Review Kurt Lewin’s field theory and process-driven change. Using an example of a specific organization, discuss the relationship between a learning organization culture and leadership for complex change.
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The example I am choosing for this discussion deals with an organizational change my business unit has embarked, which began in June of 2018. The change involved a re-alignment of the operation with a focus on specializing the work we do with specific focus, leveraging new technologies that are impacting work-flow procedures, modernizing processes with incorporating web-based applications, and creating an environment for greater consistency and efficiency, reducing duplicative work.
Experiencing this re-alignment, I recognize the parallels between the learning organization culture and leadership for complex change theories. The realignment is significant in that it involves new roles, new responsibilities, a new organizational structure and folks that have traditionally been linked to an office’s physical location, are now part of a virtual group. During the design of the realignment strategy, the two main faces of change that were evident and incorporated into this work were tools and techniques, and transformation. The initiative was to address current processes with an eye toward contemporizing them, addressing current market demands, and anticipating future market needs, with efforts to remain competitive.
In addition to this change, we have been introduced to a Continuous Improvement process or CI as it is referred to. This initiative is a purposeful plan to create greater levels of efficiency, consistency and a process for problem solving for root causes. The initiative is incremental in nature and it helps drive ongoing employee development, and high levels of collaboration among all the teams. Both the CI process and the realignment initiative fit well with-in the learning organization culture model. Clear in this approach is the adoption of a process-driven approach. In, Implementing Organizational Change, it is noted that “Process-driven change seeks to create a context and environment in which employees at all levels of the organization engage in a collaborative way to achieve strategic goals…” (Spector, B., 2013, p.37) Engaging employees at all levels and allowing them to be part of root cause identification and part of the solution process will drive employee motivation and create for an environment of ownership and commitment. This has been evident with-in our business unit.
Kurt Lewin’s field theory is also evident and incorporated with-in these change initiatives. In, Implementing Organizational Change, Lewin points out that “…to change her pattern of behavior is to create a sense of disequilibrium or dissatisfaction with the status quo with that individual…Lewin insisted that what does not work is telling people to change…Giving a speech about the need to change will not motivate new behaviors” (Spector, B., 2013, p.27) What this re-alignment entitative accomplished was a complete disruption of what had been the norm for years. It introduced a great deal of automation, what was done once manually was no longer. We know have a virtual team of support, which means the people that we once relied upon for support work no longer sit next to us, in the same physical location. Our score-card reflects new measures and metrics with re-defined standard process.
In summary, the change initiative I am currently experiencing at work has adopted both elements of Lewin’s field theory and process-driven change. I would describe us as a learning organizational culture with leadership for complex change.
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