As the old adage goes change is inevitable
As the old adage goes, change is inevitable. Though change is often seen as a daunting challenge for any organization, it is needed to induce organisational development initiatives. Consequently, the proper management of this process of change will ensure a higher probability of success for the organisation. This report intends to provide the company with a change management programme as they engage in an upgrade in the equipment that they are using in their operations. Basically, this need for change is prompted by the rapid changes as well as the intensification of the demands of the external environment. To a certain degree, this intent for an equipment upgrade could generally hamper the operations of the organisation given that the major machineries form a great part of the company’s output. The discussions, arguments, observations, and recommendations provided in this report are based on researched articles from change management literature. In the same regard, appropriate models and concepts will also be provided as the report develops.
II. Background of the Company
The company under consideration, CBT Inc, is predominantly a manufacturing company that similarly operates its own marketing and distribution programmes. It focuses on consumer products and distributes it in the local market. Basically, the author of this report is employed in this organisation. To deal with the demands of efficiency, the company has decided to carry out equipment upgrades in their operations.
III. Prescription for change
In this part of the report, the intention of the company is inducing change within the organisation is described. In the following parts, the objectives of the change management programme will be highlighted along with the rationale for each section.
A. Vision for renewed organization
The vision of the organisation serves as the guiding light to determine whether the company is on the right path in realising its goals. However, the changes in the external environment have considerably been highly influential in the common organisation. Recent trends on efficiency in production have triggered the company to take on change initiatives to be operating at par with the rest of the players in the industry.
In this regard, a renewed organisation could only be achieved with a consequent change in the vision of the company. To this end, the organisation must realise that a shift to a higher level of competitiveness is in order for the company to address the recurring need to develop and acquire a much larger market share. The acquisition of new machineries as well as the software that complements the said additions to the company will be able to assist greatly on realising this vision of a renewed organisation. Specifically, the organisation intends to:
· Improve the quality and productivity of the organisation.
· Create a culture of competence and excellence.
· Minimise resistance from the workforce through inducing participation and encouraging communication.
· Determine the leadership style appropriate for the company.
B. Direction and Scope of change
In order to realise these objectives, the company have to start by innovation and working outside the established and usual processes which the organisation is accustomed to, unfreeze inertia so to speak. However, before doing that, the managers of CBT Inc should first establish what part of the processes that require changing. In this scenario, the quality and productivity of the company is the primary concern for instituting change.
For this report, the improvement of learning and other operational developments in the organisation is recommended. This company obviously intends to amend that and acquire continuous development in their operations by increasing the efficiency without compromising the quality of their products. For the purposes of this report, the lean manufacturing scheme presented in Toyota will be consulted to see whether it fits CBT Inc’s processes. (Klier 1999, 18) However, with any development in organisations, there is the distinct requirement of education and training for both the employee and the mangers of the company. (Nadhi 2006, 14) In this regard, this report consulted the case of Ducati Motor Holdings in their effective implementation of knowledge management initiatives in their operations. (2005, 578)
C. Speed of Change
Another important element that should be considered in this change management programme is the timing and speed of the specific milestones in the change process. More specifically, certain courses of action and particular areas to change should perfectly coincide with the capacity of the firm to adapt. To make the programme more manageable, the process of change is divided into two areas: intangible and tangible assets.
In the context of intangible assets, the process of learning of the system required of the employees and managers is included. Therefore, training and other learning activities will be included in this part of the change process. In addition, this will incur an incremental form of change so as to ensure optimal learning and retention will be achieved from the employees. It is at this category that the theoretical foundations of the change process are given initially to the managers. Consequently, it is these managers that will educate their respective teams on the required processes involved. It is in this part of the process where the culture of competition is also introduced to the employees.
On the other hand, the tangible change is characterised by the change in the equipment and machineries used in the operations of the firm. It is here where the practical part of the change process takes place. All the learning and training that the managers and employees acquired during the preliminary phase of the change process is applied in this particular portion. Unlike the intangible assets, the change in this area is transformational.
IV. Proposed Action
The following part of this report will provide a detailed account on the realisation of the specified objectives above. More specifically, a discussion on the management of change, organisational structure, organisational culture, and managing resistance of the workface is going to be given in this part.
A. Leveraging Change
Finding flaws in the company that require changing is rather easy. However, it is uncovering the areas that require change and will provide the company with the highest return is the real challenge for organisations. In finding these elements, the company is able to acquire some leverage in the change process. In the case of CBT Inc., the following part will be pinpointing the specific changes that will give the company control over the possible repercussions of the initiatives. The use of a Force Field Analysis allowed the researcher to establish the weight of these specific factors for and against change in the company.
Figure 1. Force Field Analysis of CBT Inc
Based on the figure above, it appears that the company appears to have several factors for the change initiative. In fact, the graph shows that it outnumbers those factors not in favour of the change process. A closer examination of the data indicates that the factors that oppose the change process are considerably more influential than those in favour. This requires the management to strike a balance on these factors to allow the change process to operate with minimal resistance from the organisation.
Seen in the data above, the forces against change outnumber those in favour 11-9. In the case of the resistance from the workforce, the company appears to have a deadlock with the influential employees in the organisation. These employees could be those who are highly esteemed by their colleagues because of their longevity in the organisation or because they are seen as the role models of the younger part of the workforce. To rectify this to the favour of the management, all they have to do is lobby for the change initiative particularly focusing their attention to the key individuals who are against it. Constant dialogue may eventually win them over and acquire their help in addressing those against the change process. On the other hand, another factor specifically the apprehension of the senior staff in the change in technology appears to be a powerful force against the change process in the organisation. The company needs the senior staff as they are the ones who are aware of the existing culture in the organisation. In the same manner, they are the ones who are tasked to convey the new processes on the lower echelons of the operations. To find leverage, the management have to install an extensive training process for these senior employees.
B. Renewing System and Structure
The company under consideration, CBT Inc., is a corporation. This means that the organisational form of the company has already been decided, along with the structure and leadership. Changes in the said company’s form are apparently not required. Basically, the company still have a sure way of gaining capital, specifically selling stocks. In the same regard, the company could also enjoy much flexibility as they could change leadership when it appears that the CEO of the company is going against the strategic movement of the organisation.
C. Tailoring Culture
In order to make the change initiatives have a positive effect on the organisation, the management have to make sure that the initiatives find a fit with the existing culture. However, they have to first indicate what types of cultures are apparent in the company. To do this, they could use the concept of the cultural web to effectively establish the existing culture of the organisation. (Markoczy 1994, 5) Specific areas like stories, rituals and routines, symbols, organisational structure, control system, power structures.
Under the category of stories, the company have a reputation with its customers of having satisfactory products. On the part of the employees, they are talks on how the work required is non-strenuous. These set of remarks and stories about the organisation indicates that there is a laid back culture in the organisation. It says that the employees are not competitive enough, thus creating “satisfactory” and not “excellent” products.
In the context of rituals and routines, the customers of the company expect deliveries to be efficient. This means that the company has been priding itself as it has yet to delay a delivery or missed a deadline. On the part of the employees, they expect their awards and incentives to be fair. This means that these employees closely monitor the performance of their colleagues and have their own set of standards as to whether an awards or incentive is justified or not.
In the case of symbols, the most recurring image basically is the use of uniforms of employees, both managers and rank-and-file. This shows homogeneity and some degree of fairness as the workforce could easily discern who they could turn to for specific instances.
On the other hand, the organisational structure of the firm is considerably flat. This means that the grievances of the employees could be acquired by the top management without much embellishment as the hierarchy is not that convoluted. This also means that the top management could easily see the specific changes in the workforce with reference to performance and their satisfaction of the job requirements.
With the control systems, the costs of the operations are monitored constantly as it is the area where the company incurs a lot. On the part of the employees, sanctions for poor work are inexistent as the management believes in positive reinforcement. This means that the employees are motivated to work hard because of the promised rewards and possibility of recognition in the organisation.
The organisation places great importance on the core customers of the firm. This means that the top management always seek to establish good relationship with the clients so as their return in the future is guaranteed. This means that the demands of the core clientele are held highly that it influences the subtle changes in the policies and procedures in the firm. In this regard, the company could emulate what Ducati Motor Holdings did on their Desmo Owner Club where they established a club for their core customers. This means those who have been religiously been involved with the company and buying their products should are given the rightful recognition and created a close customer relationship initiative with them. It is thus recommended by this report that CBT Inc. does the same. (2005, 585)
D. Participation of the Workforce
Employee participation is defined as a process that “comprises organizational structures and processes designed to empower and enable employees to identify with organizational goals and to collaborate as control agents in activities that exceed minimum coordination efforts normally expected at work.” (Carroll and Arneson 2003, 35) This means that the organisation has to make it a point that the employees are aware that their contribution is required and actually use their input to the change process.
In the same regard, the company could again emulate what DMH did in their operations. Specifically, the DMH indicated that they took care of employee participation initiatives by installing a knowledge management programme that deals with the developments in their relationship with the trade unions, human resource development, and maintenance of the technical and high-performing components of the personnel of the organisation. (2005, 585)
E. Leadership of Change
In the case of leadership requirements, the company should empower their managers. This is because they are the ones who deal directly with the rank and file and are the most acquainted with the culture of the organisation. (Huy, 2002) In this regard, they are able to maintain continuity in the change process without compromising the operations of the organisation. More particularly, the managers are needed by the company to ensure that there is less resistance on the part of the overall workforce so as to ensure the positive outcome of the change process. ( 2002, 17)
F. Communicating Change
Communicating change in the organisation is one of the most important courses of action that the management should undertake. Once again, the installation of an effective knowledge management scheme would help immensely. This is
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