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The following principles and practice inform the design, development and implementation of assessment at APIC: 
? Assessment is fair and valid; 
? Assessment is marked against clearly?defined criteria; 
Unit of Study Guide: SBM1104, Semester 2, 2018    Page 8 
? Assessment processes provide timely feedback to students to improve their understanding and subsequent performance; 
? Assessment is designed to the appropriate level for the course;
? Assessment provides opportunities for students to apply and demonstrate their learning in a variety of ways, including both individually and working in groups. 


Group assignments provide a platform of authentic assessment  that highlights best practice and enhances  the development of collaborative skills. The assessment  focus is around  the process of working in groups for purposes including: 
? Collaboration and cooperation; 
? Analysis of the task for the purpose of assigning responsibility for its components; 
? Incorporating elements of leadership, teamwork, delegation and coordination; 
? Preparation and presentation of group reports, which may be supplemented by individual component reports; 
? Understanding  and  evaluating  the  challenges  that  arise  in  collaborative  work,  and formulating techniques to manage them. Students are expected to undertake all assessment with due regard to the APIC Academic Integrity  Policy (see Section 4, Policies). 


3.3 Submitting assessments 
All written assessments are to be submitted via the Unit site on the Online Learning System (OLS) by the due date and time given in the Assessment Overview. Unit lecturers will provide instructions and in?class demonstration of the submission process prior to the due date for the first assessment in the Unit.  Students who experience technical issues when attempting to submit their assignment via the OLS should immediately contact technical support or the website for assistance (see Section

5.2, Technical Support). 
Vivas, examinations and presentations must be attended as scheduled, unless by prior arrangement due  to  exceptional  circumstances  (see  Section  4,  Policies).  Non?attendance  at  a  scheduled assessment may result in a Fail grade for the assessment piece, and may impact students’ overall grade in the Unit. 
3.4 Late submission of assessments 
Written assessments that are submitted after the due date and time published in this Unit of Study Guide will receive a penalty of 10% of the maximum available mark per working day. Exceptions to this  will  only  be  granted  where  a  student  has  requested  and  been  granted  an  extension  to  the assignment due date in advance, or where an application for Special Consideration has been granted (see Section 4, Policies).  

3.5 Receiving marks for assessments 
Students will normally be notified of marks for individual assignments via the OLS. All student results for an individual assessment item will be released concurrently.  

Current Best Practices in Leadership

In the current time, the importance of change management is ever increasing with the increase in the complexities in business operations. This is mainly due to the reason that current business scenario is rapidly changing with the change in the expectations and approaches of the internal as well as external stakeholders (Cameron & Green, 2015). Hence, organizations should also have to cope up with this change by implementing change management process. However, it should also be noted that effectiveness of the change process is directly influenced by the leadership in the organizations. It is also important for the business organizations to concentrate on their leadership efficiency prior to initiate change process.

            Commonwealth bank is one of the top three banks in Australia with having their presence in some other countries also. As they are operating in the financial sector, they have to cope up with change in the global economic factors (commbank.com.au, 2018). On the other hand, they also have to adhere to the approaches of human resource management for their large number of employees. Even though commonwealth bank is known for their extensive and successful employee management policies and business practices, there are number of instance where they are trailing behind the benchmarks. In majority of these cases, ineffectiveness of their leadership and change management are responsible.

            This report will discuss about the current best practices of leadership and change management process in the industry. In accordance to that, the current practices of leadership and change management followed by Commonwealth bank will be discussed. GAP analysis will be done in identifying the areas where Commonwealth bank is trailing against the industry standards. A revised plan of leadership and change management will be discussed in this report for the Commonwealth bank that will further help to overcome the shortcomings and have more internal effectiveness.

Current best practices of leadership Transformational leadership

            The current approaches of leadership are much different to that of a decade ago. In the past, authoritative style of leadership was mainly followed where employees were having less space of autonomy and they were being directed in their workplace. However, in the current time, transformational leaders and participative leadership are mainly followed (Avolio & Yammarino, 2013). This refers to the approach of involving the internal stakeholders in the decision making process including the lower level employees. In addition, the leadership is now more employees oriented over the output oriented approach in the past.

This is helping the contemporary business organizations in gaining more access to the innovative and diverse ideas from the side of the employees. In addition, with the help of the transformational leadership, employees are also being more motivated and engaged in their workplace that is further leading to increase in productivity of them (Braun et al., 2013). Thus, the organizations with having more employee oriented approach will be able to gain competitiveness over others.

Employee involvement

            Another major change in the current leadership practices is the involvement of employees in the organizational affairs. In the past, the major decisions were being taken by the board of directors but in the current time, all the employees are being involved in order to gain their views and opinions (Sharif & Scandura, 2014). It helps the upper level management in having more ideas and options in initiating business decisions. On the other hand, currently determination of the issues faced by the employees is also important and thus effective communication skills are being initiated by the leaders. Furthermore, in the current time, leaders are more focused in having effective and proper relationship with the lower level employees also in order to have the idea about the all the internal stakeholders (Amah & Ahiauzu, 2013).

Transformational leadership

Current best practices in change management  Effective determination of the market factors

            Change management is an important part for the contemporary business organizations in order to effectively adhere to the current market and business scenario. One of the current best practices in the change management is continuous process of determining the market trend and preferences (Doppelt, 2017). Majority of the contemporary business organizations are having the mechanism to identify the change in the market at earliest. In the past, change management was being planned and initiated by the upper level management with having less consultation and prior planning.

However, there are still some instances in the recent time where change initiatives are being failed due to the lack of effective determination of the market scenario (Kuipers et al., 2014). One of the major change failures in the recent time is the merger between Nokia and Microsoft. Nokia went on to merge with Microsoft in view to compete with the domination of the Android power mobile devices. However, due to the lack of determination of the market trend and requirements, their products were not able to meet the requirements of the target customers (Pai, 2015). This lead to huge loss incurred both the organizations. Hence, in the recent time, most of the business organizations effectively determine the market trend and preferences before initiating any change.

Involvement of the stakeholders

            Another major reason of change management failure is the lack of involvement of all the involved stakeholders in the change process. Thus, in the current time, the best practice in change management is involving all the stakeholders in the change process (Hechanova & Cementina-Olpoc, 2013). This is helping the change agents in determining and evaluating the opinions of the involved stakeholders regarding the objective of the change process. Involving the stakeholders from the very primary stage of the change process also helps the business organizations in overcoming the issues with them (Van der Voet, 2014). This will not cause threat after the completion of the change process. Determination and evaluation of the opinions of the stakeholders also enable the managers and the change agents in identifying probable issues.

Effective communication process

            One of the best practices in the change management being initiated in the current time is effective communication process. A particular change management process is having large number of stakeholders and it is important to have proper communication challenges among them (Goetsch & Davis, 2014). This is due to the reason that effective and proper communication process will ensure that all the involved stakeholders are having ideal connectivity among themselves.

Majority of the contemporary business organizations follow the process of effective communication. This helps the upper level management in communicating their vision and goals of the change management to the employees and on the other hand, employees are also being able to share their issues and challenges to the upper level managers (Mishra, Boyton & Mishra, 2014). Change management can be implemented by considering all the factors and with the involvement of all the stakeholders.

Employee involvement

Evaluation of leadership approach of Commonwealth bank

            Currently, Commonwealth bank is operating the leadership of Matt Comyn and there are number of positive and negative factors being identified. According to the reports, Commonwealth bank under the leadership of Matt Comyn is having number of issues in terms of human resource management such underpaying more than 7000 employees (hcamag.com, 2018).

This is one of the major examples of ineffective approach of employee management for Commonwealth bank. Upper level management should have the information about the number of part time and full time employees (Aydin, Sarier & Uysal, 2013). However, in the case of Commonwealth bank, it is reported that management were not having the information about the certain section of employees getting underpaid. Therefore, it can be concluded that there is communication and connectivity gap between the upper level management and the employees.

            In addition, it is also being identified that decision making process is being initiated among the board of directors rather than gathering opinions from all the internal stakeholders. Thus, employees are having less representation in the decision making process and this is another gap being identified in the internal management of Commonwealth bank (Keskes, 2014). Less involvement of the employees in the decision making process is also denoting that transformational leadership is not being followed in the organization. It is identified that the leadership approach being followed in Commonwealth bank is less participative in nature (afr.com, 2018). This is another gap in the leadership approach of them against the current best practices in the industry. This ineffectiveness in leadership approach of Commonwealth bank is also affecting the change process in the organization.

Evaluation of change approach of Commonwealth bank

            In the recent time, the major change process initiated in Commonwealth bank is in 2011 when cultural change was initiated (abc.net.au, 2018). The major objective of initiating this cultural change was to change the existing organizational culture and focus more on team work, corporation and coordination. However, in this case also, there are number of gaps being identified as against the current benchmarks. Kotter eight steps model will be used to identify the differences between the existing practices of Commonwealth bank and the industry benchmarks (Gorran Farkas, 2013).

Kotter’s 8 steps model

            According to the Kotter’s eight steps of change management, there are majorly eights steps that should be followed by the business organizations in having an effective change management process along with having long term viability.

Increasing urgency

            The first step is increasing the urgency for implementing the change management in the organizations. According to the best practices of change management, it is important for the upper level managers including the leaders to first identify the areas of improvements. They should analyze about how these areas will pose threats in future (Pollack & Pollack, 2015). In addition, they should also examine the opportunities for overcoming the shortcomings. However, in the case of Commonwealth bank, cultural change is being initiated by Ralph Norris without having much consultation.

Current Best Practices in Change Management

Two major changes were implemented in the organization with one being technological change and another related to organizational change where managers will take the control for nay identified issues (Calegari et al., 2015). However, it is identified that the entire change process is initiated without identifying the requirement of the organization. It can be considered as a gap between the practices of Commonwealth bank and the benchmark.

Team formation

            The second step states that team should be formed for the change process and team members should be selected based on the requirement and expertise. As per the best practice of change management, leaders and other stakeholder should be selected as per the requirement of the change process (Hughes, 2016). This will only help in having an effective team for initiating the change process. However, in the case of Commonwealth bank, it is reported that the entire responsibility of initiating the technological change was given to the technological team. This caused lack of coordination and compliment between the employees and the technology team (Chappell et al., 2016). On the other hand, in the case of the change in organizational culture, managers are also not selected on any basis rather it was implemented on holistic manner. Another gap is identified in this stage in forming the team for change process.

Developing vision

            The next step is developing vision for the change initiative. According to the best practices in change management, prior to the initiation of the change process, vision should be developed along with setting the core objective of the process (Bucciarelli, 2015). However, in the case of Commonwealth bank, change process for both cultural change and technological change was being implemented in short term notice and no prior objectives or vision is being initiated.

This also caused issues in the change process for Commonwealth bank due to the reason that employees were not having the idea about the change and how they have to cope up with that. Lack of vision in the change process also caused Commonwealth bank to face the dilution of the entire objectives in the later stage (Al-Haddad & Kotnour, 2015). It is reported that programming errors are being identified in the later stage along with issues with the managers in controlling the challenges of the employees.

Communication of the vision

            The best practice in change management states that vision should be communicated to the involved stakeholders in the change process along with defining the requirements to be fulfilled. However, the change in Commonwealth bank was implemented on immediate basis and employees went to know about it only after the implementation process (Leavy, 2014). Thus, vision was not communicated effectively to the involved stakeholders and caused issues in coordination among all the stakeholders.

Overcoming obstacles

            According to the best practices of change management, probable barriers should be identified prior to the implementation of the change process. This will help the change agents in having the precautionary measures against the barriers in implementing the change. However, both the cultural and technological changes are being implemented in Commonwealth bank without determining the barriers in advance (Talke & Heidenreich, 2014). This is due to the reason that it is reported that managers were not able to meet the issues and challenges of the employees after implementing the change. This further led to origination of issues and resistance from the side of the employees. This can also be concluded as one of the major gap areas between the change initiatives in Commonwealth bank and best practices.

Effective determination of the market factors

Creating short term targets

            Short term targets are also being recommended in the best practices of change management. This is due to the reason that involved stakeholders in the change process will only get motivated if they can witness the development. In this case, managers and change agents should have to set short term goals for the involved stakeholders to further motivate them in the change process. It should also be noted that creation of short term goals will enable the employees to have the idea about the benefits and advantages that they are going to have from the change process (Buchanan, 2013). However, in the case of Commonwealth bank, all the employees are covered under the change initiative and they are not given any short term targets.

On the other hand, in the case of the change in organizational culture, managers are told to take control of the issues of their subordinates and resolving by own. However, the managers are not given the idea about the benefits that to be gained by them. Furthermore, in the case of technological change, all the employees are told to adhere to the new technology rather than communicating them about the benefits from the technological change (Holten & Brener, 2015).

Evaluation process

            This is another important step in the kotter’s 8 steps model. It is important for the managers and the change agents to continuously evaluate the feedback from the involved stakeholders after the implementation of the change initiative. This is important due to the reason that even after the implementation of the change process, there are huge probability of emergence of issues with the stakeholders in the further time (Georgalis et al., 2015). Thus, continuous process should be initiated by the managers to identify any probable issue. In the case of Commonwealth bank, employees were faced with issues in technological change and managers faced issues with the cultural change. However, Commonwealth bank is not having process of evaluation due to the reason that the issues of the stakeholders are not being identified.

Creating the environment for change

            Initiation of the change initiative is a continuous process and thus the business organizations should always be ready for the further change in place. Thus, the best practice of change management states that favorable environment for change initiatives should be created in the organization by sharing the success stories of previous change processes (Sloan, Klingenberg & Rider, 2013). In this case, Commonwealth bank is improving their internal environment that can assist them in initiating the change.

Revised leadership and change management plan

  • It is recommended that Commonwealth bank should initiate the strategy of situational leadership approach due to the reason that it will help the upper level management in changing their leadership styles according to the external situation. This is more important for the organizations in the financial sector due to the reason that financial sector is much more vulnerable to economic fluctuations. Therefore, leadership approach of Commonwealth bank should be authoritative as well as participative in different cases. Initiation of the transformational style of leadership may be challenging during the rough phase of the organization to follow. Moreover, it should also be noted that Commonwealth bank will be beneficial from situational leadership in changing their approaches during the change process.
  • It is also recommended that leadership approach of Commonwealth bank should be aware about the importance of effective process of change management. This is due to the reason that even though objectives of the initiated change processes in Commonwealth bank are positive and productive but the way of implementing is wrong. Thus, the upper level management should have the awareness about the importance of following change management models along with their steps.
  • Upper level management of Commonwealth bank should enhance the involvement of their employees in the internal management. Increase in the involvement of the employees will help to have more effective leadership approach due to the fact that decision making process will become more efficient with the involvement of the employees. On the other hand, enhancement of the involvement of the employees will also create favorable impact on the change process. This is due to the reason that if the employees are being involved in the change process, then the issues of them will be identified and can be mitigated in time.

Conclusion

            This report concludes that Commonwealth bank is trailing behind the best practices in the industry regarding their leadership and change management process. In this report, number of best practices is being discussed to compare the practices of Commonwealth bank. It is identified that cultural and technological changes initiated by the upper level management of Commonwealth bank were failed and caused issues and challenges for the employees as well as for the managers. The practices in change management and leadership for Commonwealth bank are being evaluated in this report with the help of Kotter’s eight step model of change. In terms of this, there are number of areas of improvement are identified. A few recommended steps are also discussed to overcome the identified challenges by Commonwealth bank.

Continuous Improvement

Reference

 CBA unveils more ways it's failing its own customers and staff.

 How Commonwealth Bank confused co-operation with complacency. 

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