Organizational change management
ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGE MANAGEMENT
Assessment Part A:
Section 1: Introduction to the report:
The forthcoming budget of 2013 is expected to open a financial trouble of £153 million. Such high deficit is indeed threatening the council from the viewpoint of its strategic handling. The current newsletter that has been published by the council’s CEO, Andrea Hill clearly points out the organization’s drawback to effectively implement its developed policy: ‘A New Strategic Direction’ to tide over the impending financial crunch. Even the staffs is not paying enough heed to potential threat thinking that Louisiana would be one’s to be affected and not them. However, as the latter case is not to happen, the council acknowledged the significance to opt for job redundancies. Although the latter provision might seem to prevent the council from suffering such considerable financial trouble, yet in real the council could only save £55m out of the total £153m. Now, as a solution to the current issue, the council have planned to opt for strategies that would facilitate in: addressing and meeting the root cause of the root cause of the social problems and build social capital to make the social communities independent enough. However, the latter potential strategy was vehemently turned down by the opposition leader on the note that is actually an irrational judgement to switch off the service demand. The latter leader even criticised the way the council operated and rather deemed the necessity to alter its working pattern. Andrea Hill however, considered the latter leader’s comments to be true and thus deemed that change of the working pattern from slow and risk diverse to innovative, creative and leaner.
Although, the council considered the importance to practise lean management, there is an impending danger of facing high job cuts. However, the job cuts are not considered to be a strategic solution to the financial trouble. Nevertheless, the redundancy solution is considered to reduce the potential cash deficit by at least a bare minimum (£55m). Besides this, the potential resolution that the council intends to practise even involves pitfall in the process that it is not possible to switch over the service demand. However, the latter lean management practise seems to be effective in face of preventing excess cash outflow in the face of such trouble. Also the potential thought of altering the current work pattern of the council would help in gaining substantial profit from such activity.
The purpose of the proposal is to critically analyse the current actions of the case study council. Though the council have opted for policies to tide over the impending financial trouble, concerns could be raised as to its actual effectiveness in real situation. In order to meet the potential deficit of £153 million, the council would require opting for huge turnover that in real seems to be quiet an irrational judgement. However, to overcome the cash shortage, the proposed policy of the council seems to be near to rational yet having certain drawbacks. The proposed action to alter the current operating policies however seems to be quiet an effective solution. The report would thus detail the practise of lean management, effective service chain management and determine the need for the council to practise smaller, cheaper and innovative approach at workplace. The current study would thus detail the possible recommended policies for the council that is deemed to be effective to face the potential financial threat of 2013.
The entire study has been fragmented into three sections: background, limitations and recommendations. Within the background section, the researcher intends to subdivide the steps in two parts: problem findings and solution focus. The potential budget deficit issue would be highlighted in the problem section and subsequent solutions would be offered in the latter segment. The limitations of the proposed solution would analyse in section three: conclusion. In other words, the adverse impact of change on the performance and mindset of the staff would be detailed in the current section. As a strategic response to the limitations, the author would offer recommendations that might consider the effective usage of leadership development programs at the council’s workplace.
Section Two: Background
As have already been discussed in the above report that Suffolk County Council is experiencing serious financial dearth as high as £153m. The proposed job cuts even does not seem to redeem the issue as this specific council could be able to save only £55m. The latest newsletter that stated that the council wishes to identify and fix the root cause of the social problems and build social capital to strengthen communities to be independent themselves, even is not considered to be rationale enough. Thus, in the face of being slow, risk averse and complex structure, the need arises to develop a coalition and convince the people that change is truly necessary.
Kotter’s 8step change step model is basically a sequential step that facilitates in undertaking successful change within the organization (author). In face of the current financial trouble and the complex issue threatening the job sustainability of its staff, a step to form a powerful guiding coalition is required to be practised at workplace. The leader of the opposition as well as Mrs. Hill have already criticised the laid back attitude of the council staffs and have even identified that the council is yet not working on effective business lines. (Author) stated that framing powerful guiding coalition allows development of strong leadership to further the change process. However, the change could only be successfully brought about if there is viable support by some noted people of the organization. Unlike following the key traditional hierarchy mechanism, the coalition mechanism assist in integrating the apt people to forward the change process and even manage the change initiative to successfully attain the objective (author). Thus, in absence of member’s involvement within the coalition process, organizations undertaking change might not be able to attain desired benefit from the process. The following steps are required to be a part of the framing a coalition team in SSC:
- Recruiting a Coalition members:
(Author) determined that the initial and an essential step in framing a collation group are to extend formal invitation to the leaders who would be able to carry forward the change process. However, the potential change managers are required to be told the exact reason behind the proposed change process. Also the reason for change should boost the morale and encourage the leaders to undertake the process. (Author) even added the coalition group should have a good mix of both experienced and fresh personnel. As a recommended action, the group should involve members that having prior experience in the activity and are able to identify others who could be effective leaders as well. Thus the team of SSC members vested to undertake the change should thus constitute efficient leaders having sound knowledge on the current activity.
- Developing a charter:
Unlike the process of following the traditional hierarchy process, the coalition team building approach necessitates following top down and bottom up approach (author). Thus, post forming a team of efficient change leaders, the current step involves deciding a chairperson who would guide other’s activities and even vest separates roles and responsibilities to the members. (Author) added that in absence of a formalised structured of efforts, staffs are often not able to maintain an integrative approach towards work resulting in non-fulfilment of the change goal. Thus the responsible authority of SSC is required to frame a charter that would include team length, individual roles and an efficient chair-person. The chair-person is even required to offer leadership to the group and ensure ownership of the work.
- Frame a coalition team:
After having completed the activity of developing a steering team and their respective roles and responsibilities, the present need is to support the group to become productive in nature (website). The provision for external support to the group would encourage confidence and morale so that the same is able to successfully further the change process. The team of SSC staffs who are the change managers of the business are required to set strategies that would prevent any occasion of deviation from the core purpose and attain failure as a result of issues within the system. (author) pointed out that planning a kick-off celebration is an effective way to build creativity and group cohesion at workplace. Besides involving in latter type of celebration, the council members of SSC could even brainstorm to identify the purpose and structure of the group. Staff involvement within the group development process would help in building conflict resolution and effective decision making approaches.
- Ensure stakeholder involvement:
(author) pointed out that it is necessary to ensure involvement of all stakeholders within the change initiative process. Besides encouraging suggestions from the members who are not directly involved within the group, the need arises to vest the responsibilities of fulfilling discrete projects to rest of the staffs. The task to carry forward with the change efforts could even be furthered by the inclusion of the external governing body or taking help of the agency skills. The internal stakeholders of SSC could frequent in asking suggestions and opinions from the stakeholders on aspects of bettering the change and handle the current issues on financial dearth and in-appropriate operational procedure. The effective solutions could be practised at work.
The latter strategies would thus serve as an effective approach to guide coalition to align the top down and bottom up change approach at SSC.
Considering that the operational success for organizations is dependent on several internal and external factors, the need arises to frequent the change management process over time. (author) attributed that change management process furthers the scope to undertake organizational development that is required to suit its operations as per the changing market and current business scenario. In the face of the impending financial threat and change issues that SC is currently facing, the same could follow the following two activities at workplace:
- Future Search:
(Author) pointed out that the concept of future search relates to the activity of involving all the stakeholders to identify the issue, offer roles, develop action plans and vest separate roles and responsibilities to attain the venture. On occasion of current financial and change management issues currently hindering the progress and threatening the job sustainability of the staff of SSC, future search option of organizational development would assist in involving all the stakeholders in developing future strategic course of action that would successfully alter the current operational policy of the concern.
During the course of six months time interval, the change managers of SSC could:
- Meet for conference
- Clearly outline and present the financial, job cuts and change management issues currently threatening them
- Try to develop a positive attitude towards settlement of the issue through framing constructive policies and
- Vest and engage all its members to fulfil their respective job performances.
(author) mentioned that the future search strategy of organizational development goes beyond the traditional problem-solving approach instead ensure wider stakeholder involvement to carry forward with the course of constructive action. Within the proposed time interval of six months, the authorities of SSC could facilitate participation of members across all departments or key constituent groups. The current solution strategy is quiet effective to eradicate hierarchical issues instead be able to involve almost the entire organization in acknowledging the change requirement from global perspectives (author). Thus, the stakeholders of SSC would be able to invest their minds over dealing with current global perspective of financial budget on the proposed financial dearth of the business.
By encouraging the participants to have a wider or global view of the present issue, they often develop greater commitment towards even better performnace. Likewise, the future search strategy of SSC would facilitate the stakeholders to feel encouraged to arrive at a common ground on determining the tools that would help in preventing job cuts, undertake require operational change and face financial dearth.
- Open Space method:
(Author) stated that the open space initiative or organizational change and development are an effective tool to involve the appropriate skill set towards fulfilment of the issues. Following the current process, the responsible officials would be able to effectively utilise the collective wisdom and energy of its staff towards developing effective action plans to overcome the current issues. In order to maximise the involvement of all the staff of SSC, open space method could be employed at workplace. As the current strategy cannot be practised simultaneously with future search strategy, it could be used only after the practising the latter policy. Even considering the fact that the current policy involves sequential steps for performnace, SSC would allot another four months time frame to complete the process.
Within this allotted four months time frame, the authorities of SSC would require to break the entire sessions into:
- Pre-design sessions
- Segment the group based on the expected responsibility
- Follow up and action plans (author).
Within the pre-design sessions, the change authorities of the concern are required to identify the theme of the sessions and develop norms for the meetings. The current financial deficit that the council is facing as well as the operational inefficiency would be clearly outlined for the purpose of the arriving at a strategic solution. Post identifying the current issues, the group now requires breaking down the task in segmented portions and allotting specific responsibilities as per the expectations of the group. (author) acknowledged that the work segmentation and allotting specific responsibilities based on the likings of the staff would motivate them to better and faster solve the issue. The solutions of each group would then be analysed by maintaining a follow up of the activity. By maintaining a follow up, the change members of SSC would be able to be aware of the progress made to overcome the issue. Ultimately the most liable and rationale solution to the current trouble would be decided upon through joint consensus. Thus, through the process of coordinating the activity through information posting, the change leaders and staffs would be able to resolve the current critical issues and nurture improved level of team and personal responsibility.
The open strategy method and the future search solution mentioned above require tactful implementation process. In absence of having a proper course of undertaking solution action, SSC would not be able to involve all its stakeholders within the change activity and be able to volunteer joint response on the subject. (Author) pointed out the following process to effectively practise and implement future search at work:
Step 1: integrating the entire stakeholders in a certain place, especially the ones who do not meet often.
Step 2: clearly outline the current issue impacting successful operation of the organization
Step 3: Identify possible strategic solutions rather than focus on past conflicts
Step 4: Vest separate responsibilities to individuals.
Following the above change management process, the stakeholders of SSC would be able to brainstorm to arrive an effective and strategic solution to the change management, financial dearth and staff turnover issues threatening the business.
Open Space management process of the undertaking change could be undertaken following the under mentioned process:
Step 1: Determine the issue, develop the norms and plan ways to undertake the sessions.
Step 2: Segment the group on critical issues and appoint responsibility to each individual based on their desired preferability
Step 3: Develop an action plan to undertake the process, volunteer suggestions and accept opinions (website).
By conglomerating the opinions of the change managers and staff, SSC would be able to decide upon an effective and strategic change solution mechanism to facilitate in undertaking the process at workplace.
The following change management programs could even be practised at workplace:
Employee Assistance Program:
(Author) reflected that it is basically work based program offering short term counselling sessions and follow-up of services to organizational staffs suffering from certain work related issues. Considering that the staffs of SSC is threatened from potential job loss and operational changes, EAP procedure would assist in addressing their issues and offer effective solutions. The managers could even gain knowledge as to ways to further the change process by making the staff accept its necessity and facilitate in its smoother undertaking.
External Consultants and Envoys:
(author) acknowledged that envoys are specialised management service firms that provides advice and training on aspects issues affecting the organization. SSC could appoint a specialised envoy having knowledge to effectively handle similar situations. With its appointment, the authorities of SSC would be able to optimally utilise their specialised knowledge on aspects to prevent from such massive financial trouble, job cuts and effectively undertake change to face the situation.
SCC could even decide upon developing groups (basically T group structure) to ensure that it staff acknowledge the flow of information down the hierarchy and involve in an integrative approach to change. (Author) noted that staff often feels comfortable in a group and are motivated to involve even better performnace. The group work structure in SCC would thus drive the staff to work for innovation, product development, resolving issues and smoothen the change process.
Management accounting frameworks:
(author) elaborated that management accounting framework such as balance scorecard facilitates in the keeping a check on the progress of the current activities. In order to make sure that the leadership and people management practices are performed as expected, the authorities of SCC could periodically use balance scorecard approach to judge change such as leadership and people management.