Managing Change in Leadership
Every organization will experience a change of leadership at some point or another. CEO’s of organizations will move on to take on different challenges in their lives or many of them will retire. There are few changes that can occur in an organization that could have a larger impact than a change at the top of the management chain. According to Firoozmand (2014) resistance from employees is an occurrence that is a part of the natural process of change. This is no different in the event of a change of leadership. New leaders will bring in a new vision, culture, and expectations that employees may not be ready or willing to accept.
The Loveland Fire Rescue and Authority (LFRA) is getting ready to go through a change in leadership. Our current Fire Chief, Randy Mirowski, is getting ready to take the next step of his life into retirement. This paper is going to define why this change in leadership could potentially be a problem, provide a background of the culture at LFRA, suggest an alternative solution to the problem and then suggest how LFRA can manage the potential resistance that could be experienced in this change process.
This change in leadership is going to have a major impact on the LFRA organization. First, LFRA is losing a great and award winning leader. Chief Mirowski was named the 2013 Career Fire Chief of the year by Fire Chief Magazine. This is a prestigious award that is given out to the career and volunteer Fire Chiefs who demonstrate a high level of leadership and dedication to not only their organizations but also the fire service as a whole (Fire Engineering, 2013). This is going to be a big loss of a proven leader for the organization.
Secondly, Chief Mirowski has brought transformational change to LFRA. Prior to his arrival at LFRA in 2009, LFRA was operating with 2 person companies and according to the city of Loveland’s LFRA strategic plan (2012) was underfunded and understaffed by nearly 30 % when compared to other departments in the Northern Colorado area. According to the City of Loveland’s LFRA strategic plan (2012), National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) standard 1710 recommends the number of firefighters on the scene of a fire at 14 firefighters, something that was not able to be met with 2 person companies. With the leadership of Chief Mirowski, LFRA now currently operates with a minimum staffing level of 3 firefighters per apparatus and is able to meet the NFPA 1710 standard and has secured funding mechanisms to be able to support the goals and objectives of the organization.
Increasing the staffing levels and improving the funding mechanisms for the organization is far from the only changes that Chief Mirowski has brought to the organization. He also brought with him a new vision for the organization. This vision, according to the City of Loveland’s LFRA strategic plan (2012) is “to embrace the concept of continuous improvement with each and...