What does it take to lead change in the 21st century workplace? I remember my first time being trained on how to lead change while working for a U.S. automobile manufacturer. Everything focused on ensuring each step enabled activities that won the hearts and minds of the workforce and empowered leaders to lead the change efforts. When we rolled out the change plan, we followed a structured “waterfall” approach for each step that required everyone to fall in line, follow orders and meet all agreed upon deadlines. In that environment and at that time, this top-down approach worked surprisingly well. Flash forward to me working as an external change management consultant and teaching organizational change leadership at UW-Platteville, I find that these principles of change leadership, structured change plans, and change-ready workforce remain as pertinent today as they have over the past several decades.
Yet, there are some big differences.
First, today’s global business environment is driving change at unprecedented speed. Presently many organizations are struggling with potential disruptors, including digital transformation, changing customer expectations, reinvented processes, challenging environmental and societal upheavals, and increasing global competition. New ways of working have taken root and are quickly altering how work is being done. Bottom-up change approaches are increasingly used to empower and build resiliency by those affected by change.
Second, leaders and employees who excel at agile and constant change have a competitive advantage over those unwilling or struggling to adapt to the new ways of working. It is now more commonplace that leaders and employees are expected to be skilled at leading and quickly responding to change efforts. A recent study of over one million global respondents reported that leading change was one of the four most important skills for leaders and employees. This study also concluded that most individuals lack the formal education or practical experience on what it takes to make change efforts succeed.
How will Organizational Change Leadership help my career?
Besides addressing the rapidly changing global business demands, being skilled at organizational change leadership can enhance your career prospects in several ways.
One group of individuals wish to build the organizational change leadership capability to enhance their leadership skills for their current and potentially future roles as leaders. This applies to leaders at all levels, from the c-suite down to front-line supervisors and from professional staff support to field employees. Mastering how to lead change for your own self, team, or organization can be a game changer for a career as an executive leader, management analyst, department manager, supervisor, or team leader.
Other individuals may choose to start or enhance their career as an internal change management professional or as an external change management consultant. Many large to medium-sized organizations are investing in their organizational change management capabilities by creating change management teams. This internal expertise is used to facilitate specific business transformation initiatives and quickly provide internal business groups with a change management expertise. According to a June 2020 Salary.com study, the average Change Management Specialist salary in the United States is $127,672. Salary ranges will vary widely depending on many important factors, including education, work location, industry, and the number of years you have spent in the change management profession.
Change Management Specialist Salary in the United States
Another group of individuals use their Organizational Change Leadership capabilities to enhance their performance in their current and future job position as change agents. Increasingly, organizations are asking key professional employees to be the agent within their current role for specific change initiatives. Most notably, our students can build this expertise with an optional area of emphasis in healthcare, human resources, project management, and safety risk control.
Overall, organizational change leadership is a much sought after expertise for many leadership, technical, and front-line positions. In the months prior to the current COVID-19 pandemic, change management positions were one of the most sought professions on job boards like LinkedIn, Indeed, and Glassdoor for the past five years. This trend will likely remain the case for the near future.
We are the right fit!
Our Masters of Science degree in Organizational Change Leadership is designed to help you address your needs as you confront the challenges of the 21st century. The coursework and projects will help you cultivate your change leadership skills, drive positive change, engage cultural transformations, and enable organizational innovation in your workplace. You’ll develop the mindset and behaviors to proactively lead and effectively respond to change in courses on Strategic Thinking and Change, Organizational Communication, Organizational Change Leadership, and Intercultural Change Leadership. You’ll explore practical applications of organizational leadership skills and develop expertise in critical thinking, decision-making, communication, conflict resolution, and creative problem solving.
Request more information here to learn more how our OCL program can benefit you. Better yet, reach out to one of our admission specialists to discuss how our program can help you achieve your desired personal and professional goals.