Role Of Managers
A manager of an organization has many roles within an organization. A manger can be seen as a leader who can identify change and recognize the many different ways to approach it. Some of the roles that a manager can play in the midst of changes are the director, navigator, caretaker, coach, interpreter, and nurturer (Palmer, Dunford, & Akin, Chapter 6, 2006). Each role has their individual perspective on the managing change. Similarly, each role has their individual perspective on the definition of resistance.
The following is a brief explanation of the characteristics of the individual roles. The director can be seen as the person who drives the change. The director is the person most likely to be responsible for providing a clear vision for the change while placing it in line with the organization’s goals and mission. The navigator is the person who provides the path for the change. Through different employee perspectives, the navigator provides a way through the different perspectives for all to follow. The caretaker is seen as the charismatic leader for change.
As the most charismatic leader, this person will also have the most influence on people. The role of the coach is similar to the coach of sports teams. This person is responsible for creating techniques to bring about change and is also responsible for the training and development of the employees. The coach must be able to facilitate and interact with others in a way that will drive performance. The role of interpreter is that of a mediator who uses oral and visual communication to provide a communicable approach to the employees.
The interpreter must be able to articulate the changes and the needs of the organization. The nurturer can be seen as the visionary change leader (Palmer, Dunford, & Akin, Chapter 6, 2006). This role arises during the troubled times that may come with change. When times seem to be chaotic and unorganized, the nurturer’s role is to provide the peace for both the impacted employees and the change itself. Change agents can be both people and events. Events can change the way organizations function due to reasons both planned and unplanned. These change agents are internal and external forces.
Internally, there are organizational politics, changes to past practices or routines, changes to personnel, and changes to information systems (Palmer, Dunford, & Akin, Chapter 6, 2006). Externally, there are factors such as the industry, the economy, legislation and politics, and competing organizations (Palmer, Dunford, & Akin, Chapter 6, 2006). Regardless of whether these change agents were planned or unplanned, it is up to the change managers to combat the resistance to change. There are many ways a manager can combat resistance to change.
One of the most important is communication. Involving others in the change process empowers them and gives people involved a sense of belonging. As a manager of change, the manager must ensure that the change is aligned with the mission and vision of the organization. The manager must also be able to facilitate the shift of change from beginning to implementation. Even after implementation, a manager of change must be able to monitor the process and people in order to better control the process and bring about efficiency and quality.
The change agent must also be able to adapt to unforeseen challenges and plan for resistance, new developments, and new processes. A careful examination of the different roles of the manager and the types of change agents can provide one with a better idea of how to combat resistance. While not all events are planned, a change manager can plan ahead for potential developments. Change is an ongoing cycle. Being able to adapt to change is important for an organizations survival. When change happens, employees will look for guidance, leadership, and someone to influence the change process. This is the role of the change manager.