A common change initiatives is a change in leadership. A change in leadership is extremely difficult for the front line depending on the leader. If the leader does not communicate properly to the front line, the front line may lose trust or may not be bought into what the leader is trying to do. This causes a major issue as they are the face of the organization since they are the front line. When somebody comes into the store, they are faced with the employee in the store not the CEO. So, ensuring that the employee has been bought into what the CEO is saying and truly walking the walk behind them is extremely important. It can be difficult to get everybody on the same page because there are so many different opinions, but that is why the leader must be able to lead by example for the employees as they will follow in his or her foot steps. I believe that this one change initiative incorporates many other initiatives. With a new leader comes growth , a new corporate identity, and power and politics. A leader brings all of these different initiatives together in order to bring the entire organization as a whole to have a new brand. This way the CEO will be able to have a story to tell when the organization either fails or is successful under his new leadership.
Palmer, I., Dunford, R., & Buchanan, D. (2017). Managing organizational change: A multiple perspectives approach (3rd ed.). Retrieved from https://redshelf.com/
Since change is inevitable and occurs often in the business environment, change processes should be quite a familiar occurrence. According to Dey (2017), “the increased pace of change that many organizations have encountered over the past 10 years has been dramatic. Change in societies, new technology, and innovation has resulted in corporate responsibility, survival, value, and performance to comply with the new requirements.” Change processes result in changes that affect not only the business, its employees, its stakeholders, and the organizational functions, processes, and operations. With change comes uncertainty and fear which can give rise to problems and difficulties for all who are involved with the change process, including those who are charged with initiating the change. According to the Forbes School of Business Faculty (2019), there are common change initiatives that might arise such as culture, a change in leadership, and change of vision, and product re-visioning.
Those who are at the front line trying to implement change can suffer from problems that arise. I believe that change issues when not addressed early and properly can become problematic. When managers and other employees have been with a company for a number of years, they usually invest quite a bit of labor and time as well their aspirations for advancing and getting ahead in their fields. Organizations also invest resources, capital, products, and services which are put on the line if the change initiative fails. Being set in their ways, and embracing a company’s vision, people will undoubtedly struggle against change. Trying to change any facet of the organization and its work environment, culture, processes, operations, and functions will more than likely not be accepted with seasoned employees.
When I worked at H.D. Smith, upper management decided to change not only the structure of the company but the vision and the day-to-day operations of the company. Being acquired by a major pharmaceutical wholesaler caused shock waves throughout the company from the new president’s change initiatives. He began by restructuring the staff which leads to several people being laid off or fired. This, in turn, caused low morale and changes in clientele and their business. Many customers decided to follow their favorite sales executives, instead of staying with the company, when they left or found work with other wholesalers. Drastic and radical changes such as these undoubtedly took their toll on the employees and on the livelihood of the business. Along with low morale, the employees struggled with stress, fear, and uncertainty of how the decisions being made for them and the company would affect them. Employees experienced further commutes; and loss of jobs, wages, and benefits. Changes in staff caused problems in hiring and training new staff and loss of friends and work synergy. Having a new president with a new vision produced new rules and policies to be implemented and a new work culture. With all these changes, came more work and with a lack of experience in change processes, the company suffered as did its efficiency and profitability. However, when agents of change have the skills, knowledge, and experience to properly identify, process, and tackle change initiatives, they can prevent or at least minimize the problems that can arise when a change occurs. According to Palmer, Dunford, and Buchanan (2017), depending on the image of change management and how they choose to deploy diagnostic tools, models, and frameworks, these agents of change can utilize these tools to focus on individuals, processes, strategies, or the organization.
Dey, A. K. (2017). Change management drivers: Entrepreneurship and change management. South Asian Journal of Business and Management Cases, 6(1), vii-ix. doi:10.1177/2277977917701593
Palmer, I., Dunford, R., & Buchanan, D. (2017). Managing organizational change: A multiple perspectives approach (3rd ed.) [Electronic version].