In this reflective paper I will be focusing on managing organisational change, reflecting on the issues and my experiences in a post-bureaucratic era. Since studying this subject on Managing Culture and Change, I have being reflecting on my own ‘pursuit of happiness’ in my career and in my life. It has made me realise ever since leaving high school and going to a number universities – I have left my ‘Catholic’ comfort zone. This subject has made me think of how much of a conformist I am of the Roman Catholic Church – the mother of all bureaucratic places I worked for as a Media Arts and Graphic Communication teacher at Catholic school in a secondary college. I have been Roman Catholic since birth. Almost 89% of my Italian diaspora is of Christian faith, cultural beliefs and rituals. I’ve realised over the years when I chose to study – I am challenged by social issues like gay friendships, adapted to social norms. I am starting to feel like a hypocrite or changed man, almost born again atheist. This subject has questioned the way I can discriminate without consequence. Through education we can learn about social norms, what’s socially accepted and alter your behaviour or actions towards an idea or through different social groups in society. Are we taught to be tolerant to differentiate one’s environment or is it nature? That changes our approach to the new bold current political moves. As an individual ‘I can’ change, I have changed my attitudes towards some of the areas we touched on in class this term towards gender equality and trans-gender leaderships (Adriaanse and Schofield 2014). I acknowledge the work in this area of Dr Johanna Adriaanse of UTS, Business School.
This class has made me realise how important strategy is, the process of change to coexist and survive the emerging markets and corporate takeovers for the good of creating new opportunities so that new services and products are created in happier cultural environments. We must embrace personal change to create motivation but also embrace the change “processes which occur within bureaucracy itself” (Josserand, Teo and Clegg 2006).
A body of knowledge
My growth over the course of time; I’ve learnt of many tools and techniques I can use to cope to survive the change from different jobs, role and my life’s harsh human conditions. I’ve learnt what I need to do to change my positive valence; to produce a similar influence on judgments and choices. I’ve learnt about double loop learning (Argyris 1977) and how I can use it my professional practice. In the last 17 years of my career; I’ve signed up contracts with 67 businesses. I’m working with an average of about 3 to 4 organisations per year. I’ve worked with a range of Australian industries from Retail, Education Management, Automotive, Government Administration, Human Resources, Military, Financial Services, Higher Education, Telecommunications, Construction, Marketing and Advertising, Information Technology and Services, Banking, Information Services, Architecture and Planning, Non-profit Organization Management, International Affairs, Internet, Oil and Energy. I’ve learnt not to give up as did Sir Ernest Shackleton (Browning 2007) on my creative core passion over the years to digitally produce various products and applications for many large blue chip organisations. To be resilient and learn from my failures to succeed when the opportunity presents itself. Dr Kotter’s theory of 8 steps of Process for Leading Change (Kotter, 1996) doesn’t factor in the duty of care – by comparison to Shackleton authentic leadership style (Browning 2007).
I have learnt coping with change, and managing how I solve situations in various workplaces. Not to discriminate against faiths and sexual orientation; accepting all human beings and their rights to live in happiness.
Applying in my working life what I have learnt from both Dr Kalpana Vignehsa and Dr Johanna Adriaanse of UTS, Business School in this subject to my future academic and life pursuits; when I lead my teams, building better relations with staff members. I have become a more engaging team leader; I accept my own accountability, social responsibility and listen to my inter-self my core emotions.
Meeting my goals and expectations; I felt through my own self-realisation (Mitchell 2005) I’ve changed my approach to working with people. The class has also given me an insight to how I can change my life around when I’m failing – to help me create opportunity to succeed. I foresaw that Australian jobs would move to India and the Middle East. I’ve created enterprises that include Australia in overseas investments. I made a decision not to go with a recent Suncorp opportunity; knowing that work would go to another country, and decided to work with a multi-billion dollar petroleum company as a board member. We are looking at adopting an E theory company more than an O organisation (Beer and Nohria 2000).
My group has successfully made international media headlines in the Oman Daily Observer newspaper (Prabhu 2015). It makes me happy to know that I’m working with a team that will help with the global energy crisis. Earning rewards in shares and investments which will go towards a new 5000 acre town I will help build in Sydney’s western suburbs. Creating homes and employment for thousands of Australians; I believe in my dreams to change myself, of change management, to change ‘me’. As one of the leaders I will drive the change and sell the idea; provide the readiness process to my staff. It’s about having greater human skills rather than depending on technical skills. It’s having great bonding and interpersonal skills with staff, having self-awareness (Rego, Sousa, Marques and Cunha 2012) as a boss, with a moral compass which leads to a trusting workplace with staff and great respect for one another. With the principal support of auditing the changing issues that are affecting the teams and make recommendations to see what can be done differently. I’ll make sure staff are involved and engaged in the whole change process. As a leader I will be engaging with staff having a clear plan, vision and roadmap of the change to be implemented over time in the workplace – to make the new management action plan work (Palmer, Dunford and Akin 2009).
I can improve on my active listening skills, also my personal cognitive acquisition of listening to my own emotions. Be more reserved and observant in reading staff behaviour and their approach to work and workload. I’ll be looking at putting goals and share options as rewards in place to drive better productions from happier staff and work environments.
I now have plans in the future to put procedures into practice to keep staff happy and have workplace efficiency. To change the business based on the needs that need to be met. Change is a constant in life and in business. I do work hard and play hard. If more businesses fail by resisting to change, it’s very important to accept and adapt to change if it leads to success. Learn to work with old and new staff members. New staff eventually over time becomes part of the organisation – it’s best to gel with your ever-changing transitioning teams and groups in your organisations.
I can now see the relevance of the issues covered and experience to my future professional practice career development. I started as a graphic designer at Rubik Financial Limited listed on the ASX. I invented many banking products. I used ‘Design Think’ (Brown 2008) to develop the products through to UAT tests. I had to over the years acquire further skills in Design. I decided to qualify in the Graduate Diploma in Design at UTS; which lead to my position as Head of Design. I later was given the opportunity this year to become a Partner. I’ve seen takeovers of 5 companies that were converted to 5 major product lines. I worked on the acquisition of Macquarie Bank’s Coin Software application. On the day I was made a partner, my old employer a co-founder and CTO of the company was made redundant. I felt very bad about how the new management pushed this co-founder and director out of the new structure of the company. I’ve learnt to embrace with the change. I’ve seen the highs and lows of how Rubik Financial Limited has traded on the market since 2008. I made time for coffee and talked to my past employer a co-founder – to see where he was moving too. Stephen was one of my admired corporate mentors who helped me to see the good in change. It was a reality check when even a Director and CTO can also be made redundant in a mass merger with Macquarie Bank and FinTech Business staff and stakeholder takeover. The Rubik start-up culture was lost. My preferred and desired personal culture; we were under new management, and there was mixed feelings of change after many people were retrenched. I had an emotional reaction and had to decide what I needed to do to stay with the organisation – using my frontal cortex to help me cope with the change that was happening at work (McLellan 2015). It was evident that we did have poor management and we were selling at 15 cents on the ASX. Something needed to change. The new environment went against my will. I was resisting rather than accepting the change of new chief officers and directors. By resisting it made me unproductive, by accept the change of leadership in the organisation it had a positive effect; I was made a partner for creating a range of banking products and willing to sell them to the Australian government organisations and to the American market. It’s made Rubik a happier place to work at. It’s created more opportunities for many in our current teams. The company had to change to survive and stay listed on the ASX; for the good of our market shares and sales profits.
Since I have taken this subject; I have discovered a world outside my own universe. It has challenged my faith; my positions on same sex marriage, gender equity, drag kings, inter transgender lifestyles. These are areas that are not discussed in our faith nor in Australian-Italian sub-cultural groups. I have always been taught that if I don’t follow or lead a certain way; I don’t enter heaven. I have started to change and live in the here and now. To be truly happy in this life – I have learnt to accept that I have friends that are gay. I have realised that the Australian Government is behind with many of these issues mentioned currently in the media, including my church – one of the world’s most bureaucratic institutions I worked as a catholic teacher for the Catholic Education Office. I have felt socially behind for many years deciding on gays rights in our society, and around the world. It has taking a lot of time to accept this on a level of understanding – that goes against something I am a member of in my parish community. The idea of gay Catholics and priests who can marry; is a human right that my church will take some time deciding on; I do hope that the Australian Government can change and take a precedent stance, to give the human rights of a gay person to marry another gay person. I am the first in my family to support these ideas. Once the idea becomes socially accepted – change occurs in our society, from our lives through to in the workplace.
My own response to the experience has been for so long to avoid the change in my life. I stayed living at home with Mum and Dad. I lived off them. I decided that world would not wait for me. I took charge and made a move to NSW in search for a career, a wife and family of my own. I experienced so many failures in life after graduating the first time. With no work and lining up at Centrelink, it was so depressing. I suffered from a nervous breakdown at the age of 21. I couldn’t even write my name nor speak for months. I decided to get into something very different; into Multimedia Authoring where I found myself again and newly formed skills. I scored 95% at a post-grad level at Swinburne University of Technology, School of Arts and Social Sciences, Hawthorn Campus – I followed my dream and moved to Sydney where I worked for Telstra, GE and with IBM. I have been grateful to have my wife and children supporting my changes throughout my life and career developments. I have had great support with my family who depend on my successes to pay for their education, for shelter and food to survive. Work balance life is very important so I don’t burn out as I did in the past. I know my limitations.
I have learnt how the various issues we covered in this subject and through my own experiences of change have changed my understanding and behaviour towards workplace cultures, managing, assessing and offering recommendations to the changes to an organisation’s staff structure (Armenakis and Harris 2009). I would now encourage our group of companies to use ‘group think’ in their teams to problem solve and come up with solutions (Dimitroff, Schmidt and Bond 2005).
Deciding to pursue my happiness in my career; I had chest pains and stress. I gave up a well-paid job. I had to make a choice to leave an uncomfortable workplace. I didn’t have the creative autonomy I needed to achieve (Clegg, Kornberger and Pitsis 2011). There was pressure to change, and resistant to change due to fear of failure. Since I decided to take up studies again after a 7 year gap from university studies in 2007; I decided to work for Dymocks Books Stores which I really enjoyed. I’ve now signed up to three corporate partner and directorships with an ASX listed company, Indian multinational petroleum company, and a multinational media/software agency. I take many calculated risks. This new brave opportunities has helped funded future projects in my career and help secure a life where I am a board member, a greater shareholder in organisations I can help drive. I’ve learnt to take responsibility of my actions and hold my heartfelt attributes in my backpack (Rylatt 2015) when making moral influential decisions. I’ve worked on controlling my habits and behaviours to accept the change, and now by being open to have staff diversity. This positive change has contributed to a ripple effect across our international offices. My success has led me to have a ‘can do’ attitude, and to take an active stake in the need of change, to be well connected with many networks, and to have a positive resolution, to be happy and stay mentally healthy.
This new understanding will help me to reconstruct my future professional practice; how I employ people, how I manage staff, delegate tasks, and how I let staff go with compassion and future recommendations. Business is about relationships and communication with B2B and B2C entities. You need good staff you can trust to help you to deliver the services and products needed on the marketplace. I learnt that relationships and mutual communicate are important to make money and to make a living. You need to compromise as an individual and question why we need the change and how we can view it as a journey, a process of valence and transitions.
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