Organizations today are going through constant change brought about by
competition, economics, business innovation and a realization that
remaining stagnant may mean organizational death. As the business
environment increases in complexity and changes rapidly, organization
and management consequently experiences significant transformation to
cope with these changes. On a micro level (company level), these
changes would include the transformation of the internal corporate
culture as well as enhancements in the management of human resources
in response to increasing workplace diversity and the evolving needs
of the workforce. Therefore, the ability to change is an important
part of the organization's business environment while the ability to
help it adapt to change is equally a critical business challenge for
Change is imperative
Organizations can't escape change. So what is change? - It is
adjustments, transformations, transitions, and revolutions which is a
never-ending cycle of birth, growth and death (Topping, 2002). Change
disrupts everyone's life; the only question is for how long.
Leader - the change agent
When an organisation is at the crossroad of change, it is in the
crisis stage. DuBrin (1989) defined crisis as a turning point for
better or worse, or a situation that has reached a critical phase.
When a company is in a crisis, it requires decisive and bold
leadership to identify, isolate and manage the crisis (Topping, 2002).
Leadership now requires very different behaviour from the leadership
tradition that we were used to. It requires leaders who are able to
speak to the collective imagination of their people, co-opting them to
join in the business journey. It also requires convincing motivators
that lead people into making that extra effort of a full commitment.
It is all about human behaviour and understanding the way people and
organizations behave; creating relationships; building commitment;
adapting behaviours to lead in a creative and motivating way (Kets
DeVries, 2001). Hence, I do believe that a radical change in
leadership is essential to turn the organisation around.
Assessment of Nelson Pilay's leadership competencies
Having said about the importance of leadership in a changing
environment, I will now assess the leadership competencies of Nelson
Pilay (myself), who had been recently appointed as the Chief Executive
Officer (CEO) of Wood's Departmental Store. My task here is to effect
a positive change in the company's performance.
Assessing my own strengths and limitations is not an easy task. Yet,
this assessment is important as it provides an evaluation of my
strengths and limitations that would allow for the necessary
reflections in making adjustments to my leadership styles (Myers,