Accountability for change
Change leadership implies seeing the future and being able to lead the people to co-create it. Conscious leadership infers that leaders and consultants become more conscious and aware of the deeper and more subtle dynamics of transformation, especially regarding people and process dynamics (Bridges, 2009). Conscious change leaders see what others miss because they operate with expanded awareness and understanding.
They perceive human dynamics more fully and the nuances of designing and implementing change process that builds commitment in stakeholders, transform culture and achieve results beyond what others would deem possible. Conscious change leaders apply this increased awareness to expertly lead people through the process of change to co-create a future that will enable their organizations to win in the ever-increasingly competitive market. The leadership Role
As a student at the university, I had an opportunity to take part in activities in student leadership. As a leader, I realized that change was inevitable. This was especially because there was a problem that had arisen about the recruitment strategies of new members (Kotter, 1996). Due to this, it was important to establish a recruiting approach that was transparent and gave all nonmembers equal opportunities to be members of the organization.
There was an outcry among the members of the organization that some members were being denied to be part of this organization. This was because the few members who were present could not meet the objectives of the organization as a result of incompetence. Essentially, there was a need to ensure that changes are effected which were in line with ensuring that the organization moves and arraigns the desired objectives and goals.
From the state of affairs within the organization, accountability is a major issue that every leader should put into consideration (Kotter, 1996). This is because the leader should ensure that the strategies which are put in place are geared towards realizing the objectives and the mission statement of the organization. As a leader, I decided to set up strategies that I believed would bring to the fore the changes which were preferred. In essence, this was not to be the case. The entire organization was not in agreement with some of the strategies that were proposed by the leadership. Consequently, the steps which were brought to the fore did not materialize.
Jellison’s 7 elements of accountability: Establishing accountability
How you bring up the topic of accountability will be important. If you are too stringent about it, you’ll stand as if you are more intent on punishment than progress. Treat it too lightly and employees and the members of the organization will infer your heart is not in it (Bridges, 2009). So you can greatly lubricate the mechanism of the change by putting some thought into how you discuss accountability. Seven elements should be covered by leaders at all levels as they explain the new change to their direct reports (Jellison, 2006). These include;
- Mutually set performance expectations.
- Specify performance agreements at ground level.
- Specify the positive and negative consequences of performance.
- Link performance to larger organizational goals.
- Plan for problems.
- Decide how to communicate progress.
- Publicly commit to accountability.
In the attempt to bring changes in the organization, one glaring fact was that the leader has the greatest responsibility of ensuring that the change which is brought to the fore is of vital importance (Jellison, 2006). This can be achieved when the leader and the management team provide the necessary facilities to work towards realizing the much-needed change. There is a need to provide information, training, communications, feedback as well as ensuring that the monitoring process is in line with the expectations of the organization.
Furthermore, everyone should be allowed to participate in this process. As a leader, I realized that the changes which I was working towards could not be realized because there were some members of the organization who were not allowed to ventilate their concerns. Eventually, there was resistance when it came to implementing the ideas that were generated by a few members for the benefit of the entire organization.
Specificity is an issue that should never be overlooked. This enables all the stakeholders to be able to identify their specific roles and put up measures to ensure that the stated objectives are or have been realized. This stage is important since it enables the stakeholders to evaluate progress in light of the prevailing circumstances as well as the consequences of fulfilling, or not fulfilling, the agreement. Though this might seem to be micromanaging, it is important since it will empower all the persons involved to be accountable for the changes within their dockets (Kotter, 1996). Goal setting at this stage ensures that the parties involved can set timelines to monitor progress.
This enables the management to evaluate the overall progress as well as ensure that the preferred direction of the organization is taken. As a leader, it is important to take note of the fact that leaders have a major role in spelling the larger vision of the organization. It is important to note the fact that there is a need to let the stakeholders know how their steps and actions contribute to the wider picture of the organization. Spending all this time on the details means that the employees can sometimes lose sight of the bigger picture. In essence, when the stakeholders can relate their actions to the larger goals is very important since it ensures that they have time to enjoy themselves and become part of the greater team.
Planning for problems is an aspect of bringing change that should never be overlooked. This is because it is impossible to avoid problems in the initial stages of the change program. In this case, planning for problems does not necessarily mean that the leader is preparing to bring problems to the fore (Kotter, 1996). Rather it implies that the leader is putting up measures to ensure that the problems which might arise are under control or they can easily be managed. When a change that comes to the fore does not match the intended progress, at times the employees of the stakeholders may shy away from taking responsibility for the objectives set.
In my case, when the changes which the leadership had put in place did not materialize most of the members opted to shift blame about the failure that came up. However, this can be prevented when the leadership can come up with measures that are rapid enough to ensure that these challenges do not arise. As a leader taking note of the fact that problems are part of progress is an important ingredient that brings one to the realization that objectives can be achieved regardless of the prevailing circumstances.
Bridges, W. (2009). Managing Transitions:Making the Most of Change. New York: Da Capo Press.
Jellison, J. M. (2006). Managing the dynamics of change:the fastest path to creating an engaged and productive workforce. New York: McGraw-Hill Professional.
Kotter, J. P. (1996). Leading change. Harvard: Harvard Business Press.