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Change Management in Politics

OVERVIEW: In 2004, the United States went through a presidential election cycle. Many observers of all political persuasions note that the country seems highly polarized along ideological lines. Others observed the campaign was one of the most divisive on record. The name-calling and strident political rhetoric has produced widespread feelings of stress and uneasiness among many in our country. Given the foreign policy and domestic challenges facing the president, it is easy to imagine the urgency associated with a period of healing and game plan to unite the country and its people. Assume that you are a member of a core group of advisors to a new administration.

PROBLEM: I need a start to putting together a report that recommends how to change the polarized status quo, deal with the collective stress in the aftermath of the campaign and election, and begin changing the political culture toward what the founding fathers had in mind - E Pluribus Unum.

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For an organization to change I believe that it is of the utmost importance that the organization has a firm understanding of what it is going to look like in the future. This includes not only management having a grasp of where the organization is going, but the employees that conduct the day-to-day work as well. This direction of the organization comes in the form of an organizational vision. The importance of the vision cannot be overstated as it "capture's peoples emotional energies and answers the question, Why are we doing this?"(Tushman & O'Reilly, 2002). The creation of the vision is critical to an organizations success, particularly in today's rapid changing world. This vision must be conveyed to and understood by all levels of employees throughout the workforce from the CEO to the entry-level employee. It must be a reoccurring theme that management regularly keeps the workforce reminded of the vision. Simply conveying the vision to the workforce does not mean sending out an email informing employees of the vision and believing they have been informed. Employees need to be informed of what the vision is on a regular basis with a variety of methods. Town hall sessions, emails, posters on company walls, and videos are all methods that can be used to keep employees informed of the organizations direction.

Strategy and Objectives

Once the organization vision is created, leadership must develop a strategy and objectives to implement the vision. This too is of the utmost importance as the strategy provides the direction by which the organization is going to realize the vision. My belief is that employees should be involved in the development of the strategy. This does not mean that the entire workforce needs to be involved; however, I do believe workforce representation should be involved with leadership in the development of the strategy and objectives. This I believe serves a couple of purposes. First, the strategy and objectives to implement the vision must be realistic and attainable. As the day-to-day workforce is more likely (in my opinion) to have a better understanding of what can be considered attainable, representatives from the workforce should be involved. This is consistent with John Kotter's belief that in an environment of constant change, even the most gifted individuals won't have the expertise or knowledge to maintain pace with constant changes (Kotter, 1996). Secondly having the workforce participate in the development of the strategy and objectives helps to obtain buy in from the workforce. Obtaining buy in from the workforce will enable the organization to more effectively and efficiently meet the vision. For example, employees who understand and believe in what they have been tasked to complete are much more likely to complete it successfully and on time than employees that do not believe in the direction the organization is heading.

Another factor that I believe helps an organization make changes to their culture is by having a proactive organization. This is much easier said than done, but "to succeed, managers need to build organizations that are capable of accomplishing their strategic objectives more rapidly than their competitors" (Tushman & O'Reilly, 2002). This takes place through the empowerment of employees, which I believe enable an organization to realize goals, and objectives that otherwise it could only fathom. However to ensure success it is critical that empowered employees receive the necessary ...

Solution Summary

This provides an explanation regarding change management in politics.