Strategy is a common term which is used in many circles. This is a common word that is used in the business and organization circles. It is a statement that is largely used in reference to organizational change (Cummings & Christopher 2008 ; Arora 2003). An action is referred to as strategic when it allows a firm or business organization to become better than its competitors, and when the competitive advantage which has been achieved can be sustained. This implies that not all decisions can be referred to as strategic. This is because some decisions are aimed towards maintaining the status quo while other decisions are aimed at increasing the firm’s competitiveness.
In essence, strategy entails being in a position of choosing new approaches as well as playing or enforcing existing trends in a much better fashion (Carroll & Samina 2011). Based on this we can confidently state that a strategy is a process that entails the creation of unique positions within a given economic or environmental state. Strategy exists based on the premise that there are no ideal positions in which a person or an organization can exist. Therefore, organizations and individuals are always seeking avenues to enhance they’re well being. The essence of strategic positioning is to choose activities that are different from rivals (Cummings & Christopher 2008 ; Graetz et al. 2011).
Change management may be loosely defined as a term that refers to a broad array of activities and initiatives which occur in the workplace with the intention of bringing about a strategic realization of an organization’s goals and objectives (Gustin 2007). As such, in order to be effective, a change management program must integrate those program elements that address any of the variety of elements such as communication, training, and testing, market analysis and implementation.
This is necessary because it entails managing change in light of the dynamics which are required (Gustin 2007). One of the most overlooked impediments to the success of organizational change is resistance from those who, implementers believe, will benefit the most (Radhakrishnan 2008). This calls for people who are dynamic in order to steer the process of change in a direction that is bound to bring results. Most organizations underestimate the cultural impact of significant process and structural change, and as a result do not attain the full potential of their change effort (Hamel & Prahalad 1994).
In essence, change is not an event, despite many attempts to call people together and have meetings to make the desired strategic change happen (Gustin 2007; Radhakrishnan 2008). Change management is the discipline of managing change as a process, with due regard to the fact that people are not programmable machines. In addition, this is done in light of the fact that it is the dynamic aspect of people which in many cases influences or rather brings about the desired change. This is most cases requires a determined and dynamic team of leadership which is characterized by honest and frequent communication (Radhakrishnan 2008).
Progress and change
Machiavelli was right. Since his time, the world has become infinitely more complex, and the pace of change has accelerated by orders of magnitude. So has the difficulty of succeeding at change (Hellriegel & John 2007). Essentially, there is no progress without change. The nature of change itself keeps on changing. Linear change no longer serves the objectives of a progressive organization (Mazzucato & Open 2002). The notion of slow incremental change typically conflicts with the overriding challenges. Today, change is fierce and ferocious. The impact of change these days is much broader and deeper than ever before in history.
Mergers and acquisition, growth, competition, deregulation, globalization, changing market conditions, new technologies – whatever the drivers of change in a particular situation may be, and the leaders are constantly faced with managing change successfully (Nicolini et al. 2011). The prosperity and sometimes even the survival of an organization depend on the leader’s success at change management. Succeeding at creating and managing change in an organization is, at best, difficult. Thus dynamic change is fundamental when it comes to the achievement of strategy (Arora 2003). In order to be able to bring change to become a realizable wish there are some elements that need to be put into consideration (Paton, Rob & James 2008).
This is because the achievement of strategy entails developing a vision for a firm, designing strategic actions to achieve this vision, and empowering others to carry out those strategic actions. In essence, this should be carried out by people who understand the dynamic times that we are in. dynamic people are individuals who are capable of bringing about changes that are in line with the measures which need to be realized (Quinn 1996; Javidan 1998). It follows that for a strategic goal to be achieved, a person in the firm responsible for designing strategic actions and ensuring that they are carried out in ways that move the firm towards the achievement of the vision is essential.
Dynamic capabilities have no doubt been relevant to achieving competitive advantage for some time (Smith & Fiona 2011). However, their importance is now amplified because the global economy has become more open and the sources of invention and manufacturing are more diverse geographically and organizationally, and multiple inventions must be combined to achieve marketplace success (Vaaler & Gerry 2009). Achieving evolutionary fitness is harder today than it was before the millennium.
Dynamic capabilities may be described as the strategies that organizations put in place to ensure that they emerge as competitive entities in the global market. This is in light of the global changes that are rapidly taking place in the world of commerce. All this depends ultimately on a firm’s capacity to acquire critical resources, easily jeopardized when at the mercy of harsh external market conditions, government and regulatory pressures, resource scarcity and aggressive competition for these resources (Smith & Fiona 2011).
As fast-moving business environments open up to global competition which is characterized by dispersion in the geographical and organizational sources of innovation and manufacturing, there is a need to establish strategies that will ensure that the stated plans work. This requires unique and difficult to replicate dynamic capabilities. These capacities and capabilities may be continuously harnessed and used to create unique approaches and standards that make an organization to be dynamic and versatile.
For analytical purposes, dynamic capabilities can be disaggregated into the capacity (1) to sense and shape opportunities and threats, (2) to seize opportunities and (3) to maintain competitiveness through enhancing, combining, protecting, and when necessary, reconfiguring the business enterprise’s intangible assets (Aaron & Bob 2011; Bridges 2009). Dynamic capabilities include difficult to replicate enterprise capabilities required to adapt to changing customer and technological opportunities. Due to this, the organizations also adapt to the changes in their environment. This enables them to be in a position of developing new products and models that are in line with the trends that are prevailing in the market.
It has been argued that progress in these particular capacities enables the organization to be in a better position to deliver quality products and services. This is usually captured in the financial records. The thesis advanced is that while the long-run performance of the enterprise is determined in some measure by how the business environment rewards its heritage, the development and exercise of the internal business and organizational dynamic capabilities lie at the core of enterprise success and or failure (Carroll & Samina 2011). The ambition of the dynamic capabilities framework is nothing less than to explain the sources of enterprise-level competitive advantage over time and provide guidance to managers for avoiding the zero-profit condition that results when homogenous firms compete in perfectly competitive markets (Cameron & Mike 2009).
Possessing these dynamic capacities and abilities is essential to national and multinational organizations. This is because they are associated with giving the organization certain aspects that ensure the organization is able to make a mark in the open environment. This environment is usually open to international commerce which is places the organizations in risky positions.
The position is usually associated with opportunities and threats that are brought about by rapid changes in global technology. The second is that technological change itself is systemic in that multiple inventions must be combined to create products and or services that address customer needs (Cummings & Christopher 2008 ). The third is that there are well developed global markets for the exchange of goods and services, and fourth is that the business environment is characterized by poorly developed markets in which to exchange technological and managerial know-how.
The Yard Stick
Two yardsticks can be proposed for calibrating capabilities: “technical” fitness and “evolutionary” fitness. Technical fitness is defined by how effectively a capability performs its function, regardless of how well the capability enables a firm or an organization to make advancements. Evolutionary or external fitness refers to how well the capability enables a firm to make a living. Evolutionary fitness references the selection environment. In essence dynamic capabilities assist in achieving evolutionary fitness which might be in line with the organizational strategy at hand (Teece 2009).
This is done in part by helping to shape the environment (Stace & Dunphy 2001). The element of dynamic capabilities that involves shaping the environment is entrepreneurial in nature. Dynamic capabilities have no doubt been relevant to achieving competitive advantage for some time, however, their importance is now amplified because the global economy has become more open and the sources of invention, innovation, and manufacturing are more diverse geographically and organizationally and multiple inventions must be combined to achieve market place success (Teece 2009).
Competence and strategic achievement
The literature about organizational development and strategic management reveals a mixture of personality traits, experiences, and skills presumed to lead to effective practice (Cummings & Christopher 2008 ). For example research on the characteristics f successful change practitioners yields the following list of attributes and abilities: diagnostic ability, basic knowledge of behavioral science techniques, empathy, knowledge of the theories and methods within the consultant’s own discipline, goal setting ability, imagination, flexibility, honesty, consistency and trust (Cummings & Christopher 2008 ). These are qualities that are defined by a highly dynamic person who is in a position of bringing about change in a dynamic and remarkable fashion to the realizable wish of the organization.
Specific competencies are fundamental when it comes to the creation of strategic changes within an organization (Bridges 2009). This has is usually brought forth based on the nature of organizations. In essence, organizations are open systems and exist within increasingly turbulent environments (Kotter 1996). For instance hospitals are organizations that face environments that are considered to be complex and rapidly changing. Due to this, there are external stakeholders who gradually set in the operations of such organizations thus they influence operations in one way or the other.
It is worth noting that since these stakeholders are different, they hold different values and opinions with regard to such institutions and organizations. Essentially some of the stakeholders involved are the government, unions, the press and medical groups. Because organizations must rely on these external groups for resources and legitimacy, they cannot simply ignore these competing values (Cummings & Christopher 2008 ). They must respond to them and try to reconcile the different interests. It is on this basis that one cannot help but seek certain competencies that cannot be ignored when it comes to building a team that will bring about the strategic achievements which need to be realized.
It is worth noting that there are organizations that need specialized teams of experts who do not show any bias when it comes to recommending the changes to be effected (Kotter 1996). However, there are other organizations that require internal efforts to ensure that the stated objectives are realizable based on the progress and accumulated experiences amassed by the internal team. In the case of an open organization, it is therefore important to ensure that the persons who are involved are able to exhibit dynamism in the line of the strategic action. Through this, the organization will be able to achieve the desired ends in a strategic manner (Cummings & Christopher 2008 ).
The long term effectiveness of an organization is determined by its ability to anticipate, manage, and respond to changes in its environment (Hellriegel & John 2007). Shareholders, unions, employees, financial institutions, and government agencies, among others, exert numerous and ever-changing pressures, demands, and expectations on the organization. The foundation competencies are indicated to link the environmental forces of managers and employees. There are four basic components of employees, teams, and organizations that ensure that strategic changes are achieved within an organization. These include (1) individuals in the organization, (2) leadership and team behaviors, (3) the organization itself (4) the underlying foundation of competencies.
Individuals in organizations
People in organizations are very crucial when it comes to making any changes within a given organization (Carroll & Samina 2011; Rees & John 2010). This is because these people need to acquire certain qualities that are in line with the progressive objectives of a given organization. Effective employees understand that what affects their own behaviors influences their ability to bring about the desired change. Understanding individual behavior, therefore, is crucial for enhancing organizational effectiveness and progress.
Leadership and team behaviors
Being inherently social people do not choose to live or work alone. Most of their time is spent with others. People are born into a family group, worship in groups, work in teams, and play in groups. Much of a person’s identity is based on the ways in which other individuals and groups perceive and treat that person. For this reason, managers and employees spent a lot of time interacting in the workplace and within organizations.
Effective organizations have leaders who have given the employees an opportunity to invest in their potential in order to enhance their capacity to be productive (Aaron & Bob 2011). This is achieved when leaders within these organizations are able to integrate customer, employee, and organizational goals into a facet that is based on the strategic requirements of an organization. The ability of organizations to achieve their strategic goals depends on the degree to which leadership abilities and styles enable managers and team leaders to control, influence, and act effectively in accordance with the strategic options which are available at a given point in time.
How the employees enhance their capacity should be a major concern among the leaders within organizations that are working towards establishing dynamic changes. Organizations that show marked commitment to ensuring that the people within them are empowered are usually better placed to withstand competition and global changes. Consequently, they are able to forge changes that are strategic and sustainable within their areas of specialization.
The organization as an entity
Organizations form the basic experiences which shape a culture that is intended to bring about change. Managing change within organizations is thus based on the quality of manpower that the leadership has invested in (Carroll & Samina 2011). management of change, and in this case, dynamic change involves adapting an organization to the demands of the environment and modifying the actual behaviors of employees. This can be achieved by working on the individual competencies that a person has or exudes.
First, self competency is an important aspect that every employee should have. This is generally the ability to assess oneself, that is, strengths and weaknesses; set and pursue goals that are both professional and personal with the aim of achieving the desired end (Hellriegel & John 2007). Secondly communication competency is a fundamental aspect when it comes to the empowerment of the employees within organizations.
Communication as competence is an aspect that is associated with a person’s ability to encode and decode information which is in various forms for example verbal information, nonverbal information and descriptive data. Core abilities included in this competency are describing active listening questioning, and written communication (Hellriegel & John 2007). This competency is like the body’s circulation system, nourishing and carrying the other competencies.
Diversity as a competence entails the ability to appreciate and acknowledge different characteristics among individuals and organizations. This based on the fact that these differences have the ability to bring about dynamic and strategic synergy and change within organizations. The core abilities in this competency are related to a framework of six primary categories of diversity: age, race, ethnicity, gender, physical abilities and qualities, and sexual orientation.
Eight secondary categories of diversity include education, work background, and religious beliefs. Several types of diversity – changing workforce and customers, gender, race, and ethnicity, and age – affect most employees, managers, teams, departments, and organizations. These types of diversity are important because they often reflect differences in perspectives, lifestyles, attitudes, values and behaviors. How managers and employees embrace and respond to diversity greatly influences an organization’s effectiveness.
The ethnic competency involves the overall ability to recognize and embrace similarities and differences among nations and cultures – even within the same organization – and then to approach key organizational and strategic issues with an open and inquisitive mind (Cameron & Mike 2009). Individualism, collectivism, uncertainty avoidance, power distance gender role orientation, and long term orientation are five of the fundamental work-related values than need to be understood in order to develop this competency (Mazzucato & Open 2002). These and other values affect people’s perceptions, communication, decisions, and behaviors. Change competency on the other hand is an aspect that entails the ability to bring about the intended changes within an organization. This goes hand in hand with the ability to bring about transformation and adaptations associated with it. Technological forces are one of the primary sources of change.
In conclusion, organizational behavior involves the dynamic interplay among individuals in organizations, leadership and team behaviors, the organization itself, and the foundation competencies. These competencies are fundamental when it comes to the establishment of change within organizations. It is worth noting that without the preparation of the people within organizations then change may not occur. Thus it is fundamental that the employee’s dynamism is enhanced when one takes initiative to consistently enhance one’s ability to operate in such a dynamic global environment (Hellriegel & John 2007).
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