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Term Paper, 2018
15 Pages, Grade: 1,30
Table of figures
1. Status Quo and objectives of the project
2. The 8 - Steps Process by J. p. Kotter
2.1 Establishing a Sense of Urgency
2.2 Creating the Guiding Coalition
2.3 Developing a Vision and strategy
2.4 Communicating the Change Vision
2.5 Empowering Employees for Broad-Based Action
2.6 Generating Short-Term Wins
2.7 Consolidating Gains and Producing More Change
2.8 Anchoring New Approaches in the culture
3. Consulting instruments for the change process
3.2 Events and team building activities
3.3 Resistance Radar
3.4 World Café
4. TOPSIM as a tool to accelerate the change process
Figure 1 The influence of Short-Term Wins on Business Transformation;
Source: Dweck et al. 2014
The independent development trust (IDT) is a company, which supports the government in the implementation management of integrated social infrastructure and social development programmes in South Africa (of. IDT 2018). To ensure the full execution of their mandate, they are seeking for a re-organization of all internal processes. The scope of the transformation process will include the current service delivery model and strategy, the organizational structure and the human resource strategy. For the successful fulfilment it is essential to analyse the status quo and to define the aims of this project. To improve a company sustainable through a change process it is important to consider the three key success points structure, process and culture before beginning with the change process (of. Reckow2017).
First, the organizational structure has a silo structure with hierarchical barriers, which makes the organization inflexible and slows the business processes due to long communication ways. Parallel positions and structures are causing parallel and unnecessary workloads. The aim for the structural change process is to implement a lean organizational structure by restructuring, reducing hierarchy barriers and using possible synergy effects between the departments. This will be supported by a clear defined recruiting process and redeployment actions.
The second part considers the processes. Now the communication works after the waterfall principle with natural delays, no meeting time and budget milestones. To enhance the effectiveness and efficacy of the different departments, lean management and agile working methods will be implemented, communication channels will be streamlined, and interfaces will be optimized.
The third part is the culture. Due to fixed term contracts, a high hierarchical systern and long-term employees there is a low collaboration and commitment. By Restructuring there will be developed a strong organizational culture the employee’s commitment to the vision and mission will be enhanced.
The best concept for a successful and well-structured change process in this case is the 8-Steps model from John p. Kotter which is a further development of the 3- phase model by Kurt Lewin (cf. Werle 2017). The eight steps by Kotter can be divided into three parts. The first four Steps support the defrosting of the current status quo. The Steps five to seven focus on implementing new practices, step eight enhance to ground the changes sustainable in the corporate culture (cf. Kotter 2012: 22 ff.). It is important to work through all the steps which requires a considerable length of time, because skipping steps only creates the illusion rapid progress but influences the result negatively (cf. Kotter 2007: 4f.).
The basic prerequisite which is crucial to begin with is that most employees are convinced by the urgency and necessity of the change and actively support it. One way to raise urgency level is what the IDT did in the first step, they use consultants who help reduce complacency and bring honest discussion into management meetings. However, it is decisive that the information will not be misunderstood. Uncoordinated actions caused by fear or anger should be prevented. Therefore, the main aim of the first step of this project is to inform the employees about the current situation and convince most employees, the management and virtually all the top executives that considerable change in the operating business model is essential to stay competitive (cf. Kotter 2012: 37 ff.).
The second step after successful completing phase one, is to build a strong guiding coalition “[...] with the right composition, level of trust, and shared objective.” (cf. Kotter 2012: 54).
This leading coalition should have four essential characteristics to operate effectively. These are position power, expertise, credibility and leadership skills. Furthermore, trust and a common goal is inevitably to create effective teamwork intra the coalition. This can be achieved by off-site team building activities where the participants encourage honest discussions about their thoughts and feelings regarding to the organization, problems and opportunities. External consultants can help to plan and guide these meetings (cf. Kotter 2012: 53ff.).
After building the strong guiding coalition, its main task is to develop a vision for the future. Regarding to Kotter serves a good vision three purposes. The first is that the vision gives clarity of the direction. The second point is the motivation it gives to the people to act in the right direction. Third is the coordination purpose which coordinates the actions of the individual departments and employees quickly and efficiently (of. Solyp 2017).
According to Kotter should 6 key characteristics be considered when creating an effective vision:
1. Imaginable: Provide a clear picture of what the future will look like.
2. Desirable: Adress the long-term interests of all company stakeholders.
3. Feasible: Possible, realistic and achievable goals.
4. Focused: Describe the vision clear enough to use it when decisions getting made.
5. Flexible: Describe the vision general enough to allow individual use and alternative responses if the conditions change.
6. Communicable: Easy and quickly to communicate and explain.
(cf. Kotter 2012: 70ff.). The actual vision of the IDT is “To be a leading public sector developmental programme implementation and management agency, “(of. IDT 2018). Considering the named characteristics, a developed vision for the IDT could be the following:
“It is our goal as a public sector developmental programme implementation and management agency to become the market leader in South Africa within ten years. Becoming the leader means more revenue, more profit, more innovation that serves our customer needs, and a more attractive place to work. To ensure this growth we must become considerably less bureaucratic, more service than product focused and more flexible in our mindsets. We sincerely believe that we can achieve this change if we work all together and because of this change process we create a firm that will be admired by our customers, employees, communities and all stock- and stakeholders. ”
Now the vision must be spread throughout the entire organization with the aim of gaining understanding and commitment of the employees to the new direction. The vision should be propagated on all available communication channels with using metaphors, analogies and examples to simplify the message, storytelling is an excellent example to bring a vision to life and make it understandable for everyone. Examples for channels can be vision workshops, e-mails, intranet, posters, informal one-on-one talks and much more. Another crucial success factor is to repeat the message continuously. Here it will be the task of the guiding coalition to set a good example and adapt its behavior to the new vision and strategy to promote the motivation and willingness of employees to cooperate (cf. Kotter 2012: 87ff.). Useful tools for dealing with possible resistance of employees are for example education & communication and participation & involvement (cf. Kotter/ Schlesinger 2008: 8f.).
But acceptance and willingness are even not enough to create needed change. Stage 5 deals with empowering a broad base of people to act by removing the barriers that interfere the implementation of the change vision. In particular, the structures, skills, systems and supervisors have to be adapted to the requirements of the new vision and strategy in order to enable the employees to act (cf. Kotter 2012: 105ff.). A particularly important role are the personnel- and information-systems which are prerequisites to ensure a smooth exchange of information and efficient workflow across departments (cf. Solyp 2017).
Big and long-term change projects often lose momentum soon after starting. To maintain the urgency, motivation and awareness of the involved people, short term goals should be planned, achieved and evaluated. After Kotter is “running a transformation effort without serious attention to short-term wins [...] extremely risky [...].” (Kotter 2012: 123f.). In the Figure 1 we can see three different cases which shows the influence of short-term wins on the change process.
illustration not visible in this excerpt
Figure 1 The influence of Short-Term Wins on Business Transformation; Source: Dweck etai. 2014.
As we can see is the business transformation in case three the most successful one because the short-term wins help to build necessary momentum (cf. Kotter 2012: 124ff.).
The first clear performance improvements, short-term successes created credibility and keep the momentum going. Now this must be used to tackle the larger parts of the project because the management must be aware that the new target operating model cannot be implemented in a short time period. The guiding coalition must find the balance between celebrating the short-term wins and ensure that the process will be reinvigorated continuously (cf. Solyp 2017).
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