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Simple Strategies for Organizational Change

By Maya Camou

Leadership matters. True organizational leaders are those who know how to motivate, empower and build trust with their internal and external stakeholders. They create safe environments, build confidence and understand their employees’ strengths and areas of development. Additionally, effective leaders help build and advocate for their organization’s vision.

How does one become a strong organizational leader? Experience is certainly one important factor, but there are also organizational leadership master's programs available to help individuals acquire and develop these critical skills. Masters level programs can assist organizations in developing their existing management team, or providing a means for finding qualified leaders.

It is vital to an organization to have a strong leadership foundation in place, especially when it is experiencing a period of change. Organizational leadership programs can assist in developing strategies to employ when navigating through organizational change:

  • Think Holistically -  “Holistic thinking is defined as the combination of analysis (in the form of elaboration), systems thinking and critical thinking.”1 Holistic thinking helps in the understanding of an organization as it can assist in identifying the triggers or gaps that need to be redefined or tweaked.
  • Communication – Communication is the key element in the development of all existing relationships. A lack of proper communication can result in a lack of understanding, which can cause an employee to dislike their work environment and possibly leave the organization.2 Open communication will build trust and help develop a dedicated, loyal team.
  • Design Thinking – Thinking like a strategic designer encourages the innovation of existing systems and how to best implement them into the organization. An example of this would be the use of “The 5 Whys” by Toyota.3 Toyota began this initiative when they wanted their team to identify the root causes of existing challenges. By asking ‘why’ five times after each matter or answer they were able to uncover connections and identify the improvements or changes to implement. This is a constant cycle of analysis, which has given Toyota a competitive advantage.
  • Branding – “A strategy that is at odds with a company’s culture is doomed. Culture trumps strategy every time.”4 Organizational culture and brand usually follow the same path. It is critical for organizations to understand their brand, mission and vision and then align new changes or initiatives with that brand.

In any organization, leadership matters, especially during periods of change. These simple strategies can assist effective leaders to understand and navigate through organizational change and ultimately influence positive organizational growth and development.

Interested in an organizational leadership program? To learn about the online Master’s degree in Organizational Leadership from Manhattan College, click here or call (855) 841-2843 to speak with the Admissions office.

1 Kasser, Joseph D. 2010. Holistic Thinking and How It Can Produce Innovative Solutions to Difficult Problems. Pg. 1 Singapore, INCOSE.

2 Jaber, Maya R. 2001. Effective Organizational Communication and Culture. Birmingham,Pg.64 University of Central England, Master Design Management.

3 Website Toyota, Tab Company, Toyota Traditions: Ask ‘why’ five times about every matter. http://www.toyota-global.com/company/toyota_traditions/quality/mar_apr_2006.html

4 Katzenbach, IJon R., Steffen, Ilona & Kronley, Caroline. July-August 2012.Culture Change That Sticks: Start with hat’s already working. Harvard Business Review, HBR.ORG. https://hbr.org/2012/07/cultural-change-that-sticks Quote from the Website Leadershipnow - http://www.leadershipnow.com/changequotes.html