Most organizations find it hard to accomplish all their goals and even those who are accomplished want to achieve more in the form of organizational change. However, the problem comes in when no matter how hard the employees work, the company seems to go round in circles without achieving anything substantial (Saksvik, 2009). This is regardless of having defined goals alongside a clear roadmap of how to get there. From an organization’s perspective, the problem may be that management is not focusing on what they want to achieve and how they want to do it. Based on this information, this paper explores organizational change against the background of three articles. Points and facts serve to examine, compare, and contrast the vision, approach, timeline, and other aspects of the projects alongside the effectiveness of Kotter’s eight-stage framework in relation to the assignment.
In the project “Organizational Change & Culture,” by Troy Avery, the vision is to address the problem of the high number of experienced Reserve Chaplains frustrated by Chaplain Corp separating themselves from others. The issue is important because, at a time when the organization needed experienced service members, the Active Duty Commanders (ADCs) were increasingly frustrating the efforts of these members. The approach was to remove the primary requirement, which demands that ADC’s must recommend or approve the Chaplain members assigned to them to take on full-time projects outside the Reserve Unit. The suggested change was addressed by applying Kotter’s eight-stage framework. Through the first stage of Kotter, the author hoped to create a sense of urgency to compel management to take action. After that, the step was followed by identifying the major stakeholders who would be responsible for steering the initiative. During this stage, the guiding coalition was created through strategic communication, which helped win over the support of personnel ranking high in management. Followed closely was the need to develop a vision and strategy and communicate these to the relevant individuals. The mission was to let the ADC’s understand that because the organization was facing a significant loss of its experienced Chaplains, they were no longer authorized to block Chaplains from taking full assignments. The other four stages helped implement the organizational change by firstly, empowering the members in case some of the ADC’s attempt to revert to the old policies and prevent the Reserve Chaplains from undertaking full assignments. Secondly, generating short-term wins such as publishing success stories to demonstrate the value of the new change to the organization and encourage others to join. Thirdly, a change was consolidated by working together with ADC’s to enable them to become supportive of the Reserve Chaplain’s professional goals. The last stage involves anchoring change in the organization culture. As the new policy becomes popular, it will be ingrained in the culture of the organization. Rewarding Chaplains who take up the opportunity presented by the new system through promotion would also see more individuals embracing the change. From a personal view, the project’s best practices involved effectively applying Kotter’s eight-stage framework. Nevertheless, contrary to expectations, the project lacks a stipulated timeline to implement the vision.
The second project “Quality Change Initiative for Metallic Building Company” by Arlene Campos focuses on making the Metallic Building Company the undisputed leader in NCI building products and services. The approach is to improve the quality of their goods and services to exceed their competitors in the market for increased revenue within a period of one year. With an increase in bad quality and reduced revenue, the company created a sense of urgency to address the issue of quality to end the year with profitable yields. The guiding coalition, which started from the top to bottom management sought to influence quality change by ensuring every member of the team embraced the change. The next stage involved communication the vision to all relevant parties. Management developed and communicated the vision to the teams as a guide to the implementation of change. Apart from management who initiate organizational change, employees are a significant part of the plan. By empowering them, the organization ensures that they buy in the vision for successful implementation and its continuity in the future. Alongside, for an organization to maintain the initial momentum, they should not only focus on long-term goals but also short-term wins. In this case, the short-term goals involved tracking weekly profits from projected sales. As a way of enhancing this culture of improved product quality, employees are accountable for their assigned responsibilities. Nevertheless, the project fails to outline how the vision and strategy will be developed.
The third project, “Organizational Change: Connect to Good,” is about AT & T company, a telecommunication firm that makes next generation TVs, offers high-speed Internet, mobile services, and smart business solutions. The company’s focus is expanding its network for a better tomorrow through mobilized learning, enhancing career skills, and supporting education. Alongside, they intend to implement alternative energy sources as well as enabling their customers to lead sustainable lives through expansion of technology. For effective application of these changes, the organization adopted the eight stages of Kotter’s framework. The first step helped in creating a sense of urgency, which made the employees realize the importance of embracing the vision for a better tomorrow. The second stage ensured that the involved personnel had the power and skills required to impact change. The individuals chosen for the grand coalition consisted of people who were good at relating with people since they were better placed to spearhead the company in various spheres. Since a vision and strategy had already been developed, it was important to communicate it to the change teams and ensure that the information reached all relevant stakeholders. After that, to keep the employees focused on the project, the next step was to provide employee empowerment. The stage ensured that all barriers of change were eliminated and employee attitude adjusted to be in line with the goals of the company. In organizational change, short-term wins are highly significant since they help evaluate, how effective the changes are and encourage continuity. By communicating the short-term wins of the company, the employees were encouraged that their labor yields results. As soon as the teams have seen the success of their efforts, the next step would be consolidating gains and developing new change. The program is already rolled out, and once the company starts to realize positive results, they would continue working towards better results. As it is, it is not enough for an organization to implement change and once it is a success leave it at that. The best thing to do is to anchor it in the culture of the company, which will ensure that even future employees will observe the same practice. It is the responsibility of the AT & T management and current employees to ensure that this culture is embedded in their practice. Compared to the other two projects, the project was specific and clearly outlined on the objectives.
Essentially, implementing changes in an organization is not easy, but if Kotter’s stages are applied correctly, then resistance mounting from inside forces can be eliminated. Thus, once a need is established, and a vision developed, communicating and implementing the vision should be easy as long as Kotter’s steps are applied effectively.
Avery, Troy. JWMI 555 Organizational Change & Culture, Project 1
Campos, Arlene. JWI 555 Quality Change Initiative for Metallic Building Company, Project 2.
Harris, Shaun. JWI 55 Organizational Change: Connect to Good, Project 3
Saksvik, Ø. (2009). Prerequisites for healthy organizational change. Hilversum, Netherlands: Bentham Science Publishers.
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