Network - Summer 2009 - (Page 18)

Leading Change Through Dialogue What human resource leaders need to know By Milton Almeida In the current climate of unprecedented global transformation, human resource leaders can lead the charge in re-energizing, revitalizing and reconstructing our organizations. What strategies can we use to implement successful organizational change? One way we can lead this charge is by targeting organizational culture through improved dialogue. The goal here is to discuss organizational change and how we can improve organizational culture by influencing stakeholders’ meaning-making. Also included are practical strategies human resource leaders can use to improve dialogue and increase the chance of successful organizational change. There are no lack of “tips” and “advice” to leaders trying to implement change. In fact, sometimes these tips are conflicting or are linked to the latest fad. Some call for creating urgency and in communicating small wins. Others call for retiring old symbols or creating new ones as metaphors for a new reality: even going so far as to hold a funeral. Much of this advice highlights the belief that successful change comes from a deep personal conviction and an understanding of the change process. Essentially, when all this knowledge is distilled, successful change targets organizational culture. Time for a Change—Again Having a firm grounding in various change process models is vital to successful change implementation, especially in this current climate. While there are many change models, most discuss the interplay between leadership, values alignment and creating momentum for change. Invariably, models emphasize the importance of the leader’s role in change. Leaders must judge the readiness for change, generate social support among followers, set goals, elaborate plans and communicate to stakeholders. Organizational Culture: Who are we? Many thinkers, academics and leaders work hard to understand organizational culture. Organizational culture is the outward expression of an organization’s values, beliefs or norms; and we express this culture through myths, rituals, stories, legends or language. We often define organizational culture simply as “How things get done around here” or “How we treat each other and our customers.” Many times we enshrine culture in values and mission statements in an attempt to preserve who we are and what we mean to each other – respect, excellent customer service, etc. We create and change culture by our evaluation of the world around us. Based on our previous experiences, we make judgments, take action and, in this process, make meaning. In essence, our organizations, the structures we create, the buildings, technology policies and procedures rest upon our search for meaning. This process of meaning-making is at the core of organizational culture and organizational change. Our personal set of beliefs and values influence how we act towards a thing or situation. We create meaning through our experiences and we mediate that meaning within our relationships with others. In other words, we filter a particular meaning of an experience or event while interacting with others. Now imagine the webs Having a firm grounding in various change process models is vital to successful change implementation, especially in this current climate. Furthermore, leaders must adjust organizational processes because change efforts often fail because the intended change is never integrated into the day-to-day life of the organization. Leaders must also create feedback loops and follow-up structures to monitor the effectiveness of the change effort and realign the strategy if necessary. Finally, many change models emphasize the leaders’ role as the source of vision, the moral compass and the director in the change effort. This is often seen as a key point in managing the change effort. 18 NETWORK Summer 2009

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Network - Summer 2009

Network - Summer 2009
HRIA President’s Message
Celebrating Excellence Award Winners
HRIA Conference Chair’s Message
Conference Wrap Up
Conference Photo Gallery
Leading Change Through Dialogue
Energy Management
Lessons Learned
All Work and No Play?
Driving Change with Behavioural Leadership
Index of Advertisers

Network - Summer 2009