Change: the Only Constant for Leaders

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Organization and Change > Best Practices > Change: the Only Constant for Leaders

Change: the Only Constant for Leaders
Bomo Albert-Oguara, Manager, Nigeria, Member
The constancy of change forces itself into our consciousness because of the dynamism of the human condition. Change is the only constant in the change-management process. The key to my mind is in having leadership that is sensitive to the dynamism of the market place and scaling to meet its many challenges. Jeannie Daniel Duck, in her article "Managing Change: The Art of Balancing", opines that '...the real contribution of leadership in a time of change, lies in managing the dynamics... The fundamental job of leadership is to deal with dynamics of change, the confluence and congruence of the forces that change unleashes, so that the company is better prepared to compete.'
That is the crux of leadership in change management. It does not lie in change theories, illuminating as they may be on the path to change and our behavior towards it, leaders and followers alike.
 

 
Agree
Ericka Alonzo, Student (University), Nicaragua, Member
It is true! Change is the key for success. If we are not able to change stereotypes we won't be able to be competitive.
 

 
Limited Way of Thinking
Christian Buelna, Project Manager, Mexico, Member
In my experience, we are used and like to see a linear trend way of thinking, but this is the way to fail. We must understand that our limited way of thinking tries to force our decisions in a non-changing environment. Therefore the best way to succeed is to build many scenes to include most of the possibilities.
 

 
Change: is it the Flavour of the Month
David Wilson, Manager, Canada, Premium Member
Sometimes simplicity is required to lead and manage change. Creating small wins, communicating frequently, and implementing continuous improvements are the way to succeed (Leading Change: John Kotter, 1996).
I agree that leadership in the form of a "change champion" is highly useful. However, I have managed some projects, where you start out of the box only to come back into the box. How often have you watched a change occur because of a new leader, only to find out that the change was not needed.
We need to watch out that change is not just the new flavour of the month.
 

 
Change is Competitive Edge and Threat
RUSLAN, Manager, Kazakhstan, Member
Change - it's the only tool in modern capitalism that may lead to survive the middle and small businesses in a highly competitive market.
However for large businesses stability is desirable in the sphere of information technologies.
 

 
A Lot of Insight Here
Shadow Executive
I just want to say that I really appreciate the responses. My first inclination was to form one of my own but, after reading through them, I have resolved to just say thanks!
It's one of those occasions where I can honestly admit I couldn't have said it better myself.
 

 
Change: the Only Constant for Leaders
Enrique Benjamin Franklin F., Professor, Mexico, Member
In today´s turbulent business environment, change is a fact of life. People and organizations must constantly cope with unfamiliar events and situations in order to survive and stay competitive.
 

 
Leader Must Direct Change Towards Ultimate Goal
Bung-Orn, Analyst, Thailand, Member
The leader should set the instant objectives and communicate through all levels of personnel clearly to make everybody perform change in the same direction to the ultimate goal.
 

 
Distinguish 2 Forms of Change
Billy Futter, Lecturer, South Africa, Member
I find it more useful to view the concept of change as adaptation and/or innovation. Without these perspectives, the leadership imperative to manage change is undervalued.
 

 
Change Requires Leaders
hamid mohamed ahmed, Accountant, Sudan, Member
Change is a fact of life, nothing is constant except the change. Change is a true challenge and needs leaders not managers. In order to convince people to quit what they hold dear -their daily habits, tools, loyalties and ways of thinking - with nothing more to offer perhaps than a possibility for improvement is a true danger.
Yet in the business management the only way to survive in a turbulent, dynamic and ever changing competitive environment is to continuously carry on business process improvements, redesign, reengineering and changing organizational structure to align it with corporate strategy.
 

 
Change as a Constant
Sanyambe Obert, Student (MBA), Namibia, Member
In my view leadership plays a pivotal role in the change process. Leadership is about seeing far and continuously create that preparedness in order to take advantage of the future. Indeed in the future is the concern of leadership due to the missions, and the ability to create strategies to succeed.
 

 
Ability to Visualize the Horizon Very Early
SUNIL RAO, Management Consultant, India, Member
There is no doubt that change is inevitable but practical & effective leaders are able to visualize the broader horizon early on and steer their organization without any specific need to 'manage change'. True leaders are those who see ahead and deftly steer their organizations.
 

 
Is Adaptation Adequate? Can it Lead to Lack of Change
Dolva
The right leadership with grassroots collaboration is the key. I feel adaptation can be a way to accept the inevitable and let nature take its course.
However, adaptation may take too long to find solutions to the critical issues we face today. Many issues today are 'created' by us - so we may need to 'create' the solutions as well. What about solutions that engage with how ecosystems function?
 

 
Helping Others to Change: The 3 A's of Change Management
Prabhakar Karve, Management Consultant, India, Member
In my opinion, the three “A”s of change management are Awareness -> Acceptance -> Action. We need all three to help ourselves and others to change.
 

 
Change or be Changed!
Balaji Keshav Mahashabde, Financial Consultant, United Arab Emirates, Member
It's better we agree that change is constant, everything changes, other than change.
If we do not agree, then we will see ourselves "being changed" at both personal & professional life... Change or be changed!
 

 
Understanding and Dealing with Change
Wilf Marshall, CxO / Board, United Kingdom, Member
Whatever words we use, we are all agreed that change has a constant presence in our work and in our private lives. Accepting this means that we must move on and learn to do something about it. What we do will vary considerably in terms of how we are viewing the particular change which has imposed itself on our situation or our psyche. The 'arts' i.e. theater, writing, performing, painting etc have been making successful inroads into the business world as vehicles for learning to deal with / manage / embrace / capitalize upon change usually through the process of presenting metaphors which provide clearer explanation and understanding of the reasons, the causes, the presence and the consequences of change.
A new book by Dr Clare Morgan of Oxford University 'What Poetry Brings to Business' is a very powerful stimulant to thinking about change and how to deal with ambiguity and uncertainty. Read, enjoy and learn... Seems a good combination to me.
 

 
Change and Leadership
Gerald Tetreault, United States, Member
I can certainly agree that change is constant. At the same time, I think there is an expectation that a leader's handling of the dynamics of change is also constant.
So it is not so much the change(s) that occur as it is one's--or a group's behavior in the midst of change.
 

 
Change Management Perception
Margaret Looney, Student, United States, Member
I agree that change is constant. I believe that leadership is trial and error. Sometimes it works and sometimes it does not.
 

 
Change is Part of Personal and Business Life
Jake, United Kingdom, Member
Change is a part of our lives. Both in the private and business part of our existence. It's always present whether we like it or not. I agree that in small and middle enterprises change may be more vital than in bigger businesses but it doesn't actually mean that global corporates doesn't need change agent to act accordingly to local market needs. I think we can easily say that change can be observed everywhere around us - only question is how to manage these processes efficiently?
 

 
Fighting Change
Kamiludin Atori, Teacher, Indonesia, Member
Everyone says that change is a fact of life. However, it is not always easy to become friendly with it. In order to change sometimes we must fight with our habits the we have enjoyed and loved for quite long, long time. In fact the fight itself that makes us frustrated.
 

 
Change Should be Well Managed
Ahtesham ulhaque, Manager, Pakistan, Member
I fully agree about change being the constant. Change should be well managed in all areas where needed. Immature and unplanned changes may cause a lot of damage and are then become very difficult to manage and return to the last good position.
 

 
Change and Improvement
Samuell Yew, Project Manager, Malaysia, Member
All improvements are the results of change. But not all changes are an improvement! Evolution is the result of changes. Not all evolution leads to sustainability. Some evolutions are dead ends.
To ensure sustainability, change must be driven intentionally to capitalize on all available resources and opportunities to meet foreseeable challenges. Where necessary, adequate resources must be amassed and deployed to overcome hurdles to achieve success. As such successful leaders not only lead their team to face routine challenges but more so to formulate good strategies and execute them properly and timely to achieve success.
 

 
Is it Change or Adaptation?
Osama Ali Ali, Student (MBA), Egypt, Member
As Heraclitus declared “Nothing endures but change”.
Change is very important but managing change can be very difficult.
I would say change is the nature of life but adaptation is the source to grant continuous efficiency of the change.
 

 
Changing Organizations and Greiner
knap, Manager, Netherlands, Member
The world is changing. So it is normal that organisations are also changing. It depends of the life cycle of the organisations (Greiner) how smooth you can change. I think also that management have to communicate that we are always changing.
 

 
Change: the Only Constant for Leaders
Gina Botta, Consultant, Netherlands, Member
I agree totally with Shadow Executive; thank you all!
 

 
Appreciate Dynamism and Prepare your Organization
Purity N. Simiyu, Manager, Kenya, Member
It's important for management to appreciate the fact that technology, processes are dynamic. Globalization has turned the world into a global village embracing many changes in market activities, technology, processes, legal activities, etc.
Its always paramount to prepare your organisation for change in order to keep up with the micro and macro environmental changes. Emphasis should be put on positions, structures and systems, not on individuals.
 

 
How to Transfer Change Into Action?
Franky He
Fully agree change is constant, but how to transfer this abstract concept into an action or practice that all can follow up well?
 

 
Revert to Small is Beautiful?
Van Bosch, Manager, South Africa, Member
All companies keep implementing controls (ie corporate governance, etc), which result in organisations becoming more rigid as they grow.
Should businesses not revert back to smaller organisations to become more nimble and more flexible to accept the changes that are expected in this new global philosophy of "change is inevitable".
 

 
Identifying Change Factors
Trevor Akpomughe, Communication, Nigeria, Member
It is not managing change as such but rather identifying the factors that call for change and planning to advance, survive or quit that matters most.
 

 
People, Firms, Industries and Countries Must Embrace Change
Mrs. Josephine Idele, Partner, Nigeria, Member
I do absolutely agree that change is very fundamental for any real development to take place. People, firms, industries and countries must embrace change. The pace at which change is occuring is very fast and those who can not predict and adapt to the environment will either struggle to survive or cease to be.
 

 
Change and Leadership
temitayo olutoye, Student (MBA), Nigeria, Member
No change can be successful without leadership. No matter how innovative and dynamic the workforce is, somebody must take responsibility for the coordination. Without change, it may be difficult for any organization to survive the dynamism of the 21st century and beyond.
 

 
Leaders and Change
Mitchell M Mubuyaeta, Student (Other), Namibia, Member
To leaders change is a passport which drives them to dynamic innovation and creativity of which presses them out confort zones.
 

 
The Leaders That People Need
Renato Molina, Management Consultant, Guatemala, Member
I'm in agreement with Enrique Benjamin, who said that "change is a fact of life", but the real constant for leaders are the principles and values. I can't imagine a leader that, in response to changes in society, change his principles. I can't imagine a leader that change his values when the enviroment change. I think that change is a fact of life but not the only constant for a leader. Principles and values are. And people need that kind of leaders.
 

 
Change Management - Oxymoronic and Controversial?
SAMUEL LUZOBE, Consultant, Uganda, Member
To prepare for change not only sounds oxymoronic but also controversial. If change is a constant and the manner in which it occurs is unpredictable, then how do leaders prepare for change? But if we do not prepare for change, how can organizations survive? Is there such a thing as planned change or do we simply remain open and alert to respond to change? Is change management a reactive approach or can we be proactive?
 

 
Change: the Only Constant for Leaders
Simeon Paraschakis, Project Manager, Sweden, Member
Yes I agree! I believe that the economic problems in the West are highly dependentof the difficulty to change when you have had a winning concept for many many years, but now you realize that it does not work any longer. So how to master the reluctance to change in western societies, I think is the key for a successful change.
I saw this phenomenon in a Greek island me and my daughter visited last week. A beautiful island with enormous potential, but the people complained that for x years ago they had a good life, they run their business in a certain way and it worked but now they sat with the same concept on doing business as in the past and complained and blamed xx, yy factors for not working. We, special my daughter who is a business developer (and a very good one) saw directly both the reasons for stagnation but also the solutions. But who dares to tell the people there that? They "know" their business...
 

 
Masters in Change and Adaptability
Allemeersch Johan
Another word for change is adapt. The situation or environment changes, and the way we can adapt to this makes it successful or not. You have preventive adaptability and curative adaptability. These 2 combined with agility define the full scope of change. So masters in change are masters in spotting changing situations and anticipate fast on what to do and make sure everyone understands.
 

 
Adopting, Controlling and Effecting Change
Mitchell M Mubuyaeta, Student (Other), Namibia, Member
Change management contains at least three heterogeneous aspects: adopting to change, controlling change and effecting change.
Terry Paulson the author advises: 'It's easiest to ride a horse in the direction it is going'. In other words, don't struggle against change, learn to use it to your own advantage. Change is either adopt or die. And change can be controversial only if the above mentioned three aspects are not contained to the organization. If humans would not have adopted to change, our history would have been written by dinosaurs.
 

 
Change is an Unavoidable Condition
Rossy Supardi, HR Consultant, Indonesia, Member
I agree that change is an unavoidable condition. Wheter revolutionary or evolutionary is needed depends on the matter, both have their purpose. Very important and a 'must have' is the change leader, which leads the organization to its new goal. No matter the goal, a change leader is always needed.
 

 
Avoid Radical Change
Romano Ritossa, Business Consultant, Italy, Member
Change is the tool that every entrepreneur or executive staff have to use daily as an operating principle. The best chance is when it's planned. Radical change may destruct the company. In this case it's better to create a new company with new employees.
 

 
Not Everything and Everybody Should Change
Satyanarayana.S.V., Manager, India, Member
When something is going right we should not try to change it. Change should happen only in areas of improvements.
 

 
Change is Renewing
Raymundo Soria, Strategy Consultant, Mexico, Member
There is a phrase in Mexico and also a story about the need to renew. The phrase is "renew or die". And the story talks about eagles when they achieve an age of 40 years they have to take a hard choice, because their claws and their wings have grown and don´t let them catch their feed. So the eagle has the choice of not changing and die, or dive from the highest mountain and break their claws and wings to renew. It is a painful and bloody process, but only that way the eagles get new claws and wings that allow them to live on for another 40 years.
 

 
To Change or to Be Changed, That is the Question
Samuell Yew, Project Manager, Malaysia, Member
I like the eagle illustration. It is a decision made by the eagle to renew (change) to continue to survive and to survive well. Due to the dynamic environment we are in, we also have an option to either change voluntarily in order to adapt or be forced to change to survive. Both are choices we must consciously make.
Good leaders always think a step or two ahead.
Like a chess player you need to counter the opponent's move and you must be flexible to change your tactic and strategy as you continue to respond to his move. If we are rigid and refuse to divert from our original strategy even when our opponent has changed his game plan, we will be doomed to loose the game.
 

 
Change or to Be Changed
Enrique Benjamin Franklin F., Professor, Mexico, Member
I think that change or be changed is a matter of approach. Bear in mind that nothing is absolute and everything is relative.
 

 
Change or Be Changed
Billy Futter, Lecturer, South Africa, Member
Choice is a key dimension of change. Related to this is identifying the challenges that accompany change (or not). Frequently, the blame is attributed to external factors. For these leaders, it is useful to suggest that they look in the mirror to identify where the problem lies.
 

 
Change and Flexibility to Adopt
mohammed Ibrahim, Accountant, Nigeria, Member
Yes no doubt that change is the only constant in life. However, when we can predict change with a certain degree of certainty, this will give some level of leverage. Most importantly, the ability to adopt gives a lot of stability.
 

 
Italians Fear Change
Romano Ritossa, Business Consultant, Italy, Member
I think change is not the spirit of Italian people. There is fear of change. For Italians are afraid they will be replaced before the change. When they must to change they excel in change (but for no change nothing).
 

 
Change Leaders must Ignore Laggards for some TIme
Hawa Aganas, Project Manager, Sudan, Member
In any organization there are people referred to as the "laggards" who are usually resistant to change because they are afraid of change. The initiators / leaders of change need to ignore them for some time for the good and progress of the organization. This calls for strong leadership.
 

 
Leaders don't Sweat
Marc Tremblay, Manager, Canada, Member
Leaders provide vision, focus, direction and, yes, security to the people they lead in an ever changing world. Moses led his people out of Egyptian slavery. Roosevelt built a highway system connecting Americans and united a country. Gandhi envisioned his people free from the political and economic control of the English. Jack Welsh took GE on an exiting change journey with Six Sigma. Leaders keep you safe through the rough waters and make you climb mountains. Change is not to fear when you have a leader who inspires and guides. Changes transform. There is pain and uncertainty. But the leader convinces you that it is the only way or perish. But beware of spin doctoring and contrived changes created by self-serving interest and power.
 

 
Give Vitality to the Organization
Derek Dorzie
The role of the manager is to both create and sustain the motivation of his team. Change in methods and environment generates challenge and adventure of a sort, keeping the passion for work alight. Thus it brings about 'growth' and versatility of functionaries. Every manager should endeavor to introduce some change periodically, to intrigue targeted stakeholders of his organization, this is what the gives vitality to an organization.
 

 
Beautiful Change
Ericka Alonzo, Student (University), Nicaragua, Member
I, myself, have seen the effect caused by change in my life. From being a shy introverted girl, I became an extroverted one and still careful about some themes. Change is a painful process which has to be taken patiently and with perspective, knowing that's what we want because the present condition does not make any good. Life, work and enterprises can be so different and so successful if only their authors could change their rigid mentality. Give the world a break!
 

 
Through Their Vision, Leaders Embrace Change
Marc Tremblay, Manager, Canada, Member
Leaders are role models on how to tackle change. They are not followers and do not abide to any theory. Passion, intelligence and confidence are the stuff leaders are made of. Organizations need their senior managers to be leaders first and foremost for change initiatives to succeed.
Who do you admire as leaders of change? Here are three of mine. Barack Obama who gives hope to Americans and all of human kind for a better more decent world. His projects are thoughtful and creative. With his charisma, intelligence and sense of fairness you feel that he can do anything. Pierre-Elliott Trudeau who, as Canada's prime minister, had the vision and courage to make Canada an officially bilingual country in hope to bridge the gap between the English and the French speaking entities. Jack Welsh, ex-president and CEO of GE. His great insight and resolute leadership are legendary among industry leaders. He made GE the successful worldwide corporation it is today.
 

 
Good Leaders - Charismatic or Transformational
David Wilson, Manager, Canada, Premium Member
Charismatic leaders like Trudeau may not be viewed by everyone as a good leader, especially in western Canada. Obama, I have hope for. Are they good speakers? Yes. Jack Welsh I would agree with. It takes more than charisma to be a good leader. I would recommend H. Nelson (England), G. Washington (USA), and Gandhi (India), I would also recommend Sir Isaac Newton and Bill Gates. Transformational leaders are more likely to be good leaders.
 

 
Beautiful Change
Enrique Benjamin Franklin F., Professor, Mexico, Member
Ericka Alozno states that change is painful, but it may be different if we understand and accept change as a part of the dynamics of life.
 

 
Leaderhip is Like the Theatre
Marc Tremblay, Manager, Canada, Member
Mr. Raymond W. Smith, chairman and CEO of Atlantic Corp., was quoted in an article by Karen Bemowski, Quality Progress, January 1996, saying: “Leadership is like the theater. You need a good leader, a CEO, who at any given point must play not just one role, but four roles:
• Studio Executive: as a studio executive, the CEO must analyze market data; assess industry trends; evaluate risk and opportunities; develop a vision; and set strategies.
• Executive Producer: as an executive producer, the CEO must establish goals; hold others accountable; organize and enable work; and evaluate people and performance.
• Director: as a director, the CEO must lead and coach teams; motivate and channel work; translate strategy into action; and train and develop employees.
• Actor: as an actor, the CEO must work on the front line; know customers; deliver products and services; and receive feedback from customers.".
 

 
Leadership and Change
Sanyambe Obert, Student (MBA), Namibia, Member
I do agree with your first statement mr. Marc Tremblay. In your posting "Leaders don't Sweat" you set a caveat that some leaders may be driven by "self-interest and power" and call it change. This leads to costs in projects that may not necessarily be of great importance to the shareholders. The feedback that they get is to see themselves in power and they ignore those who might have contributed to the smooth translation and execution of strategies into action.
 

 
Change: the Only Constant for Leaders
Enrique Benjamin Franklin F., Professor, Mexico, Member
Change, not stability, is what sets the standard today. Before, changes occurred gradually and infrequently. Today, changes are dramatic and happening constantly.
The implementation of change can be effected by means of an evaluation (map of forces), dynamic management of change policies, diagnostic and intervention feasibility through institutionalized knowledge stock.
 

     
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