In this assessment task you will preparing a report in which you will analyse the nature of an organisational change project, taking into account the reasons for this change.
In the Lakeland Wonders case, assess and explain the extent to which the change approach that has been adopted by Cheryl Hailstrom is appropriate to the organisational contexts in Lakeland Wonders? Are there gaps? What alternative approach would you suggest she could have taken?
Change management is a discipline that guides and monitors how people in an organization setting prepare and support individuals to successfully adopt change in an organization (Anderson & Anderson, 2010).The transition is always hectic but necessary actions have to be taken to ensure that it goes as smooth as possible. Persons have to be influenced to pursue the change which involves mentioning the reasons why the change is necessary.
This write-up will look at various aspects of change management program, an approach that organizational change has taken and also making the necessary recommendations for improvement (Hayes, 2018).To be more specific, this report will critique the way in which Cheryl Hailstrom has communicated the change she is seeking to implement This report will be divided into two sections, the first section will comprise of identification, examination and a critical analysis on the approaches of organizational change and its outcomes on from a range of different theoretical perspectives (Carnall, 2018).The second section will comprise of asses on Cheryl Hailstrom’s change management program, in particular the way she has communicated the change. Some improvements and recommendations will be made in regard to this
Identification, examination and a critical analysis on the approaches of organizational change and its outcomes of different perspectives.
The term change itself has been considered to be the only constant reality in life. Be it personal life or organizations’ change is something that will always be there, things will always keep changing time and time again (Cameron & Green, 2015).Great scholars and academicians have termed it as inevitable.
As mentioned earlier, change management is often associated with transition. This transition can be in the form of people, companies, ideas, projects or even ways of doing things in an organization. Change is always introduced when there is need of that change. More often change is recommended when the existing tool or means of doing things is not appropriate and it does not help or play the role it is supposed to thus hindering the achievement of organization goals. Change management is therefore the application of the fundamental identified and well-structured methods so as to help propel an organization from its current state desired place that is much. better (Doppelt, 2017).There are various approaches towards change management. In these various approaches certain models can be applied that would play a very important role in ensuring that an organization smoothly transits from its current position to a much better position. Some of the best approaches for change management have been discussed below;
Approaches to Change Management
(i). Lewin’s change management model
This is considered to be not only the most popular change management model but also most effective one. It has played a very crucial role in helping organization partake change and also comfortably adopt it. Kurt Lewin is believed to the designer of this very important change management model (Frankland, Mitchell, Ferguson, Sziklai, Verma, Popowski, Sturgeon, 2013).
In his model, Kurt Lewin mentions that it has three very distinct but related stages. These stages are; Unfreeze, change and refreeze. These three stages are explained below;
This is the initial stage/step of the change model. It is basically associated with all the necessary steps and action taken so as to prepare of the change. Lewin suggested that members of the organization should be prepared to change; a motivation factor behind this change should be the fact that this change is very crucial and is needed for the survival of the organization (Sikdar & Payyazhi, 2014). It is considered to be very important because as normal, human beings will always try to resist the change, therefore this stage comes in and alerts members of an organization that a change is in place and they should be prepared.
This is the second stage of this change management model. It is a stage where the actual transition and change takes place. The implementation of change takes place in this stage. It is a stage that takes quite a considerable amount of time before it is fully in play because it is in human beings nature to take time before embracing and adopting new ways of doing things.
It is always important however, to constantly let the leaders play their role in reminding what the organization is embracing. Kurt Lewins identifies communication and time as important aspects in this particular stage.
This is the last stage of this change management model. Once the change has been fully accepted and embraced by various stakeholders in an organization, the organization starts to become stable again (Grunig, 2013).It is now in a position to fully execute its activities because of stability that comes with it. From the word refreeze, things in an organization start to go back to the way they were and normal operations become begin taking place. It is during this stage that employees become confident and comfortable about change that has been introduced.
(ii). Kotter’s change management theory
In addition to its great popularity, Kotter’s change management theory is considered to be one of the most adopted change approach system in the world (Kotter, 2012). It was proposed by John Kotter. There are various stages that are associated with this particular change management theory. These stages are outlined below;
Kurt Lewin's Change Management Model
Increase urgency-This is the stage that involves constantly creating a sense of urgency among the members in an organization so as to convince them that the impending change is really crucial to the organization.
Build the team-For this stage Kotter propose that it is associated with gathering of the right people in an organization by selecting persons with different skills and knowledge in preparation for the impending change.
Get the vision correct-This stage is associated with creating of correct vision that would aid in spearheading the change yet to be introduced.
Communicate-This stage is associated with communicating to the personnel in the organization why the change is very crucial and why those very times is the correct time to introduce that change (Kotter, 2012).
Get things moving-In order to carry out with the change, then support is needed; resistance will be normal but should not hinder change.
Focus on short term goals-Basically; what Kotter meant is that focusing on short term goals is the most appropriate way of achieving ultimate goal (Kotter, 2012).The long term goals should therefore be subdivided into many short term goals that are achievable.
Do not give up- No matter what and how things get on the way, giving up should not be an option, persistence should.
Incorporate change-As much as the change will be managed properly, it is always important that it gets reinforced time over time (Kotter, 2012).
Cheryl Hailstorm is the current CEO at Lakeland Wonders Company and she feels that there are a number of aspects that needs to be improved in regard to the operation of the company. It is less than six months since she was named CEO of Lakeland and she really has a lot of energy and enthusiasm. Having successfully worked at Lakeland for quite some time, for instance she is well known to be behind the sudden and rapid growth of Kids & Company; she believes that things need to change and wit her new CEO position then she can make things happen (Kotter, 2012). Cheryl tried a number of ways to try and make people in the company not only see but also share her great vision for Lakeland. Some of the means that Cheryl tried include; leading by example, setting of aggressive deadlines for typically new products among others.
Cheryl thought that Lakeland should embrace make a change and the change was triggered by Bull’s-Eye store which was looking for an extremely exclusive line of wooden toys and they (Bull’s-Eye store) felt that Lakeland is the one supposed to do it. The change was therefore establishment of offshore manufacturing capabilities. Cheryl insists that Mark, more than anyone else know better that offshore manufacturing is the future of Lakeland. Cheryl argues that there is the need to go beyond normal upscale market and get into the midmarket.
Kotter's Change Management Theory
She is so convinced that this change is the future of Lakeland Wonders and that it should be brought into play as quickly as possible. As a matter of fact, it reaches a point where Cheryl thinks that people in the organizations are not visionary as she is. Well, this change is very and maybe very crucial for Lakeland but the way Cheryl raises it and presents it to the rest of the organization is not appropriate (Kotter, 2012). Generally, Cheryl feels that everyone is so dug into the old ways of doing things and cannot even at any point start considering a change.
Cheryl organizes a meeting that is supposed to discuss this issue regarding the change that she dearly wants to implement. In the meeting, we see that Cheryl is so much confident about the change and so determine to take it through that she doesn’t even recognize other’s opinions regarding the change. Every time someone objects and has a different version regarding the change, Cheryl tries to fight them and defends the change with all she’s got.
The former CEO seemed to get hold of things and she tells Cheryl that Lakeland is an old company, it has been in operation for 94 years and at times one needs to try to pull people even much slower so as to avoid destroying the whole company. Cheryl is so determine and she feels that they should implement this change so quick so as not to lose the Bull’s-Eye deal. She has various reasons for taking the change to the next level.
Change is an important aspect in an organization, it is very fragile and the way one communicates the need for change then they must be very specific in the way they do it. Cheryl communicated change to his collogues at Lakeland Wonders but it happened that some of them did not agree with her (Pohl, 2010). Well, it is a normal thing to find resistance to change since not all people in an organization can be as visionary as others, and they would always try to continue do things the way they were before.
There are three steps that need to be followed to the latter in change communication so as to avoid so many unnecessary cases of rigid resistance.
First and foremost, communication of change begins with first telling your organization what you want. Be clear and bold. Just hit the nail on the head, there should not be any beating around the bush. As a matter of fact, one should stand out and mention what is it that they feel should be changed and how necessary it is for the change to take place. The reason for the change should be mentioned and why that change is needed at that particular time should also be stipulated. One should also go ahead into mentioning the full extent of the change that they are suggesting (Invernizzi, Romenti, Fumagalli, 2012).
Assessing Cheryl Hailstrom's Change Management Program
Cheryl communicated the change in quite an absurd manner, during this stage, she mentioned the change that she needed which was establishment of an offshore manufacturing capabilities (Keppel & Wardell?Johnson, 2012). The change was very clear but she did not mention why the change was so necessary then. She just says that Lakeland cannot afford missing the Bull’s-Eye contract. As a matter of fact from the look of things, then one could easily say that she was not so sure about the change she wanted. She was so stuck into not letting Bull’s-Eye stores down that she had to fabricate some change in her own company not to disappoint Bull’s-Eye down. This should not be the case, a change should be genuine and legit and it should always have an impact that should be positive to the life of an organization.
Moreover, Cheryl had all reasons to enforce that change because she felt that it was the only hope for Lakeland to meet the board’s targets. This was quite impressive but she crossed a red line with this. As depicted from the conversation, we see that Cheryl argues with anyone who is against this change. During their board meeting Cheryl was so determine to prove a point that the change was necessary that she even ended up missing it at all (Reiß, 2012).The second step towards change communication is being a living example of the change that you want to see in an organization(Pohl, 2010). This basically means changing the way you do things. Try to do things in the new way that you feel people should be doing them in that organization. Act as a role model, let the other people in the organization see you as a very different person and let your actions influence them to embrace what you think for the company, the change
Cheryl was very good at this; we see that she tried so hard to the change that she wanted to see for Lakeland. For instance, it is mentioned that Cheryl was setting aggressive targets for new manufacturing; she was trying to be part of the change that she wanted. Despite all these efforts that Cheryl was making, she was not persistent and patient enough.
Last but not least, in change communication one should always go an extra mile into resourcing and measuring the change that you’ve asked for (Invernizzi et al, 2012).One should have the resources to deliver the change they are recommending. Be in a position not to make the organization incur so much cost, but instead, try to find an alternative of obtaining the resources to finance the change that you want.
Recommendations for Improvement
Well, this is the point that Cheryl missed out in her communication of the change program that she wanted. She was not so clear n where the resources to finance the change she wanted would come from (Raineri, 2011).When she is asked about the matter, she deflects and says that they can just outsource. This was not so impressive and it is exactly what made a number of some of her colleagues disagree with her.
Based on the analysis in the way Cheryl communicated her change, the following recommendations can be suggested for improvement;
She should tell the organization exactly what she wants and in regard to that the following aspects must be explained;
- a) Why does Lakeland need the change and why at that particular moment
- b) What is the full extent of the change she is proposing?
- c) Why does the change help us in improving Lakeland’s brand name
She should be a personal living example for the change she is asking for
She should consider resourcing and measuring of the change she has asked for.
Change is inevitable. Organizations should always try to welcome and embrace change when need be (Goetsch & Davis, 2014).However, ways and means on how change is communicated in an organization really matters. The leaders and persons communicating the change to be implemented should be cautious and should try as much as possible to adhere to the stipulated guidelines.
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