Senior Management versus First-line Management Responsibilities
Top level managers and line managers execute different roles in both the overall administration of the firm and change management process. Whereas the top managers are responsible for formulating the policies and strategies that the company hopes to employ in its operations, line managers are in charge of deciding how to implement. Moreover, top managers pay attention to long-term profitability as well as creating value in the firm while the middle-level managers’ concern is on achieving operational excellence.
The executive leaders make efforts to drive the organization towards markets with the most returns for the shareholders while the line managers care about improving the daily innovation in the business as well as enhancing performance in their assigned departments. Top level management is a demanding role that requires the input of managers at a high involvement hence the need to delegate decision-making to other personnel especially on non-strategic issues. Therefore, there is a need for the top managers to trust the line managers to perform the delegated duties well and understand their capacities in the execution of the assigned tasks.
Top level managers can only delegate decision-making but not the responsibility to the line managers. As the line managers handle the appointed roles, the top-level manager is solely responsible for all the divisions under his/her control. All the reports created by the middle-level managers must get approved as accurate by the executive management, for instance, the accountants produce financial statements, but it is Chief Finance Officer who signs the report to confirm its accuracy.
Balanced Approach to Change
For an organization to achieve change, leaders must influence the entire workforce to want it through developing a sense of urgency for transformation (Pieterse, Caniëls, & Homan, 2012). To achieve this, managers need to be honest with their subordinates by explaining the existing threats such as competition from the competitors thus requiring the business to adjust its operations or else the company gets swept out of the market. Further, leaders should mention the underlying opportunities that the firm can explore to overcome their present challenges. Presenting the facts to the workforce opens room for a discussion.
Next, the leader needs to form a coalition to push for change. Members can include influential people in the company regardless of their positions, but they should represent the various departments within the organization. The other phase involves merging the different change ideas into one vision that is easy for all staff members to grasp and remember. With a clear vision, it is easy to make other stakeholders understand the reasons for calling for change (Pieterse et al., 2012). Managers should communicate their vision to the rest of the organization as frequently as they can in staff meetings and any other avenues available. Further, leaders should demonstrate the vision to others for them to emulate their examples.
Managers must further ensure they hire the right people to steer the changes through removing any hindrances. There is need to consider other elements such as the organizational structure and job descriptions to ensure they complement the vision. Workers who make change happen should receive recognition and awards as a means of motivating others to follow similar footsteps. The workforce wants to see results for the implemented changes, and the manager should thus present short-term wins to the entire organization to convince them of the positive progress achieved. Lastly, managers should build on the change by reviewing every win to see what was right and what might need some improvements.
Pieterse, J. H., Caniëls, M. C., & Homan, T. (2012). Professional discourses and resistance to change. Journal of Organizational Change Management, 25(6), 798-818.