Leadership of Change

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“The only constant in this life is change” (McConnell 2000 p1).This also holds true for organisations, particularly within public sector services (Walshe & Smith 2007).   Govier and Nash (2009) offer that constant change can adversely affect the provision of safe and effective patient care. Therefore the ability of managers to lead change effectively is vital (Jayne 2010).   Keyzer and Wright (1998) propose that leading change can be unsuccessful when an unstructured approach is used. Anderson and Anderson (2009) identify the importance of considering organisational characteristics in effecting change. Guy and Gibbons (2003) consider the effect on change of the leader’s personal qualities, noting the importance of personal insight into leadership characteristics.

George and Jones (1996) define change as movement from one state to another, from present to future. The introduction of bedside handover into a community hospital ward (referred to as Ward A in this text) will be used as a platform to   explore leadership of change. As recommended by Karp (2006) a blended model of change will be used.   Substantially a knowledge transfer model (Kitson et al 1998) blended with Boddy and Buchanans (1992, cited in Paton & McCalman 2008) work on the change agent.

This approach will direct an examination of the evidence underpinning the proposed change, then an exploration of the context within which the change will take place, including consideration of the stakeholders involved.   This then informs the facilitation stage. Using Boddy and Buchanan’s work provides the steps used to frame the presented action plan for change facilitation and also introduces consideration of key stakeholders the staff and patients ( Appendix One).

Discussion of the facilitation stage identifies issues of leadership style and characteristics. This will be offered in the form of a personal analysis using work of Belbin (1981) and of Myers and Briggs (1995).   This is...