in learning to inspire employees to be creative and innovative and help employees to accomplish more than they ever thought they could. A leader with this mind-set can instill a “you-can-do-it” attitude among team members and be confident in leading and working with even the most difficult people. The team members will learn to trust each other and believe in themselves. This type of “you-can-do-it” attitude and mind-set will also increase the leader’s own creative capacity by developing a greater sense of self-confidence and self-worth, which the leader can pass on to his or her team members to effect higher performance and results.
Through this module’s online lectures and assigned readings, you learned about leadership challenges during times of change and the opportunities leaders can embrace to facilitate change.
Here are the key points you covered in this module:
- Lack of clear communication can be a barrier in carrying out change successfully. It is essential that change leaders very clearly identify why a change will occur, how it will occur, and how the change will affect the individuals involved.
- Even though change can be well thought out and strategically planned, the fact remains that we are dealing with systems, as well as with individual attitudes and perceptions. In these situations, the smallest mistakes can result in the development of major problems.
- Underestimating or ignoring either of the organization’s formal or informal culture can be very costly, especially when the employees do not wish for the change.
- Value-based leadership and development of leadership mind-set can be an aide in facilitating change.
- Value-based leadership can assist the organization in developing a culture of trust, which can be a fundamental variable in determining the success of organizational change.
- The fundamental risk of a value-based leadership model is the possibility that leaders will introduce faulty strategies, which could result in organizational decay or failure.
- It is important to have a code of ethics in place, but it is also important that leaders always remember that it is their behavior that usually holds precedence over everything else in the view of the employees.
- To become a successful leader, you must be able to think like a leader.
- Developing a leadership mind-set will assist leaders in learning to inspire employees to be creative and innovative and help employees to accomplish more than they ever thought they could. This can be extremely instrumental when having to implement change, as the competencies required to undertake the challenges of change is critical to organizational success.