There is a fundamental difference in the definitions of change management and change leadership. Change management is an embodiment of processes and mechanisms that are designed by an organization to effect transformation within the ranks of an organization. Another process that is often mistaken with change management is change leadership, although the two processes might have the same conation, change leadership involves planning and implementing processes, tools or mechanisms that are associated with large scale changes across an organization, it involves putting structures in place to make the institution process go faster, smarter and more efficiently. It should be noted however that with both processes, it is critical to keep things under control as there would be outflow of resources to ensure that the change is kept in perspective.
From the above definitions, it is evident that when change management works efficiently, it tends to be associated with smaller structural changes in an organization while change in leadership is fundamentally different as it involves putting structures in place that have the potential to take things out of control; it also involves implementing big visions, empowering people and institutions by placing experienced and dedicated persons at the helm of affairs to minimize risk of failure. Due to the scope of events involved in change leadership, the business world often clamours for change management as change leadership involves bigger leaps, investments, entering windows of opportunity at a fast and challenging pace. It is important however to note that no matter the change effort implemented whether management or leadership, for change to be successful, it must begin with an individual or group of individuals or some group(s) who have to study the current state of the business, reflect on the organization’s financial performance as well as its market position and initiate a process that requires cooperation from all individuals as without proper motivation, all change effort would be futile.
When organizations begin, often much emphasis is placed on leadership and short on management. People responded quickly to change. Organizations could, and often did, roll out new programs promptly without challenges, however as organizations develop the dynamics are different — slower, costlier, stuck in red tape, less tangible, less experimental. That is because big organizations are complex and have to continually evolve to remain relevant. When organizations are accosted by complexity, people get anxious hence the need for certainty and coordination — in the form of structures, policies, responsibilities, and rules — to push that fear away. We cannot change our fear of complexity rather there needs to be a paradigm shift from management to leadership. Organizations have to remain robust — even as they grow, they must ensure that innovation does not get crushed with the advent of globalization. When organizations have high competencies in management and leadership, they are able to meet challenges today and in the future as businesses should be forward looking. However, most organizations are usually lacking one or the other. When management exists without leadership, the company is often unable to change.
However the management methodologies that helped successfully develop organizations a century ago are no longer sufficient. Achieving continuous growth in an ever-increasing, fast paced society requires a change. The key to survival is a good blend of change leadership and change management.
The management methodologies that helped successfully develop enterprises throughout the 20th century are no longer sufficient. Driving results in a world of ever-increasing change requires a new kind of leadership. Management is about coping with complexity. Its practices and procedures are largely responses to one of the most significant developments of the twentieth century: the emergence of large organizations. Without good management, complex enterprises tend to become chaotic in ways that threaten their very existence. Good management brings a degree of order and consistency to key dimensions like the quality and profitability of products. Leadership, by contrast, is about coping with change. Part of the reason it has become so important in recent years is that the business world has become more competitive and more volatile. Faster technological change, greater international competition, the deregulation of markets, overcapacity in capital-intensive industries, an unstable oil cartel, raiders with junk bonds, and the changing demographics of the work-force are among the many factors that have contributed to this shift.
We should not try to fight the natural tendency toward coordination and control rather we should embrace change. As a matter of fact, some people will argue against the benefits of consistency as rules they claim offer consistency and, so the theory goes, coherence throughout the organization, but there is a better way to do this than to insist on rigid rules.