Transferring from one organization to another is not so much different from shifting from one industry to another. Both decisions can be associated with tremendous changes, both environmentally and habitually, that an individual has to overcome. There can be many reasons why an individual—which is more often than not a company employee looking for a greener or a more organized pasture, transfers from one organization to another. Some of the most common reasons behind such big decision include but are not limited to social factors (e.g. employees do not get along well with other employees), economic factors (e.g. employee salary is at or near minimum wage levels despite the fact that they are professionals in the field like nurses, accountants, and etc.), and work-related and or lifestyle factors (e.g. employee does not enjoy doing his job). In some cases, an employee may be ordered by a more senior employee to transfer to another organization, perhaps a sister company, to divide the available talents from a parent company and share it to a sister company . Cases like these however, are not so common at least when compared to the more common factors like social, economic, and lifestyle issues. The objective of this paper is to discuss my experience and perceptions about my recent transfer from one organization to another. Some important things to take note of at this point are: that the two organizations, the previous organization I affiliated with and the one I am affiliated with now, are both from the same industry; I have a more senior position and role in the current organization. For the purposes of ease of referencing, the previous organization will be addressed in essay as Organization X while my current organization will be referred to as Organization Y.
Because of social and economic reasons, I have finally decided to leave Organization X and choose a more senior position at Organization Y. I have given the decision much thought and while I was thinking about it, I already knew to myself that possibly one of the biggest problems I would face should this process go through would be culture change, or even shock. Everything is actually going well at Organization X. However, I am not going to be hypocrite, because of social, work-related, and economic reasons, I was forced to look for an organization that offers a longer career ladder, a larger opportunity for growth, a challenging working environment, and of course reasonable employment benefits and compensation. Perhaps I was so discontented with the unchallenging working environment and the limited room for career growth and personal development that I was forced to make such move—to transfer to another organization. I know that I have not stayed inside the company for me to judge or make conclusions about their organizational culture yet. However, thanks to my experience in leading teams, departments, and even an entire company project or operation, and to my keen observational skill, I was able to make some solid first impressions about the company. I have not shared such observations and impressions to anyone but myself because as I mentioned, it is too early to tell and be conclusive.
Firstly, I was right when I thought that transferring to Organization Y would demand large adjustments. I told myself that I could do it and here I am, seeing it as a problem that is hard to overcome. Perhaps adapting to a dramatic change in working culture and environment can indeed be too taxing. Anyways, I was able to convince myself to persevere because after all, it was me who chose this path. Besides, the only constant thing in this world is change and if I myself would be resistant to changes and demands for adaptation, how could I ever teach my subordinates how to embrace change . In this case, I am going to follow the principle that suggests how experience could be the best teacher.
Being placed in a more senior role is one of my biggest challenges. I know how to be best at what I do when I was assigned to my previous job position, which is more junior, compared to my position here at Organization Y. One challenge I have to overcome is to adapt to the demands of this new job, and to make sure that I, once again, can learn how to be best at what I do, just like what I did in my previous job. I am not leading a bigger team, a department perhaps. After a few days being in this more senior position, I can say that it is a totally different feeling leading a larger team compared to leading just a few people. It is normal to feel anxious and not so confident about what you do at first, especially if it is your first time. Over the next few days, fortunately, my anxiety levels got lower and I became more confident at what I do. According to the Vroom-Yetton Role Situational Leadership model, there is single best type of leadership because the best site of leadership varies from one situation to another . Being a consistent autocratic leader all the time may for example lead to negative outcomes when the situation calls for the skills of a group-based leader. The best thing that a leader can do is to know how to adapt and to make his subordinates and followers do the same thing, depending on what the situation calls for. In my current case, I am trying to forget what type of leader I used to be over at Organization X so that I can more easily adapt to the leadership demands here at Organization Y. This, I think, is the best course of action to take at this moment because I still consider myself to be well within the adjustment stage. Nonetheless, as the time goes by and as I get the hang of leading people in my current position, I shall develop a more solid foundation on being a leader, not depending on which leadership style would be more convenient for me or for some other key people, but depending on what would suit the organization I am leading.
Based on the impressions and the things I saw after careful observations, I can say that this organization would benefit from a Group-Based (GII) leader. A Group-based leader shares the responsibility of creating a plan and executing the plan of actions with his followers and colleagues. He utilizes the power of brain-storming as much as possible and he rarely makes a decision, especially if such decisions are big enough to affect the entire organization including all the people in it, alone .
One major factor that for me, limits the growth of Organization Y, is its being too people-centered. I am a hundred percent sure that the previous organization where I worked is not like this because the culture there is more system driven. As a result, every task, be it a small or a huge one, was done systematically and in an organized manner. In Organization Y, the culture is more people-centered. In most cases, it is driven by popularity and not by skill and work quality. Almost everyone worships the idea of multi-tasking. What they do not know is that there are a lot of things that can get compromised when one, let alone an entire organization, multi-tasks. The quality of the work and the individual team member’s focus can all get a hard hit. The way how they do things in Organization Y is not systematic.
As a leader, it is my responsibility to share with them my knowledge and experience on how to improve the processes and operations I think can benefit from some modifications. What I recommended was for each team to focus on the tasks given to them and to not mind the tasks given to other teams. Before this could happen, I had to make sure that each team will receive an equal (as much as possible) volume of workload so that everyone will have something to do. This strategy shall improve their ability to focus on things, minimize the frequency of multi-tasking, make sure that every team or department actually gets the job done, and most importantly, improve the level of productivity in the company. For larger tasks however, I always tell my new colleagues and subordinates that teamwork and group interaction are important. These two can spell the difference between a successful and a flunked organizational project.
Working as a group would certainly enable an organization to work faster and more efficiently compared to when tackling large projects on an individual basis. It also divides the work pressure among the individual team members, which is a good way at improving work performance. All in all, being a part of a team and being assigned to work on a large project with other team members is imminent once you become a part of an organization. I always tell my new colleagues and my followers this. Unfortunately, it seems that this principle is Greek to them. The people here are not used to working as a team. They are more inclined to work individually. It would of course be good enough if every employee is often able to finish the tasks assigned to them flawlessly despite their lack of skill to work as a team but that simply is not the case. It is a like a double whammy because the people at Organization Y are not motivated and skillful enough to complete their individual tasks plus they are not willing and capable to work as a team.
As an intervention, I have always tried to expose, sometimes forcefully, to situations that require them to work as a team and finish their initial tasks before they could proceed to another one. Interestingly, by the time I was doing this intervention to rehabilitation the members of the organization, I was able to observe how every employee was resistive to change. Majority of them wanted to stay in their comfort zones, forever, if possible. I surely cannot let that happen because each employee should be willing to make the necessary adjustments depending on the demands of their job, otherwise, it is the organization that would suffer. Later on, I came to realize that this would be my biggest challenge. Every little thing that I advocate or try to change, I almost always face resistance.
What I thought of as a great solution to this resistance to change was the gradual introduction of the reforms I made and an incentive program. The employees welcomed this approach and they have started to show positive reactions whenever I try to implement new rules and protocols, or change some old traditions in the organization.
Everything is going well since I used these two interventions to counter the employees’ innate resistance to change and I hope it goes this way for the rest of my stay here at Organization Y. I like how this organization, including all of its employees, has presented itself as a challenge to me for I know that it is only by overcoming those challenges that I can prove to myself that I am still growing as a manager and leader. I also know that every sacrifice I have made so far and will make in the future will be worth it in the future because by then, I will finally be able to tell myself that I, as a leader, managed to overcome the huge and numerous challenges involved in transforming this organization from a free-falling one to a major industry player. Of course, I know that this is easier said than done, especially when we consider that I am still well within the adjustment period. In fact, I am still trying my best to cope with the dramatic cultural and environmental change.
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