All appears to change when we change.
Individual change is at the heart of everything that is achieved in organizations. Once individuals have the motivation to do something different, the whole world can begin to change. The conspiracy laws in the UK recognize this capacity for big change to start small. In some legal cases, the merest nod or a wink between two people seems to be considered adequate evidence to indicate a conspiratorial act. In some respects this type of law indicates the incredible power that individuals have within them to challenge existing power strongholds and alter the way things are done.
However, individuals are to some extent governed by the norms of the groups they belong to, and groups are bound together in a whole system of groups of people that interconnect in various habitual ways. So the story is not always that simple. Individuals, teams and organizations all play a part in the process of change, and leaders have a particularly onerous responsibility: that is, making all this happen.
We divided this book into two parts so that readers could have the option either to start their journey through this book by first reading about the theory of change, or to begin by reading about the practical applications. We understand that people have different preferences. However, we do think that a thorough grounding in the theory is useful to help each person to untangle and articulate his or her own assumptions about how organizations work, and how change occurs. Do you for instance think that organizations can be changed by those in leadership positions to reach a predetermined end state, or do you think that people in organizations need to be collectively aware of the need for change before they can begin to adapt? Assumptions can be dangerous things when not explored, as they can restrict your thinking and narrow down your options.
Part One comprises four chapters. These have been chosen to represent four useful perspectives on change: individual change, team change, organizational change and leading change. Chapter 1 draws together the four key approaches to understanding individual change. These are the behavioural, cognitive, psychodynamic and humanistic psychology approaches. This chapter also looks at the connection between personality and change, and how to enable change in others when you are acting in a managerial role.
Chapter 2 identifies the main elements of team and group theory that we believe are useful to understand when managing change. This chapter compares different types of team, looks at the area of team effectiveness, and examines the process of team development. The composition of the team and the effect this has on team performance are also examined, as well as the way in which different types of team contribute to the organizational change process.
Chapter 3 looks at a wide range of approaches to organizational change, using organizational metaphor to show how these are interconnected and related. Familiar and unfamiliar models of the change process are described and categorized by metaphor to enable the underpinning assumptions to be examined, and we give our views on how useful these various models are to leaders of change.
Chapter 4 examines the leadership of change. We start by looking at the variety of leadership roles that arise from using different assumptions about how organizations work. The need for visionary leadership, the characteristics of successful leaders and some thoughts on the need for a different sort of leadership in the 21st century are all aired. The chapter also examines how communities of leaders can work together to make change happen, and what styles and skills are required of a leader, including the need for emotional competencies. The phases of a change process are looked at in order to illuminate the need for different leadership actions and attention during the different phases of change, and the importance of self-knowledge and self-awareness is highlighted.