June 4, How Change and the Power of Leadership can Transform Business Change and leadership are some of the most importantfactors that can stimulate the evolution or devolution of businesses. Swiftly and sufficiently responding to internal and external changes is one of the vital roles of leaders. Moreover, leaders can bring about changes too in their organizations and the industry through facilitating and supporting radical or incremental organizational changes. How can change and the power of leadership transform any business? Change can transform business by pushing companies to change their cultures, structures, and products/services, in order to become or remain relevant to their target markets, while leadership transforms businesses through igniting innovation and changes towards growth and motivating people towards the organizational vision, mission, and goals. Change can transform business by driving companies to change their cultures, structures, and products/services, in order to generate or preserve relevance to their target consumers.
Technological changes have enabled the production of widespread innovations around the world. The Internet has spawned the development of online businesses and products. Sitecore describes the complexity of business in modern times.
It says that “20 years ago, there were 620 websites, ” now “31 million [are] added every month” (Sitecore). It also notes changes in media consumption. Half of U. S. teenagers, for instance, prefer to communicate digitally than face to face, while more people are shopping online and spending more time on the Internet than watching TV, including adults and senior citizens (Sitecore). Because of these changes, Forrest Consulting (2012) stresses that “marketers must evolve to meet the expectations and demands of the multichannel costumer” (Sitecore). Changes may be innovations themselves, but they also promote new innovations.
The creation of e-books promotes self-publishing and threatens independent bookstores, which results to changes in the business of producing, selling, and delivering books (Wilson). E-books may not entirely replace print books, but an increasing demand for it pushes bookstores to also offer e-books in their online websites. Some publishers are also changing their organizational cultures to become more business-savvy in the Internet age (Wilson). They change their bureaucratic structures and adapt team-based ones (Wilson). Change promotes new products and services and stimulates organizational changes.
Moreover, change can encourage the rise of new companies and push old ones to innovate. McCray, Gonzalez, and Darling describe the organizational crisis in Barnes & Noble. The company was once one of the top bookstores in America, until Amazon. com replaced it with its online business platform that sells books and other products. Barnes & Noble played catch up with Amazon. com because of its declining sales in its brick-and-mortar stores and even in its company website. Amazon. com is an example of how technological change transforms the business of publishing and selling books and other products.
Besides change, leadership can transform a business because leaders bring their organization to the high road where innovations and changes can drive organizational growth and development. Peter Irvine, co-founder of Gloria Jeans, describes a leader as someone operating in the high road, while the majority works in a heavily populated low road (Gattari). He is saying that a leader does not follow the crowd. A leader sets himself/herself apart from the crowd and finds something more meaningful and new to offer his/her consumers and employees.
In addition, Irvine asserts that leadership is being dissatisfied with the current organizational situation (Gattari). Barnes & Noble was not easily discontented with their initial organization situation, despite the prevalence of online shopping. As a result, Amazon. com took the opportunity to offer a competitive customer shopping experience online (McCray et al. 42). A leader that is always looking for improvement will have fewer missed changes, since he/she is willing and open to changes, as its environment and consumers change. Apart from driving innovations and changes, leaders motivate employees to work for the organizational vision, mission, and goals.
Irvine differentiates leaders from followers. He says that leaders ask what they want from the business, why they want it, and how badly they want it. Wanting something badly drives constant action. He cites John Maxwell who says that leadership is the “passion to make difference with others” (Gattari). Leadership changes organizations when they revive or sustain employee engagement in their respective job positions (Gattari). A good example is Southwest Airlines. McGee-Cooper, Trammell, and Looper show from their study that servant leadership is essential in promoting the culture of Southwest, a culture centered in teamwork and fun-loving attitude in life and at work.
Colleen Barrett, President of Southwest Airlines, is a servant leader who serves employees and customers with utmost dedication and who supports continuous training and development for employees (McGee-Cooper et al. ). She motivates her people to do their jobs well and to see their roles with respect to the organizational vision, mission, and goals. Great leaders transform organizations from being mediocre to being the top in their industries, when it comes to services and organizational commitment and morale (McGee-Cooper et al. ). Change and leadership can transform businesses because they foster innovation and the readiness to adapt to different changes.
Leaders can lead changes, or they can creatively respond to changes. They see changes as possibilities for innovation and growth, and not as limitations. They can transform their organizations because they are open to transforming themselves too. Great leaders can lead effectively, even during times of drastic and incremental changes, inside and outside their organizations. Works Cited Gattari, Tony. “The Power of Leadership. ” YouTube. YouTube, 12 Jan.
2009. Web. 1 June 2015. McCray, John P., Gonzalez, Juan J., and John R. Darling. “Transformational Crisis Management in Organizational Development: A Focus on the Case of Barnes & Noble vs. Amazon. ” Organization Development Journal 30.1 (2012): 39-52. Business Source Complete. Web. 1 June 2015. McGee-Cooper, Ann, Trammell, Duanne, and Gary Looper. “The Power of LUV: An Inside Peek at the Innovative Culture Committee of Southwest Airlines. ” Reflections 9.1 (2008): 49-54. Business Source Complete. Web. 1 June 2015. Sitecore. “The Only Constant in Business is Change. ” YouTube. YouTube, 4 Dec. 2012.
Web. 1 June 2015. Wilson, Tom D. “The E-Book Phenomenon: A Disruptive Technology. ” Libellarium: Journal for the Research of Writing, Books & Cultural Heritage Institutions 6.1/2 (2013): 3-12. Library & Information Science Source. Web. 1 June 2015.