“Just like individuals, organizations experience change as they move through life. Change can happen for a variety of reasons, but in the end organizations change how they do things and often how they are structured to better meet their goals- and very commonly, to grow” (Feigenbaum, 2014). Synergetic Solutions, Inc is a “$6 million company in the business of system integration-assembling and reselling leading computer brands. Two years ago, driven by the stagnating system integration market, Harold Redd, the Chief Executive Officer of Synergetic Solutions, made forays into the network solutions business of designing and implementing complex computing networks. Synergetic recently landed an order worth $1.2 million for designing a network, while orders worth $5 million are in the pipeline. Consequently, the network solution business accounts for 20% of the total revenues of the company, which stand at $6 million at present. Encouraged by this promising start, Harold Redd has made an important strategic decision. He has decided to focus on the networking solutions business and raise its revenues to 80% of total sales” (Human Relations and Organizational Behavior, 2014). Internal/External Forces of Change
External forces that an organization has determine the internal forces that drive the change. In order for an organization to be successful, they must be able to adapt and recognize the internal and external forces of change. The external forces of change within Synergetic Solutions are competition, technology, and customer demands. If a business wants to stay competitive, it must change the way it does business and operates. In addition, it must change what services or products it offers to its customers. Harold Redd, knew that in order for his company to stay competitive he needed to redesign his business and move from just assembling and reselling leading computer brands to the network solutions business of designing and implementing complex computing networks. “Technology is continually changing jobs and organizations” (Robbins & Judge, 2011, Chapter 18, p.590). Technology is a positive external force of change as it improves efficiencies and processes within the company. Investing in upgrading technology also allows the organization to stay competitive as an employee will be able to be more productive.
Customer demands are also another external force within Synergetic Solutions. Synergetic “recently landed an order worth $1.2 million for designing a network, while orders worth $5 million are in the pipeline” (Human Relations and Organizational Behavior, 2014). In order to not lose customers to the competition, organizations need to be able to have the capabilities to fulfill their customer’s needs. This involves making sure that technology and tools are up-to-date as well as the employees are trained on the new processes. The internal forces of change within Synergetic Solutions are the culture, the organizational structure and increasing revenue. Organizational culture “includes an organization’s expectations, experiences, philosophy, and values that hold it together, and is expressed in its self-image, inner workings, interactions with the outside world, and future expectations” (Organizational Culture, 2014). Because of external forces of change like technology, competition, and customer demands, it causes internal forces of change within Synergetic Solutions like culture, for example. Policies, procedures and expectations within a culture sometimes have to be revised or developed because of new processes and new ways of doing business.
The employees also have to be trained on these new processes or new employees with the relevant skill-sets to perform the job, will be hired. Most employees within Synergetic Solutions have a limited skill-set, in which they only “have the basic computer assembling and troubleshooting skills” (Human Relations and Organizational Behavior, 2014). Another internal force of change is organizational structure. Because of the conflicts occurring between the team leaders and the functional heads with regards to the projects, it was necessary to restructure the organizational structure within Synergetic Solutions. The work environment and the organizational structure was redesigned in which we moved from the present departmental structure to a new team-based structure. We realigned the employees into project teams. We allowed the employees to express their concerns with regards to projects and changes and their concerns were addressed. Because of the restructuring, there is better coordination between the team members. Another internal force of change is the goal of the CEO, Harold Redd, to increase revenues of the networking solutions business from 20% of sales to 80% of sales by the end of the next nine months. In order to successfully meet the goal of increasing revenue, change has to occur internally within the organization ranging from improving processes to upgrading employee skill-sets. Implementing Change
The factors that a leader need to consider to implement a change strategy successfully in this organization is that they need to make sure that there are clear and concise guidelines, policies, and procedures for the changes so that the employees do not revert back to their old behaviors. Another factor to consider is to make sure that the employees understand the reason for the change and have the necessary skill-sets to adapt to the change, so that they will be less likely to resist the changes. There are several change models that a leader might utilize to implement change within an organization. One change model that the leader might use to implement change within Synergetic Solutions is: Lewin’s Three-Step Model. “Kurt Lewin argued that successful change in organizations should follow three steps: unfreezing the status quo, movement to a desired end state, and refreezing the new change to make it permanent state” (Robbins & Judge, 2011, Chapter 18, p.596). Within the unfreezing stage, the company is evaluating and determining what needs to change and why it needs to change within the organization. “The existing system needs to be broken down before a new way of operating can be installed” (Change Management Consultant, 2014).
You have to “compel people to understand that the old ways cannot continue” in order for the company to grow (Change Management Consultant, 2014). Because Harold Redd decided to make a strategic decision to focus on the networking solutions business, this caused changes within the organization to occur. During the transition stage, the organization starts to transition into the changes that were determined during the “unfreezing” stage. Within this stage, the leader is trying to show the employees how the changes will benefit them, as well as the company. It’s important to communicate and keep your employees involved in the changes. Hold meetings to communicate the changes and address the employee concerns. Once the employees trust and understand the reasons for the change, they will be more willing to accept the change and adapt to it. During the refreezing stage, the changes that were made are becoming stabilized. At this stage, the employees are understanding the changes made and becoming comfortable with the changes.
You have to make sure that the changes stick, so that the employees do not revert back to the old ways. Throughout the Lewin Three-Step Model, effective communication is important. You have to ensure that you keep the lines of communication open so that employees can voice their concerns about the changes implemented. You also need to ensure that you hold meetings to make sure that the employees are utilizing the new way of operating within the organization. Another change model that the leader might utilize is: Organizational Development. According to Robbins & Judge (2011), organizational development is “a collection of change methods that try to improve organizational effectiveness and employee well-being” (Chapter 18, p.598).
The methods “value human and organizational growth, collaborative and participative processes, and a spirit of inquiry” (Robbins & Judge, 2011, Chapter 18, p.599). Offering incentives to the employees for competency growth and variable pay packages motivated the employees to improve their skills in order to adapt to the changes. Realigning the employees into project teams and involving the employees by allowing them to voice their concerns would improve organizational effectiveness as well. Open and effective communication is key within this model because if the employees feel engaged, involved within the process, and if they feel support from their superiors, they will be more willing to adapt to the change. Resistance to Change
Resistance to change occurs because most individuals do not like change. There are several sources for resistance to change. The kind of resistance within Synergetic Solutions is: habit, security, economic factors, fear of the unknown, and threat to expertise. Most people are stuck in their way of doing things and do not like to change. When they are confronted with change, they have the tendency to respond in their accustomed ways. People with a “high need of security are likely to resist change because it threatens their feelings of safety. Changes in job tasks or established work routines can arouse economic fears if people are concerned that they won’t be able to perform the new tasks or routines. Change substitutes uncertainty for the unknown. Changes in organizational patterns, may threaten the expertise of specialized groups” (Robbins & Judge, 2011, Chapter 18, p. 593). When employees understand the reasoning and logic behind a change, they will be more committed to adapt to the change. One way that Synergetic Solutions can manage resistance to change is by educating and communicating to the employees the logic behind the change.
Another way is by building support and commitment. You can develop a skill-set training program for the employees that will help them with the transition of the change, so that they will not have anxiety. Allowing the employees to participate, be involved and have a voice within the change process is another way in which the leader can manage resistance. Another way is to develop positive relationships. When an employee trusts the leader implementing the changes, they will be more willing to adapt to and accept the changes. Based off this analysis and the implementation of the numerous changes, Synergetic Solutions is definitely heading toward the direction of becoming a networking design “hothouse.” As long as Synergetic Solutions maintains the changes implemented, they will be successful and stay competitive. “To survive in market environments where change is the only constant, organizations need to be agile, flexible, and capable of adapting to change quickly” (Human Relations and Organizational Behavior, 2014).
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