As a common saying goes, change is the only thing constant,' and in any organization, change is inevitable. It is arguable that any successful management of change is critical to any organization that seeks to survive and to succeed in the present continuously evolving and highly competitive business environment (Tompkins By, 2007). Many theories and approaches relating to change management are available to both academics and researchers as means to addressing the current issues often encountered in this practice. One of the best ways to manage change within an organization is through team development experiences. Employees play a critical role in initiating successful change. Therefore, it is significant that the institution creates team development experiences that will help the staff understand the desired change and cope with it to ensure successful change management.
Change Management Theory
Change management is a complicated phenomenon that lacks defined and rigid boundaries. There is no universal definition of the term change management (Tompkins By, 2007). However, there is a common understanding developed towards change management, and it helps to understand the concept in different contexts. Change management is primarily about transforming an organization from the current state to the desired prospect state. The chief purpose of change management is to build readiness and the sense of willingness for the anticipated change in an organization. Contrary to the common belief, change management is not so much about having the blueprint of the desired goals or the application of procedures to attain the strategic objectives. Instead, it is about designing the path that will lead to a successful change, and it starts with ensuring that the employees understand and accept the essential elements.
Change management theories help in creating a blueprint that will ensure that the needed change is successful. The approaches assist in navigating and facilitating growth, and it is a process that begins at the top and drips down as learning among the employees. Several theories try to explain change management within an organization, and they offer various steps that attempt to answer multiple questions that triggered and lead to successful management of change (Tompkins By, 2007). The change management theories start by defining the current state. This entails understanding the sophistication of the market and the demands that the organization must meet. After which, it is closely followed by defining the intended goals. An example, in this case, would be employee morale, which is a common problem in the competitive market because employee morale shapes their attitude towards creativity and productivity. The following step is creating the desire for change, and this can entail pinpointing the problems during a team development experience and showing the members how change can positively impact their work and productivity. The fourth step, in theory, is planning for change through defining measurable goals and detailing the success factors and steps of implementing the change. In a team development experience, this stage is characterized by setting the norms such as what areas are valuable and how to raise the standards so that the team can work towards these as goals. Lastly is reinforcement and this step involves understanding how to implement the change and defining how to assess the effects of change. At this point, the members of the team building sessions suggest ways to achieve the change while proposing how success in each step will be evaluated.
Peter Senges Five Disciplines
The theory of mental models that believes there are ingrained assumptions, generalization as well as pictures that influence how people understand their environments and act. According to this approach, many individuals are unaware of their mental models and the impacts that these models have on their behaviors (Coto, 2012). Human behavior is shaped by how we interact with each other. Despite this, mental models and thoughts create the opportunity to stereotype other people. The problem with mental models is that they make people assume that things and responses are constant. An example of this theory is that organizations must be arranged in hierarchies or that only particular people need specific information within an organization thus restricting effective communication.
The theory of shared vision indicates that if a single idea inspires an organization for several years, then it can compel the future generation and direction of the team. A shared vision thus helps in answering the question, what do we want to create? which directs people on what the consumers expect (Coto, 2012). A shared vision is critical in change management because it offers the focus and energy for the transformation. This theory argues that a common vision foster's the sense of long-term and uniqueness of the organization that helps both internal and external environment identify with the organization. The theory of shared vision is evident in Apples success. The company is known as a brand with unique strength in design and creating the simple user interface. This helps the company have a clear understanding what distinguishes them from Android phones and thus shaping the future direction of the organization.
The theory of personal mastery closely relates to the old concepts of the Greeks know thyself, ' and despite the significance of this phrase, many organization fails to understand what are their core beliefs and strengths. Personal mastery is the discipline supporting the idea that we get better through deepening and clarification of personal vision (Coto, 2012). This theory advances above competence and skills, although it considers these elements. People remain as the active force of any business organizations can only learn when individuals learn. The statement implies that employees work according to their inputs and motivation to attain goals and this is determined by their level of mastery in their different fields. People with harmony in their work, love what they do and feel that they have a higher purpose in the company than making money. A practical example is how organizations today offer scholarships to students and employees so that they can go to school to advance their skills, which will help them develop personal mastery.
Shared Vision as a Learning Discipline
A shared vision is a clear and shared picture that defines organization uniqueness and the desired future state that helps the staff identify the business. Mostly, this is a vision that has been internalized by the internal environment. This learning discipline is not an idea, but instead, it is a force within the hearts of individuals in an organization that acts as an impressive power (Coto, 2012). A shared vision is a compelling force that acquires the support of more than a single person to understand the answer to the question what do we want to create?' in business (Coto, 2012). When people share a common vision, they are linked by a joint aspiration. Unlike the other learning disciplines, a shared vision helps the organizational members to have focus and energy for learning.
The main reason I have selected shared vision as a learning discipline is that it enhances clarity, enthusiasm, and commitment among organizational members. This model helps in generating a clear business purpose that promotes the necessary changes in a firm so that it communally achieves the desired goals. The vital feature of shared vision is that it makes an idea to be universally known thus giving the institution the sense of purpose and direction. For example, a company with clearly defined objectives knows its desired outcomes and thus fosters a sense of commonality among the staff so that people have the coherence to their varied roles. The concept of shared vision is significant in proactive learning as it offers direction and the focus for learning.
Organization for the Project
The selected organization for this project is Apple Inc which is one of the leading technology manufacturers. Apple's vision lies in the value of the company which is to continue offering product excellence and innovation. The company believes in delivering value and high performance through various forms of technology. This is attained through their exceptional quality and elegant designs. Apple Inc started in 1976, and it has revolutionized the perspective towards innovation both in internal and external environments, and these have been arguably their foundation of their success.
Team Building Exercise Cover Story
The primary role of this exercise is to guide the team members through the process of developing a shared vision of the future they want for the company once the team has identified their mission, why they are together and what they seek to accomplish. It usually is clear that every person has a different idea of how they would like to see the organization grow. Therefore, this activity gives the participants an opportunity to share their personal vision and align these different goals with the vision of the company. In this exercise, individuals will take part in structured activities such as brainstorming, drawing, and discussions to imagine an idea as a cover story for a published magazine. The participants will use a big poster with flip chart pages addressing the current state of the organization and how to meet the demands of the external environment as already attained goals.
The selected exercise supports the chosen discipline through the idea that it offers the guidance on what to preserve and what to alter in the process of change. This is a feature standard in shared vision as a discipline that generates a clear institutional purpose while promoting the avenue for necessary changes so that the business can achieve the desired outcomes. Shared vision, as well as the cover story exercise, clarifies the organization's direction, which provides a framework of what the employees need to learn. In turn, this aligns with the change management theory because the business has identified the need for change with a clear picture of the desired goals. All the business requires is the steps that employees will take in designing and establishing the path to change.
Team Experience and Session Outcome
The main aim of the selected exercise is to guide the participants through the process of developing a shared vision from their different perspectives of the desired goals for the organization. In the project, the first thing that the team will encounter is the fact that despite having a common goal as an organization, people have varied ideas and attitudes to achieve the desired outcome. The exercise will offer the individuals an opportunity to exploit their different opinions and embrace their dissimilarities while working towards a universal vision, which is broad and general to survive the alterations in tactical direction and focus of the products. Once the team has understood what needs to be achieved, they will align their visions to the collective imagination thus helping the participants comprehend one another in a clear perspective.
The participants will create a path for change and better understanding towards the desired change while focusing their visions around the strengths of the firm. For example, in the selected organization various departments have different goals. However, they are all attached to a single goal, which is to offer product excellence and innovation. The planning department will, therefore, work together with the development unit by focusing their strengths on creating exceptional products that meet the demands of the company and the consumers. In the end, this exercise imparts the value of the shared vision discipline and change management t...
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