Strategic change can be defined as restricting organisation’s businesses strategies that are typically formulated in order to achieve the objectives of the organisation. The strategic change within an organisation can include shift or change in company’s target, its mission, policies and organisation’s structure. The goal behind the strategic change within the company is to gain the competitive advantage in the market.
Leadership and Strategic Change
Within the corporate settings, leadership is an important determinant of strategic change. Leadership in the organisation focuses on the areas and challenges that cannot be accomplished without bringing the change in its policies, structure and mission. Leader carries certain vision and analyses the organisation with respect to that vision. The leaders then evaluate the effectiveness of the vision with respect to the current vision of the organisation and then initiate and influence the change process accordingly (Herrmann & Nadkarni, 2014).
The role of managers in organisational change cannot be ignored (Hutzschenreuter, et al., 2012)
. For bringing the strategic change within organisation, tactical plans and work streams can be delegated to other employees of the organisation but the leaders are responsible to take ownership of the upfront work alignment and continuous changing patterns (Ulrich, et al., 2013). For bringing the strategic change, the leaders within different level of the organisation must work together to create a shared direction and understanding. Leadership within the organisation is also responsible for tackling the way the organisation is redesigned and changing its effectiveness and feasibility on regular basis (Gorran Farkas, 2013). Once everything within the organisation is aligned with respect to the desired change, the leaders as culture carriers then have the following responsibilities;
- Through the management ranks, cascading the alignment process
- Explaining the reasons behind the change
- Properly communicating the new vision at all level of the organisation
- In effecting the change within organisation, outlining and briefing the factors that will be involved (Miller, et al., 2014).
- For the work that is involved in bringing the organisational change, maintaining the active sponsorship in the new strategy, the new organisational design and the new goals.
This means that leaders on the strategic change process bear immense responsibilities of learning the meaning of the new jobs that are created throughout the organisation. The leaders are expected to learn the new strategies of the changed environment proactively and then act and guide their teams accordingly. In doing so, the leaders are also responsible for remaining in touch with the internal and external shareholders by seeking feedback, scanning for the success and failure and for testing the new strategies to facilitate the changes.
For instance, to trigger strategic change in the sales team of Sainsbury, the sales leader with a certain vision is expected to analyse the current practices of the sales team in comparison with that of the vision. The leader is then liable to bring change to enhance the effectiveness of the strategies and to analyse the behaviour of the work team in order to reward the high performers and facilitators of change (Yukl, 2012).
Culture and Strategic Change
The change in the strategy often requires the change in the whole organisation’s structure and mindset of the organisation (Wang & Rafiq, 2014). According to Wang & Rafiq (2014), the leaders and executives are on the view that in a number of cases, these changes that are require to boost the organisation`s performance is difficult to accomplish without the change of the culture that the organisation possess (Hitt, 2016). Therefore, change in the strategy requires the change in the mindset of the whole culture of the organisation. The change in the culture should be scrutinised closely in order to ensure that whether the changed structure is right for the organisation and whether the systems that are put in place are adequate (Hill, et al., 2014). The cultural change also requires detailed analyses of the best practices that are incorporated to bring the desired strategic change (Olejnik & Swoboda, 2012)
Only through such practices, organisational change can be effective in bringing the effective strategic change within the organisation (Schmiedel, et al., 2013). For instance, in NHS, for bringing the strategic change, the whole organisational culture is need to be redefined and restructured in order to enhance the effectiveness of their service and quality of the health care they provide to the public (Eden & Ackermann, 2013)
Innovation and Strategic Change
The approach of innovation focuses on the development of different determinants of business such as products, services, work process and others. It is observed from the above discussion related to the role of leadership in enhancing strategic change; innovation plays an important role in determining a successful business and competent strategic management (Brockhoff, et al., 2013). The change in the business environment and business pattern are significantly changing the working pattern of business organisations. The pool of opportunities available for business organisations require many changes and upgrades to match the global business pattern, however, apart from leadership, the emergence of innovation plays an important role in the determining appropriate growth for business organisations. The standard innovation theory focuses on the processes that increase the efficiency of product or service in the context of its working and fulfilling the demands of organisations as well as for consumers (Christensen, et al., 2013). In case of Google, it is observed that the organisation has maintained their focus on conventional thinking process, the company has accomplished about $11 billion as its gross profits by integrated innovative technologies within their business process so is to increase the efficiency of their business and it can be said that the company is one of the most innovative companies working and competing organisations like Yahoo, MSN and others in the marketplace (Markides, 2013).
Therefore, when it comes to innovation and technology, it is liable for companies to integrate innovation into their working practices and strategic change so is to achieve their strategic and business objectives. Leaders and business executives that are keener to amend and upgrade strategic change within their company are found more successful in achieving their strategic objectives such as increasing the business range in the marketplace, increasing market shares, strengthening financial resources and others (Salter & McKelvey, 2016). With the increasing influence of globalisation in business and strategic options for the company, many other business approaches are included in the arguments and discussions related to the role of innovation in strategic change. Apart from a multinational corporation, the approach of innovation has also helped many SMEs and local organisations to increase their business range in the local as well as the international marketplace (Schneider & Spieth, 2013). In order to support the overall argument, it can be said that the three basic determinants of strategic change; culture, leadership and innovation has helped companies especially SMEs to increase the efficiency of their decisions and support the overall internal environment of the company. On the contrary, it has also helped multinational companies like Philips, to increase the efficiency of their products and services by incorporating innovative technologies and maintain their competitive advantage (Ghobakhloo, et al., 2012). The company faced tough competitive from its potential competitors in the global marketplace that had negatively affected the business of the company in the last decade, however, the leadership of the company has settled to upgrade the overall strategic system of the company that has helped them to regain their business and position in the marketplace (Lefebvre, 2013).
To conclude, it can be said that the basic three determinants of strategic change, leadership, culture and innovation has contributed equally in increasing the efficiency of business strategies and efficiency of organisation’s performance in the marketplace. These factors along with many other factors equally assist the companies in maintaining their competitive advantage as observed from the examples utilised within the discussion.
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