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(a) Select and justify an appropriate focus for the Briefing document (i.e. chosen sector/industry etc.). See the notes below offering ideas for shaping a focus.

(b) Using a 'Future' approach, research and identify the significant trends and drivers for change that are likely to influence and impact on organisations operating within the chosen sector/industry.

(c) Given the trends identified above identify two or three key areas of change that managers/leaders within organisations may be required to work with.

Drawing on the key findings of Sectionl you are required to apply ideas and theory from appropriate academic sources in order to evaluate how managers/leaders and organisations may respond effectively to key aspects of the organisational dynamics likely to be generated by the areas of change identified.

As a conclusion the final section requires you to draw on the evaluation and discussion within the Briefing document to establish the key elements of learning in terms of approaches, skills and qualities etc. for leading/managing sustainable responses to change. 

Singtel's Dominance in the Market

The report is a briefing document on the telecommunications industry of Singapore, Singtel (singtel.com, 2018). The company represents one of the largest operators of mobile network. With close to 4.1 million subscribers and subsidiaries, the company had a combined subscriber base for mobile phones that accounts for 640 billion customers. The company experienced an aggressive expansion outside the home market and owned shares in various regional operators. Singtel has a significant control over the market share in Singapore as it has eighty-two percent of fixed line market, forty-three percent of broadband market and forty-seven percent of mobile market (singtel.com, 2018). The company is also the largest in terms of the market capitalization and finds itself listed  in the Singapore Exchange and is majorly owned  by the investment arm of Singapore government, Temasek Holdings. The company has also been a major investor in the innovation companies through one of its subsidiary with startup capital of S$200 million

The telecommunication industry is vital for the society and its development as they help in connecting us in various ways at various locations across the globe. The significant drivers and trends influencing Telecommunications industry are as follows:

1. Delivery of Premium Content and Creation of Alliance between Telecom and Broadcasting Industry:  There has been a trend within the telecom industry for the delivery of the data and the voice services with special focus on providing and managing exclusive content (Loo, Mauri & Ortiz, 2016 ). Thus, telecommunication companies heavily focused on the investments on the higher quality broadcasting content that involves cost calculated in billions.

2. Adopting the Power of 5G: The pioneering players of telecommunication industry seek to enable the 5G between 2018 and 2020. This seems to be a good change as it provides opportunities for the revenue growth. The increasing demand for the mobile live streaming and the broadcasting requires reliable and fast wireless connections (Ge et al., 2014). The trend of 5G seems promising for live broadcasting industry as it helps in providing more reliable, secure, agile and faster wireless technology. 

3. Focus on Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality: The concept of augmented reality is increasingly gaining popularity and power on daily basis. The primary purpose of the augmented reality lies in empowering the digital visualizations on the real images (Barfield, 2015). Various trendy games use the concept that makes the user experience more real and enriching. There will be an increasing use of the concept amongst the users of the Smart Phones. Further, there will be an increasing focus on the technologies related to virtual reality for reinforcing the customer experience (Biocca & Levy, 2013).

Significant Drivers and Trends in the Telecommunications Industry

4. Focusing Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning: The two hottest concepts circling around the world is the artificial intelligence and the machine learning (Russell & Norvig, 2016). The two concepts play a crucial role in the development of the telecom industry since they help in bettering and automating the trivial customer interactions and back office operations.

5. Connectivity in Flights: Connectivity in-flight is becoming the game changer for the airline companies. A connected aircraft will redefine the means by which an airline operates its customer service (Burghouwt & Redondi, 2013). Therefore, the ability of using the Smart phone while travelling by a plane is amongst one of the considerations while making a choice for an airline.

6. Digitization of Customer Support: This is service that the clients looks forward while making a call at the call centre of telecom industry (Markovitch & Willmott, 2014). The entire process might look unpleasant and slow from both the sides. However, digitization of the customer support is a game changing trend in this scenario.

Key areas of change that managers within organizations should work with are as follows:

1.  To be at par with the changing trends the managers of Singtel should diversify the portfolio of the services with an eye that the spending should ensure the company with the required outcome without damaging the values and the visions (Benn, Edwards & Williams 2014). The telecom industry should focus on the necessary updates for taking better decisions.

2.  The managers of the concerned telecom company should make provisions for 5G as it ensures security, scalability, security, universal mobility and trustworthiness across telecommunications industry (Hrebiniak, 2013). The managers of Singtel must understand that 5G aims at empowering massive information technology by offering performance and network capacity in various applications of information technology.

3.  The managers of the telecommunication industry should also adopt apps related to the augmented reality that will significantly ensure changing the performance of the people at their jobs. There should also be a focus on using the technologies related to the virtual reality as it reinforces customer experience (Jones & Jones, 2013). Moreover, the platforms powered by virtual reality will help in providing assistance in specific entertainment experience that would help in differentiating the products and the services. To enhance the customer service, the managers should ensure that Singtel adopts speech recognition, voice services and customer service chatbots.

3. The managers of telecom company, Singtel, should also utilize analytics based digital support centre

Key Areas of Change for Singtel's Managers

According to Hsu & Elsbach (2013), the categorization of the organizational changes takes place in various manners. The comprehensive amongst them are the changes depending on three primary dimensions that include the origin, result and the process of the change. As per Nadler & Tushman (1989), the origin of the change, also known as the dimension represents the manner in which change appears within organizations from either the environment where the organization operates or an initiative taken by the organization. This implies both unintentional changes that just happen and the deliberate or the intentional changes that actually implies the actions taken by the organization. However, in real life the line between does not reflect clarity, as the intentional changes might be due to the influence of an event outside organization. The result of the change depends on the degree of radicalism brought about by the change. Nevertheless, the process of the change represents the third dimension depending on which the organizational change remains grouped. This dimension actually refers to progressive unfolding of the events within the real organizational change. This dimension of change might remain grouped based on the time span and the resources used for the implementation of the change.

Change takes place due to the constant activities of the organizational members in addressing opportunities and problems (Cameron & Green, 2015). Change is the impact of the outside forces for which leaders tries to create a vision and the employees tries to implement the change via additional changes at inferior level that leads to massive organizational change. The telecommunication industry is undergoing changes due to the influences significant change or advancement taking place in the industry.

The organizational change can be explained with the help of two models, one is the Leavitt’s System Model and Kurt Lewin’s Change Model. The explanation of both is as follows:

According to Leavitt’s System Model, organizations represent multivariate systems having four important variables like goal, player, structure and technology (Kral & Kralova, 2016). The structure according to this model represents responsibility, authority, work relations and communication. The players on the other hand were the employees representing the organization. Technology represented the total techniques and instruments used for reaching the organizational goals. The goal represented the rationale that supported the functioning and existence of the organization. The variables put forward by the Leavitt’s system model represent the scenario for the changes in setting in thereby leading to four different types of the changes.  There lay a strong interdependence between the variables that implied that if one of them was modified then the others would also get modified as an impact. This results in two consequences. One variable might get modified deliberately for causing desirable changes in other variables. However, it might also be the case that changes in one of the variable might lead to unwanted and unexpected changes in other variables. This model of organizational change focuses on the influence of systematic paradigm. 

On the other hand, Lewin’s represented an analytical model for explaining the organizational change. According to him, change took place when forces supporting the stable behavior of the system got modified. In other words,  at any time when the situation of system remains in accordance with interaction between the two different groups, one trying to maintain status quo and the others trying to modify it (Cummings, Bridgman & Brown, 2016). The equivalence of both groups of forces puts the system into a quasi stationary equilibrium state. However for modifying the state, it is necessary for strengthening one group of the forces. According to the suggestions put across by Lewin, alteration of the stable forces generates lesser resistance to the change compared to strengthening pro change forces. The Lewin’s model unfolds changes in three stages:

Unfreezing: This step refers to the minimization of the forces that ensures maintaining the behavior of the system at the present level. It is done through introducing system of information that portrays the presence of the discrepancies between actual behavior and the behavior desired by employees.

Changing: This refers to the modification of the behavior of an organization so as to reach another level of the plan. The steps ensure the development of the new behaviors, attitudes, behaviors through changes of the organizational process and structures.

Refreezing: This particular step refers to the stabilization of the newer stage of the organization and reinforcing the new introduced elements through organizational norms, culture, structures and policies. 

Thus, effective management of change requires the managers in moving the organization from current state to the desired state in the future that involves minimal cost. The steps in this process include:

1. Having a proper understanding of the present state of organization. This deals with the identification of the problem faced by the firm, considering their degree of importance and thereby ensuring access to changes necessary for solving the problems.

2. Laying out and envisioning the expected future state of the organization in a competent manner (Cummings & Worley, 2014). This involves imagining the appropriate situation for the company after the implementation of the change thereby conveying a clear vision for everyone involved in the effort for change and also designing a method of transitioning into the newer state. However, the vital part of the transition lies in maintaining stability in certain things like the overall vision and the important personnel. The stability of these two factors helps in reducing the anxiety of the people amidst turmoil.

3. The managers should make sure that the change is implemented in a proper and orderly fashion. This calls for effective management of transition (Bolman & Deal, 2017). This involves allocating resources, drawing up a plan and appointing a person for taking charge of the process of change. In addition, the leaders of the company should also try to generate enthusiasm regarding the change through the sharing of the vision and goals and acting as the role models. Sometimes, trying for smaller victories might act useful in paving the way for the later success.

Change is however a natural phenomenon. For optimizing the future adaptability, proactive management of the change represented a creative way in dealing with dynamics of the industrial transformation rather than letting the change take place anyway.

The concluding part of the report focuses on the vital elements of learning with focus on the approaches, skills and the qualities that the management should adopt for ensuring sustainable responses to the change.

Approaches the Management Should Learn for Sustainable Responses to Change

These include (Hesselbarth & Schaltegger, 2014):

1. Involving the Stakeholders and Users through Research: Change management is not just an activity taking place over night but it begins at the moment when a particular initiative gets off ground. This requires a proper understanding of the users and opinions of the key stakeholders. Undertaking research and listening to the stakeholders and the users does not only represent a process of information gathering but also helps in engaging these groups and driving interest, support and advocacy. Imaginative and innovative approaches to the user research helps in picking the interest of the others involved.

2. Ensuring a Budget for Marketing and Training: While planning for a new project, the team knew how necessary change management would be in embedding newer means of working and driving the adoption of the newer tools. A major portion of the budget is allocated to the change management so that the team could execute the activities of the change management with innovation and style. A proper budget also helps in creating a range of training courses.

3. Undertaking an Assessment for Change Management: This assessment involved identification of the impacts, issues and opportunities involving the change. This also involved listening and communication to different groups who played an instrumental role in making the change happen. These include the senior management, users, frontline workers, champions group and the local communicators. Therefore, undertaking an assessment leads to various good practices which include:

  • Leveraging the senior leaders as the role models
  • Using the champions for driving the grounds well for generating support
  • Communication campaign for enabling local communicators in driving usage
  • Undertaking range of resources and training options targeted at the different groups that included the leaders and the community managers
  • Ensuring effective governance that portrays reliance and measurement framework on the use of cases for delivering a high value and well used social network.

4. Turning the User Group into the Champions: The managers in order to ensure successful implementation of the change should involve the users from beginning. Supervisors are also required to build workshops and conduct a pilot test that would enable them in gathering feedback thereby leading to the various improvements. On receiving the support of the group the managers could proceed with the change management. Therefore, involvement of users helps in the creation of advocacy for the app that helped in adopting and evolution of the process.

5. Continuing the Involvement of the Users through Phased Launch: The launch of a platform leads to the effective continuation of change management. This is done through invitation of the users for providing feedback which would then enable the managers in making iterative and small changes based on input. This not only helps in driving the trust of the users but also ensured improvements to the process on the basis of the real usage.

Skills the Management Should Learn to Ensure Sustainable Responses to Change

These include (Fullan, 2014 ):

1. Listening to the Front Line People: There has been many change initiatives which got doomed as the leaders have been busy spending their time listening to either themselves or the third parties instead of listening to the people belonging to front line. This is because it is these front line employees who understand the actual score as most of them interacts with the suppliers, customers and co workers. Therefore, they exactly know the real picture within the organization.

2. Playing Politics of Change Process: It is necessary for the change leaders to understand that it is necessary in figuring out how to manage and anticipate politics through reducing the uncertainty, brokering deals, keeping a check on their egos and making required efforts for helping the people to be heard and respected. This helps in saving time which would otherwise be wasted in trying to provide a protection towards status quo through any means. This prevents the team members from becoming opponents.

3. Knowing about the Priorities of the Organization: Getting the alignment and the trust represents one of the hardest things as change spans across the organizational boundaries. There it is necessary for a leader or manager to develop rapport with the key people within each of the boundaries which will help them in learning the issues that they consider important as individuals or as the groups within respective cultures. It is also necessary for the leader or the manager bin creating intersections that helps in developing a shared culture and learning to read the people.

4. Ability of Perseverance: The leader must always count on what is going wrong, be it his own fault or due to the fault of someone else. Hence, the leader must possess the ability of moving in correct direction that will finally determine the failure or success of the change undertaken. In most of the times, the leaders face the difficulty when they remain closest to finish line. However, for dealing with the difficulty the leaders should believe in a purpose that they strongly believe in anchoring the initiatives.

Qualities that Management Should Learn To Ensure Sustainable Response to Change

These include (Hickman & Silva, 2018):

1. Following from the Front: This quality of the manager helps in removing the roadblock from the employee path thereby enabling them to succeed. This also involves not only managing people but also in engaging and empowering them. Initially, the employees ensured working hard for determining the success of the employees but it is now the managers who ensure the success of the employees.

2. Having a Proper Understanding of Technology: Managers does not require understanding the technology landscape but should have a good pulse regarding the things happening around. This is because managers having good understanding about the technology will successfully evolve and adapt ahead of competition.

3. Leading through Example: It is necessary for the managers in committing more than simply funding the collaboration. In addition, the managers need to be on ground level using same set of tools as the employees.

4. Embracing the Vulnerability: Here vulnerability refers to possessing the courage e of showing up. Being vulnerable does not imply being weak courageous or weak instead its represents a basic quality that all managers needs to possess for moving forward.

5. Sharing of Information: In present times, managers should possess the qualities of sharing collective intelligence and sharing information. The managers should also ensure that the employees should not only connect to one another but also to the necessary information for getting their jobs anywhere, anywhere and through any devices.

References:

Barfield, W. (2015). Fundamentals of wearable computers and augmented reality. CRC Press.

Benn, S., Edwards, M., & Williams, T. (2014). Organizational change for corporate sustainability. Routledge.

Biocca, F., & Levy, M. R. (2013). Communication in the age of virtual reality. Routledge.

Bolman, L. G., & Deal, T. E. (2017). Reframing organizations: Artistry, choice, and leadership. John Wiley & Sons.

Burghouwt, G., & Redondi, R. (2013). Connectivity in air transport networks: an assessment of models and applications. Journal of Transport Economics and Policy (JTEP), 47(1), 35-53.

Cameron, E., & Green, M. (2015). Making sense of change management: A complete guide to the models, tools and techniques of organizational change. Kogan Page Publishers.

Cummings, S., Bridgman, T., & Brown, K. G. (2016). Unfreezing change as three steps: Rethinking Kurt Lewin’s legacy for change management. human relations, 69(1), 33-60.

Cummings, T. G., & Worley, C. G. (2014). Organization development and change. Cengage learning.

Fullan, M. (2014). Leading in a culture of change personal action guide and workbook. John Wiley & Sons.

Ge, X., Cheng, H., Guizani, M., & Han, T. (2014). 5G wireless backhaul networks: challenges and research advances. IEEE Network, 28(6), 6-11.

Hesselbarth, C., & Schaltegger, S. (2014). Educating change agents for sustainability–learnings from the first sustainability management master of business administration. Journal of cleaner production, 62, 24-36.

Hickman, C. R., & Silva, M. A. (2018). Creating excellence: Managing corporate culture, strategy, and change in the new age. Routledge.

Hrebiniak, L. G. (2013). Making strategy work: Leading effective execution and change. FT Press.

Hsu, G., & Elsbach, K. D. (2013). Explaining variation in organizational identity categorization. Organization Science, 24(4), 996-1013.

Jones, G. R., & Jones, G. R. (2013). Organizational theory, design, and change. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.

Kral, P., & Kralova, V. (2016). Approaches to changing organizational structure: The effect of drivers and communication. Journal of Business Research, 69(11), 5169-5174.

Loo, J., Mauri, J. L., & Ortiz, J. H. (Eds.). (2016). Mobile ad hoc networks: current status and future trends. CRC Press.

Markovitch, S., & Willmott, P. (2014). Accelerating the digitization of business processes. McKinsey & Company, San Francisco.

Russell, S. J., & Norvig, P. (2016). Artificial intelligence: a modern approach. Malaysia; Pearson Education Limited.

singtel.com. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.singtel.com

singtel.com. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.singtel.com/about-us

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