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Review and discuss the learning points of other members of the class. Respond individually to at least two other classmates’ posts and compare their list with your own list.

Reply to at least two classmates outside of your own initial post.

Peer One:

What must any leader know in order to lead an organizational change effort effectively?

Taking into consideration everything that I have learned in this course about organizational change and the steps needed to make change successful, I believe that Kotter’s eight steps are absolutely key to that process. Therefore, in order to lead an organizational change effort effectively, any leader must know the importance of the following steps: (1) assessing your organization’s readiness for the change effort by using assessment surveys, talking to employees and managers, and identifying any hurdles, (2) creating a sense of urgency for the need for change within the organization and the importance of acting immediately, (3) the need for a guiding team that has strong “leadership capabilities, credibility, communications ability, analytical skills, and shares a sense of urgency,” (4) clarifying a vision for the future and how that can be made a reality, (5) making sure everyone knows and accepts the vision and strategy through communication that allows for feedback, (6) removing barriers and empowering others so that innovation can happen, (7) producing short-term wins and celebrating them quickly and efficiently, (8) pressing hard and fast after those successes, (9) helping the organization and its people hold to the new ways of behaving until they become “the way things are done”,” (10) creating and supporting ongoing group meetings and discussions where people can share their experiences, ideas, and concerns (Cohen, 2005). 

Ultimately, thoroughly knowing, understanding, and successfully implementing Kotter’s eight steps will help ensure that change efforts are successful for an organization in the way that it takes a potentially discombobulated and overwhelming process and makes it specific and intentional. 

References:

Cohen, Dan. (2005). The Heart of Change Field Guide. Deloitte Development LLC.

Peer Two:

Transparency, I don’t know if I can say that loud enough or too many times. The word transparency is a catch all word for good communication, a clear and easily understood plan of action, and loyalty to their employees. Transparency is about being genuine and honest, not trying to manipulate, lie, or cheat the organization or their employees. The truth is, if the employees don’t trust the leader who is implementing the change effort, it will never be successful.

A clear message or vision for the change effort must be communicated on a regular basis, it must become the leader’s passion. It has to be important enough to the leader, so that everyone around the leader understands and in turn it becomes important to them. The vision becomes a living, breathing goal for everyone.

Loyalty to and from the employees. This is something nearly palpable in the Army, you can see it, taste it, smell it. A good leader has the buy in from his troops at all times. One time I heard a Soldier talk about their Company Commander and say, “I’d go to hell with him with only a butter knife”. That stuck in my head, and many years later I have learned to see that kind of loyalty. If a leader doesn’t have the loyalty of his people, they will never trust him or want to see him succeed, therefore the change effort will never be successful. And this level of trust starts long before any kind of change effort has been announced.

There are many other things a leader must know to lead change. Things like how to listen to others, how to inspire and motivate others, how to train others, then list goes on and on. In my heart and in my mind, all of those other things a leader must know starts with transparency. The rest of it is just an extension of that. Be honest, care, communicate, and BE HUMBLE, be willing to learn from everyone…including your subordinates.

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