- My achievements to date as head of academic department of law in a college.
It has never been easy to bring about a change in any organization. I have always learnt that change does happen in every organization, but to implement the change, it is always a challenge for any able leader or administrator of that organization. I would like to share some of the achievements that have come through this change in the organization, or rather a college, where I have been the head of the department of law. I would first like to highlight the achievements and then discuss certain managerial and strategic perspective that has helped me to achieve these outcomes.
Each of these outcomes has happened in the last eighteen months, but it has taken a long time, if we look at the scenario of the previous time. When I joined in as a professor for this college, I was not aware of the culture, and the working approach. I estimated my parameters, but to my surprise, it was everything different. There was no proper routine or way through which, all the professors or the teaching staff were following inside the college. In addition, there were no proper reporting structures or standards, due to which, it seemed that, there was a communication gap between all the members of the organization. If the college decided to bring in some change in the organization, it was always difficult for the top-level management. One or the other member will start resisting the change, and hence, there were no major moves implemented inside the organization.
I thereby, decided to bring some of the changes inside the organization, so as to establish a proper culture in this college. It was just like we create an organization culture so that all the employees will at least know their roles and responsibilities inside the organization. They will even come to know about, how they are going to proceed inside the organization.
So, when, I became the head of the department of law, I initiated few changes at the individual as well as the department level. I wanted to establish a proper work routine on the basis of which, I want to move all the staff members in a proper direction. I implemented various managerial strategies so as to achieve desired outputs for the entire college.
On the basis of this approach, I achieved a consistent performance throughout a given academic year. All the staff members of my department were happy to work under me, and they even suggested continuing the same approach in the next year. Secondly, if I look at my personal Key Performance Indicators, I have achieved excellent results in all of them. The courses were completed on time, the students were happy with the quality of the lectures, they were even happy with the kind of teaching pedagogies provided to them, and finally, we as an entire department were even able to meet all the objectives of the college at the institutional level.
Further, the changes that I introduced have improved the daily operational activities to a greater extent. Both students and teaching staff are happy to work under my leadership, and even they are providing useful suggestions. I have initiated one activity, wherein both the entities can directly report to me with their issues and complaints. I would further analyze the situation, and the action would be taken in the next two to three days. However, if the issue is little longer, I might involve some of the senior officials to assist me in taking the right decision.
As a result, of all these steps, I found satisfactory performance of the students as well as the teaching staff. The success rates of the students in their academic performances improved, and due to which, even the image of the entire college improved. All the nuisances and other ill-impacts inside the college were eliminated with a step-by-step approach. There were no risks associated with any of the entities at this college. Thus, I consider all of these rewards as a part of my achievement during my tenure as the Head of Department of Law in this college.
- Explain how I have used the skills of "leading people" to achieve the outcomes in number 1 above.
I would like to mention that, it is indeed difficult to handle people without guiding them and without motivating them. Hence, for this purpose, I utilized some of the skills on the basis of which I lead the people in my department. These skills included providing clear purpose and direction to all the people, installing trust, and respect, mutual understanding amongst all, and installing effective communicating techniques so as to communicate clearly and succinctly amongst all the members of the college. After becoming the departmental head of my college, I found several gaps due to which the college was failing to serve in its purpose. Hence, I decided to adapt and implement a leadership style that will take into account various diverse situations in a given education setting.
I found that, there was lack of proper communication amongst all the members of the college. Further, I discovered that, there were even conflicts within the sub-staff due to which they were not delivering as per their assigned responsibilities. It was thus important to motivate them and guide them in the right direction.
Further, I discovered that, all the departmental heads of this college were not communicating with each other on a regular basis. As a result, each of them was not able to utilize the strengths of the others, and was also not able to remove the weaknesses of their own. I thereby, decided to improve communication so as to optimistically utilize all the given resources and deliver the best for the college.
I had learnt that, without proper support and coordination amongst all the staff members, it is not always to easy implement the change within the organization. I thereby, decided to implement the change management strategies so as to install the values of trust and commitment amongst all the staff members.
However, it is necessary to inform the purpose to all of them, which will increase accountability and transparency within the college (Cheung & Law, 2014). All the achievements that I mentioned in the first section are attributed to all these managerial strategies and leadership tactics that I implemented within the organization.
I would like to continue the same approach even today, since it is helping me in not only achieving the desired objectives for the college, but also helping me in securing those achievements, which I had dreamt before. It always helps in improving the motivation in various challenging situations. I have learnt a lot from my past experiences, and hence, I am also taking the help of those situations so as to improve the present situation.
Change is always difficult to implement within the organization (Cummings & Worley, 2014). But, through proper approach and through proper management we can deliver the best for any given organization. It might take time to implement, but once the employees of a given organization accept the change, they will help in achieving the desired objectives for the organization. We, however, need to prepare the blue-print or the plan through which we shall be able to achieve the desired change within the given working environment (Treadwell & Giardino, 2014). In the next section, I will be highlighting the skills and abilities through which I was able to achieve the desired change in my given working environment.
- Explain how I have used the skill of managing change to achieve the outcomes shown in number 2 above.
This section aims to discuss certain aspects about related to the understanding and management of ‘change’ in an academic setup. This academic setup is related to the education of law and it allows students of various ethnicity, races and cultures to get education related to the law and its application.
One of the primary challenges that were observed related to the existence of multicultural students was to manage their educational and academic affairs in a systematic manner. Before implementing the change in a given academic environment, it was important for me to analyze all the details for better understanding. I would like to then apply various solutions and techniques in the best way while working within a given educational institution.
What I was considering to be important to manage were the affairs that were not put into practice by the previous management or the Head of Departments of the Law Department. There were several missing aspects of communication, managing the daily routines, and the pedagogies that were applied inside the classrooms. I found the coordination to be missing amongst all the entities for a given organization.
With my skills on Change Management, it helped all the stakeholders and law students to coordinate and behave in a professional manner with each other and focus on achieving the unified goal of making effort for the progress and growth of institution. I knew that, this change has to be managed in an intelligent manner because there were many difficulties in the planning and implementing phase of my plan.
Being a human being it is natural for us to resist the change in any matter at first attempt (Thompson & Strickland, 2003). If some senior or experienced teacher tries to critically review that ongoing approach and suggest something that is more practical and handy, the students will not welcome such recommendations. This is a common behaviour that is observed in the educational sector institutions and the result of this negative approach toward the acceptance of innovation and change can be a result in the downward performance and results of those institutions.
I tried to communicate through the educational experts to the students and their parents that every student who belongs to any culture needs to understand one fact that without accepting and admitting the importance of this new change of acceptability and tolerance it is hard to consider the idea of surviving professionally in this era of human rights and liberty. The liberal values that are offered by the countries such as UK and United States of America are exemplary and the courts of such countries have to go across the board in making their unbiased decisions.
The courts cannot do this until the new bread and new blood coming out from the law institutions is capable of handling the changed world dimensions and value system. This approach followed in counseling the law students seemed to work and I was able to implement the change that planned on a positive note throughout the academic batch that studied law studies during my tenure. I also communicated the purpose to both the students and the teaching staff, and improvised the communication techniques, due to which, I was successful in implementing the change for the entire college.
- Identify my principal learning lessons
The law education teaches the individuals to judge and look at the things on the basis of absoluteness and as per book most of the times. The noticeable principles that I have learnt through experimentation of various practices in the law department involves management of law students of the institution in an efficient manner that can result best in terms of productivity and educational growth (Basu, 2001). The law students are among the key assets of any Educational institute that play very critical and important role in the overall growth of the Educational institute.
However, it was more important for me to analyze the change in the given working environment. Hence, the most principal learning lessons that I learnt during my given job role were analyzing the situation and taking the opinions and view points of all the people that associated either directly or indirectly in the given college. It was important for me to communicate the change, but not on a straightforward note. I thereby, decided to move on to this plan in a step-by-step manner (Bhushan & Rai, 2004).
On the basis of my managerial tactics, I first of all analyzed the change from several perspectives. I found the missing gaps and the urgent requirements of the college first. I researched and found out the best strategy to be workable in this environment as per the Harvard’s famous professor Kotler’s theory of change (Coulson- Thomas, 1997).
- Creation of Urgency of Need
I created the urgency of the need of change by igniting the sense and feelings of change by initiating an open dialogue. I started from the higher staff members, teaching staff, other non-working staff, and finally the students. I approached to everyone in the dialogue to listen to each of their needs and requirements.
- Formation of Collation of Like-minded Persons
I started gathering the like-minded persons from the management to stand on my side by development of interpersonal skills and relationship. This helped me to start lobbying for the change that I wanted to bring to the organization.
- Create a Vision for Change
I proposed a clear agenda of the change and provided a vision for the next year to the teaching staff as well as to the students in a meeting at the end of dialogue.
- Communication of the Vision
I communicated my vision for the next year that included many points and comments that were communicated with all the people at this college. I thereby, communicated the required change to the students especially, in the manner that they will not resist it. It was important to communicate what was needed and how it was needed for these students. However, for the purpose of motivation of them, I devised certain solutions as well.
- Removal of obstacles and creating chances of short-term win-over
I announced the new vision and the HR department prepared a policy draft that contained straight forward rules including benefiting the teaching staff on the basis of their contribution. Some of the employees were fired who failed to comply with the new high standards of work. Overall, I thereby, remained successful in implementing the new innovative work model regarding change across the organization for the coming year.
- Identify my future learning plans
Based upon my current learning experiences that were awesome in connection to the educational, legal and professional perspective I can focus on the identification of some future possibilities related to my work scope. The top management will likely give me some additional charges such as assisting the top-level management for several issues, and also acting as a consular to the students’ affairs.
This has been pointed out in a staff meeting where my efforts have been acknowledged by the Head of Department of Legal Studies and the rector of the educational institute. I have planned to devise a new plan to introduce some very positive things with regards to my proposed new role and this can be achieved by initiating something that is quite popular amongst the students.
Social media is considered as a part of students’ daily discussions and it is considered as a core element in the online interaction with different people. I have noticed the fact that self and identity based concepts are an interesting subject for the students to explore that is related to every one of us. I will thus like to launch an educational and investigative activity to know the worthiness of the subjects that I can address as the Assistant of the HOD and Student counselor (Hofstede & Hofstede, 2005).
The personal review of the comments and feedback provided by the students will be performed by me personally in the duration of 2-3 weeks gradually. I will be doing it in the leisure timings and I can take help from any of my students who are part of that team that is already managing the online places on the social media.
These students will be helpful in summarizing the facts and the desires put up by the students generally over the social media pages in the form of comments. This entire practice will help me to develop a better understanding about the ways how students are thinking and behaving apart from the core educational perspective. The students cannot utter many things in a formal teacher-student relationship or they cannot express many things that they want to in front of a teacher within a classroom (Hollenbeck, 2001).
The plan that I have made will be helpful in determination of those important facts and desires that students are carrying in their hearts related to the institution, their future and their teachers. The bottom-line is that I will be working on the development of a fair understanding of the students’ emotions, their thinking, mindset and their attitudes using the technology-based environments and tools. This practice can be helpful in a country such as UK or USA as they offer their citizens a liberal way of living and thinking (Louise & Stephen, 2006). It will be important for me to apply in my legal practice and in preparation of my lectures for the law students. I can apply these learned techniques and the findings obtained through my research about students’ behavior and attitude in my next 12 months future planning in a convenient manner.
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