Leadership and governance are critical components in the success of an organization. While leadership is the social influence a person has on others for their help and support in doing a certain task, governance entails the decisions that define goals, assign responsibility and analyze performance of the organization as regards to the set goals. The two aspects go hand in hand in effectively running an organization towards achieving its set and required objectives (Angelidis 2004).
In ‘Technologies and processes for human sustainability’, leadership and governance are depicted as having a key role in human sustainability. Since organizations are becoming more and more reliant on their human and intellectual resources to achieve and maintain good results, it has become necessary for them to ensure human sustainability by making sure that the interests and needs of the individuals are met and well balanced with those of the organization, ensuring that each side is given the required attention it needs. Communication and information technology has brought about change in the relationships between employees and their employers. Employees are no longer keenly interested as they were on the security of their jobs and loyalty, but rather they are more focused on the job satisfaction, i.e. the benefits they derive from their jobs. The organization, therefore, has to find a balance between its needs and those of its staff to provide a smooth and profitable running and also achieving its set goals at the same time ensuring human sustainability. This is achieved through good leadership and effective governance in an organization.
Rune Todnemin ‘Organisational change management: a critical review’ ,page 369,argues that for an organization to manage change and sustainability, there is a need for the organization to continually review its course, structure and abilities in order to meet the highly dynamic demands of the internal and external environment. The organization needs to identify where it desires to be in the future and draw a way in which it will manage the changes it is experiencing in order to get there and sustain itself and also humanity.
In ‘Organisational change for corporate sustainability: a guide for leaders and change agents of the future’ by D. Durphy, A. Griffiths and S. Benn there is an illustration how organizations have greatly changed over the years and have brought with them changes in the society and nature at large. We need to ask ourselves whether the organizations need to be changed in order to ensure they play a positive role in the continued wellbeing of the earth, the survival of humans on it, other living species and the creation of a healthy work environment where workers feel dignified and satisfied (Fletcher 2004).
Due to such issues as climate change, depletion of resources, poverty and vulnerability of ecosystems, there is always a need to change how humankind and organizations think and react to sustainability. Some of the leaders of the world’s largest organizations have taken initiative to transform their organizations to respond to social responsibility issues and sustainability. Organizations need to have good leaders and corporate governors who are responsible and focused on the future to respond to the dynamic demands of the modern society on the organization. The changing trends call for well laid leadership and governance to ensure a balanced and effective way of interrelating between an organization and humanity (Tilbury 2004).
Change in organizations occurs in different levels. J. Smith and J. Rayment in ‘Globally fit leadership: four steps forward’, argue that change in leadership occurs in three levels. First, the organizational leaders need to change from the old ways of making decisions with their desired outcomes as the only motivator. They need to start focusing on ethics, integrity, global issues, as well as recognize that they have a part to play in determining the future of humanity. In so doing the leaders need to bear in mind that their support staff and the ones they lead can play a role of generating ideas that can be incorporated in the organization to initiate a change that will see the organization change for better. Secondly, the organization needs to realize that it is not supposed to just exploit the natural resources available and let the public deal with the consequences, but rather embrace social responsibility and sustainability in order to add to the development of the society. That is the organization needs to put in place measures and mechanism that deals with the negative outcomes of exploiting the resources that affect the society in accordance with good leadership and governance. Finally, as a nation/society, a change from the view that competition and monopolistic practices are good is desirable. Unity should be embraced in solving issues for the common good and resources should be shared to attain efficiency and effectiveness (Alvesson 1996)
According to Rune Todnem, ‘Organisational change management: a critical review’, one of the characteristics of change is in its occurrence. Change can be said to occur either continuously or discontinuously. Continuous or incremental change is where the organizations continually monitor their internal and external environment and respond to it with small calculated steps. This is an ongoing process and aims at ensuring that the organization stays on course to achieve its objectives. Though it is argued that an organization can not be undergoing continuous change and be able to perform well at the same time, and that routine is healthy; it can also be argued that continuous change can become a routine in itself and that continuous change has more advantages that discontinuous change. It is cheap to implement and is more effective. On the other hand, discontinuous change is a result of large and widely separate initiatives that occur at different time periods with nothing happening during the interval. The latter comes with some merits that help the organization stay on course. For instance, the leaders take time and explore the change to be initiated. In so doing they try and limit the shortcomings that are associated with continues change (Eagly 2002).
Change can also be categorized based on the process by which it comes about, i.e. planned or emergent. When change is planned, it is usually after the organization that finds itself in unsatisfactorily state and it has identified a desired state. A strategy is drawn involving deliberate action to shift from the undesired situation which is discarded to a new state, which is seen as attractive and effective to the operation of the organization. Emergent change, on the other hand, arises rapidly without effective identification and planning. Unlike planned change, emergent change does not involve management; it is uncertain and involves almost all the people in the organization. The emergent changes come as a result of uncertainties that are beyond control by the leaders in an organization (Eisenhardt 2007).
Effective leadership and governance calls for good leaders in an organization. The leaders should be people who understand and care about the sustainability of humanity. They should be governed by morals, ethics and other positive virtues that are required in the society and also in any organization that tends to thrive upwards. Leadership also calls for dynamicity of an individual. Leaders and good governors should accommodate the necessary changes that an organization is set to face for its well-being and staying on course (De Jong 2007).