Management of change Management of change- Howard and Johnston Pty Ltd Introduction Change management is a critical component of organizational improvement and entails all processes, tools and techniques that are used in entrenching change in the organization (Cohen 2005). Change requires the support of people within the organization such as the culture, environment, processes and relationships among the employees. Change is occasioned by new policies, systems, processes, political changes, social changes, economic changes and advancements in technology (Cohen 2005).
Howard and Johnston Pty Ltd (H&.J) has been one of the largest civil engineering companies with large projects in Snow Mountains project, Hume Weir and Warragamba Dam. The company earned big profits in depression years and recently the earned profits were $ 22 million in 2006, $ 32 Million in 2007 and $ 45 Million in 2008. Due to technological revolutions of 21st century, the new CEO is interested in making the company a major player in communication arena. The company has changed focus from water-based civil projects due to dwindling revenue opportunities and is currently bidding the National Broadband Network. H&.J lacks fundamental business systems unlike competitors like Foxtel and Telstra. Shareholders are unhappy and fear lack of strategic direction and loss in market share. The consultants have found that H &. J failed to plan for the change.
I believe the company should conduct a more orderly move in to communications. After assessing the scope of the change through identifying the change requirements such as the number of new staff required, the processes and technology, H &. J can utilize John Kotter’s model of change management in moving to the communication arena. The following eight steps are critical in the change management process.
i. Create urgency for change
This step will entail outlining the need for the change. The step entails developing a shared view of current business situation and ensuring a shared vision for the future. The management must be capable must outline the current scenario of declining opportunities in water-based projects and outline the opportunities that exist in the communication arena due to technological advancements. The management must examine the opportunities, threats and conduct honest discussion with stakeholders about the proposed change (Kotter 1996).
ii. Formation of a powerful guiding coalition
The management must identify a team of influential people in the organization such as committed shareholders who can drive the change. This stage requires good leadership skills and emotional commitment of the leaders of the various stakeholders in the company. The management must ensure a good mix of employees from all departments in the change coalition (Kotter 1996).
iii. Creating a vision for change
This step entails linking the overall change concepts to the overall vision of the change. The management must identify the change values, create a strategy of executing the change and a summary of the overall change that can be entrenched in the ‘vision speech’ for the change (Kotter 1996). For instance, H &. J must ensure innovativeness and use of technology are central to the overall change.
iv. Communicate the vision
H &. J management must communicate the vision to all people across the company. The communication strategy must be appealing and should be done frequently in order for other people to appreciate the proposed change. The management must talk openly about the change and address the shareholders’ concerns (Kotter 1996). The vision must be applied to all organizational activities such as training and development of technicians and performance reviews of the organization.
v. Remove obstacles
This entails addressing change resistance through hiring leaders who are committed to the change, redesigning the organizational structure, changing the job roles and descriptions and implementing new performance and reward systems in the company (Kotter 1996). The management must identify all human and other barriers to the change such as shareholders fears and lack of adequate skilled engineers and technicians. The management must also recognize the people who are committed to the change.
vi. Create short-term wins
The management must create early targets and inexpensive goals that will guide the overall shift from water-based projects to communication arena. The short-term wins act as motivators and employees who attain their short-term targets must be rewarded (Kotter 1996). For instance, the award and successful completion of the National Broadband Network project will be a powerful short-term win.
vii. Build on the change
The management should ensure continuous improvement after the short-term wins. The management should desist from declaring early victory and concentrate on building an on-going momentum for the change v. For instance, H &. J management must bid on several other telecommunication projects and keep continuous innovation in the execution of the communication projects.
viii. Entrench change in to the corporate culture
The final step will entail anchoring the change to the corporate culture. This will entail including the values and shared beliefs of the change in to the corporate culture through telling success stories about the change and recognizing the powerful coalition leaders who guided the change (Kotter 1996). The organizational artifacts, values, norms and beliefs must be aligned with the change.
Howard &. Johnston Pty Ltd must carry out an orderly move from its current business strategy to communication arena. The management must outline the urgency for the change, form a powerful coalition and ensure a shared vision for the change. The management must address the change requirements such as new skilled engineers and remove all obstacles to the change such as shareholder resistance. Indeed, short-term wins will acts as motivators. The management must ensure continuous improvements such as technological innovations and finally anchor the change in the corporate culture.
Cohen, D.S. 2005. The heart of change field guide: tools and tactics for leading change in your organization. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.
Kotter, J.P. 1996. Leading change. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.