ARTICLE CRITIQUE 8
LeadingChange Leadership, Organization and Social Movements, by MarshallGanz 2010
Inreading "LeadingChange Leadership, Organization and Social Movements" by MarshallGanz,I was intrigued by the way the author addressed the role ofleadership as a driver to change in the organization in the face ofdynamics. In his article, Ganz observes that leadership is acceptingresponsibilities in the face of uncertainty and how lead in adaptiveand innovative response to these uncertain responses. As a result ofnew threats, sudden opportunities, new technology that changes rulespast practices of leadership in an organization are breached and assuch leadership is assuming responsibility in creating conditionsthat will enable others within and organization to achieve the sharedobjective despite the uncertainties.
Ganz,observes that, leadership in social movements goes beyond charismaticpersona as seen by the public steering social movements calls for aleadership that have organizing ability in order to mobilizeresources to achieve desired goals. He further adds that, since thereare dynamics in social movements, leaders should enhanceparticipatory, organized decision making and accountability to thepublic. Therefore, outputs depends on how leaders motivate, allow forcommitment and voluntary participation of members in an organizationor social movements. Further to this, the author argues that,authority in social movements rests on moral suasion rather thaneconomic or political coercion and as such the leaders are weak ‘inmost associations, power and authority to get subordinates do whatsuperiors want is limited and when it exists it is circumscribed andcontingent’. In this line, authority within social movements istherefore uncertain and leadership rests on precarious condition ‘leaders has neither the effective power nor acknowledged right tocoerce its members unlike the business firm where leaders can hire orfire, demote or promote the subordinates’(Ganz, 2010).
AnalyzingGanz article, I agree that leadership requires great learning, deepdesire for change and capacity to make change in the changingdynamics of social, economic and political aspects. Leaders shouldcreate structures which enhance growth, creativity and action withoutslipping the organization into structurelessness. As Ganz points out, ‘leadersshould be trained, recruited and developed in scale to buildrelationships, sustain motivation, do strategizing and lead incarrying out desired actions to achieve aimed objectives’.Therefore,leaders need to be committed to creating relationship that has focuson shared future. However, I disagree with Ganz that leaders insocial movements have weak authority when a leader creates strongrelationship with members, inspire hope and promotes positiveemotions such a leader can have strong authority in social movements(Ganz, 2010).
Leaderswho designs tasks to their subordinates without providing leads,training or coaching exacerbates feeling of doubt which makes theleader loose authority and power on his members regardless of thenature of organization. In the same line, as Ganz observes,‘charismaticpublic persona’is not enough for a leader to influence his people in achievingdesired tasks objectives rather, recognition and accountability basedon individual members accomplishments has positive impact in imposingleaders authority among members. I agree with Ganz that, leadershiprequires creative strategizing in challenging situations to find waysof compensating resources with resourcefulness. This means thatcreating effective strategy under conditions of motivations, diversesources of knowledge and employing deliberative committed learningcould create a strong leadership contrary to Ganz observation. It istrue that social movements have weak leadership due to voluntarynature of members but this notion falls below the scope of effectiveleadership (Ganz, 2010).
Ibelieve any organization leadership has capacity to develop assertiveand authoritative leadership based on effectively developingstrategic capsity among the leadership team. This is throughconducting regular, open and authoritative deliberations,establishing strong ties with members. Similarly, key to strongleadership in social movements is commitment on the part of members,setting clear outcomes and handling loss, enhancing learning ratherthan negative judgment and designing tasks effectively to avoid‘grunt work’ among the members. Furthermore, leaders in socialmovement can create strong leadership through scheduling meetingtime, learning and constant coaching of the members.
Insummary therefore, leadership in social movements requiresstructuring, adapting to change, introducing practices such asparticipatory decision making, identifying common purpose among themembers and articulating shared values as a way of developing andstrengthen leadership authority within social movements. In addition,leaders need to be accountable, provide coaching and developing workstrategies that can influence members to accomplish organizationalgoals as well as creating effective leadership (Ganz, 2010).
Leadershipvision and strategic Direction by Don Bracken,
Inthis article Don Brecken, observes that, ‘creatinga compelling vision and developing a strategy to achieve it is one ofleadership primary function’.The article provides an overview of the leaders’ role in creatingthe future of the organization, how leaders can formulate vision andstrategy and their contribution towards achieving those strategize.In his ideas of leadership strategies, he observed that, strategicleadership means taking charge in this ever-changing complex worldfaced with confusions, dichotomies, ambivalence and dichotomies. Assuch leaders need to anticipate their future in order to avoid risksthat could lead to loosing business to competitors. In this respectit is the responsibilities of the organization leadership toinstitutionalize strategic leadership by creating the firms vision,mission, strategies and planning their implementation (Brecken,2004).
Hetherefore opines that organization leaders need to ‘createa compelling vision that links present to the future’ problemwith most organizations today is that they spend much time solvingcurrent problems while having little time to visualize and preparefor the future. He further adds that it is the vision that energizespeople for commitments, gives meaning to work engaged in andestablishes standards of excellence. In addition, he argues that themission of the organization should ‘capturepeople’s idealistic motivation why the organization exist’purpose and values about the firm (Brecken, 2004).
Inthis light, he asserts that, ‘strong organizations need more thanvision and mission statements to be effective, rather formulating andimplementing strategic management ensures that decisions are directedto actions of achieving organizational goals. Similarly, he observesthat, organizations that remain competent have leaders who focus ondeveloping synergy, core competence and creating value for customers.Leaders should take strategic actions in making decisions thatchanges structure, systems and policies to support organizationsstrategic direction (Brecken, 2004).
Iagree with Don Brecken argument regarding the role of leaders ingiving organization strategic direction. Organizations successlargely depends on the output of leadership management in linking andmanaging resources for present and future short-term and long termgoals. It is the role of effective leaders to create powerful andeffective compelling vision, mission and strategic direction of theirfirms. This can only be achieved through formulating strategicdecisions and actions that will translate into achievingorganizational goals.
However,assessing Dons line of argument, I am inclined to argue that, thesuccess of organization strategic management is a collaborativeeffort from employees and the management. As much as the managementhave the mandate to steer organization towards the achievement ofaimed goals, employees do not always serve as conveyer belts. If theinputs of the workforce is not considered when making certainstrategic decisions regarding operations within the firm, suchdecisions might face resistance thereby undermining the intendedobjective. My argument is that, good organization missions, visionsand strategies should reflect the interests of the employees as wellas that of the organization. This enhances a sense of ‘ownership’on the part of employees towards organization goals as well ascreating positive impact on the organization (Brecken, 2004).
Nonetheless,I agree with Don Sentiments that leaders should take a leading rolein the implementation of the expected strategies. It is true thatstrong leadership is an important tool in strategy formulation andmust ensure proper strategy resourcing, understanding andimplementation ‘Althoughtoday’s successful organizations depend on active participation ofemployees, leaders still provide the leading role in establishment oforganization direction through vision and strategies’.I agree with Don assertion that, when leadership fails organizationssuccess also fails it’s the leaders’ role to give direction toorganization in the face of challenges. However, the contribution ofexperienced employees is also critical especially when theorganization is facing challenges whether external or internal. Don’sarticle stress on leadership as the main cog in the development oforganization, my opinion is that in today’s dynamic and advancedworld leadership has integrated a matrix approach where individualemployees are part and parcel of organization decisions for futureand present objective.
Insummary, I support Don arguments that successful organizations shouldhave well defined and powerful visions, missions and strategicmanagements. Leaders should take leading role in giving organizationdirection, formulating strategies, linking organization present tofuture and facilitating in strategies implementation. However,employees form an important part of management for critical andstrategic decision making and implementation. As such their imput andcontribution is a necessity and not an option for any organizationmanagement that wishes to attain great competitiveness and goalattainment (Brecken, 2004).
BreckenDon, 2004, ‘LeadershipVision and Strategic Direction’,Vol. 30ASQ, www.asq-qmd.org,Internet Resource.
Ganz,Marshall, 2010, ‘Leadingchange leadership, Organization and Social Movements’,Boston, Massachusetts: Harvard Business School PublishingCorporation. www.harvardbusiness.org/press,Internet Resource.