Any organization that operates in a real world is prone to changes, which may occur from time to time. Organizations must therefore be ready to tackle the changes, failure to which they may find it difficult to compete effectively. Generally, changes are strongly resisted by the members of the organizations; therefore, in implementing the changes, proper channels must be followed to avoid friction between the various stakeholders and for the changes to have the desired outcomes (Thomson & Martin, 2005, p. 129).
Importantly, change management and strategy implementation are geared towards increasing competitiveness of the organization; therefore, quality implementation programs in corporate level changes or multi-organizational changes are essential, as it was in the case of Land Rover Group’s introduction of flexible working patterns in its production line in the 1980s (Partridge and Sinclair-Hunt, 2006, p. 215).
Process of delivering change
The initial phase of the change approach is the identification of areas in which the organization needs to effect changes in its activities. In most cases, people responsible for initiating the change may have been dodging the issue, but a time comes when they finally have to face the issue (Coghlan & Rashford, 2006, p. 79).
In the case of land Rover, facing competition in the automobile industry, the company had to change its working hours following its merger with BMW in the 1980s; however, the scheme did not pick until in early year 2000 (DTI, 2005).
During this stage, the individual outlines how the change would be implemented. The individual or management sells the vision of a new order to people who may be affected by the change. In addition, the individual concentrates on selling the vision of change to the team leaders of the affected groups, thus reducing resistance and leading to successful implementation (Coghlan & Rashford, 2006, p. 79).
In Land Rover Company, the Collective Working Time Flexibility scheme was not immediately embraced by all employees, who faced challenge in planning their finances amid changes in working hour patterns, thus necessitating the need for the management to suspend production for several hours and organize a presentation to all employees in order to win their support (DTI, 2005, p. 15).
During this stage, the managers set out the specific outcomes that are required to be obtained from the change in the organization. For the change to be a success, the organization must be aware of the expectation and demands of all stakeholders of the organization (Coghlan & Rashford, 2006, p. 82). This is an important aspect of change management and can be evidenced by the case of Land Rover’s initiative to engage all company’s unions in negations about how to implement the new system.
During this stage, the organization attempts to nominate specific roles to certain employees in order to effect the change. The organization also identifies whether certain aspects of change are being sustained. Therefore, once the person who is effecting the change to take place is satisfied that the change is effected properly, the next stage of implementation of the change can begin (Coghlan & Rashford, 2006, 83)
In order for some changes to be put in place, the organization should come up with training strategies, which will enable employees to gain the necessary knowledge that will enable them to perform well, as well as ensure that the change is entrenched in the organization’s culture.
Feedback and reward
After the implementation of changes, the company should ensure that it regularly gets feedback on how the change is implemented. The company should ensure that exemplary work in conformity to the change is rewarded to encourage more employees to work under the change. In Land Rover, the implementation of Reduced Hours Account (RHA) strategy succeeded as employees were rewarded on their innovation and productivity with conversion of saved hours to cash or retirement benefits and extended leave hours (DTI, 2005)..
Managing strategic change
Most of the employees of an organization usually resist changes, the main reason being the fact that some changes may affect the status quo of the employees, or increase workload. Therefore, given that changes may require extra resources to implement, the organization must come up with effective change management strategies, which will address all the impediments of change.
Several different models have been proposed to help in the change management as discussed below.
Lewin’s unfreeze-change-refreeze model
The method entails three main steps: Unfreezing refers to the process in which the factors, which stabilized the working conditions prior to the implementation of change, are removed. Change is then implemented after the freezing period until a period where balance is reached (Sinclair-Hunt & Simms, n.d. p. 124).
Kanter’s ‘ten commandments for executing change’
According to Kanter, the following measures need to be taken to ensure that the change is effectively implemented:
The management should analyze the organization and determine whether it needs change
Create a vision which is shared and one which has a common direction
Separation of the changes from the past practices
Creation of a sense of urgency in implementation of the change
Support a strong leader
Line up political sponsorship
Draft an implementation plan
Develop enabling structures
Communicate involve people and be honest
Reinforce and institutionalize change (Sinclair-Hunt & Simms, n.d. p. 128)
Gemini’s 4-Rs of transformation
This model consists of reframing in preparation for change, restructuring, revitalization, and renewal (Partridge & Sinclair-Hunt, n.d., p. 236).
Monitoring impact and Risk management plan
The organization should monitor the impact of changes and compare them with the desired outcome over a specific period, where negative impact on productivity will necessitate seeking alternative strategy (Lepsinger, 2010, p. 207).
Before the implementation of the changes, the organization should identify the possible risks that may occur due to the change implementation and formulate effective mechanisms to handle such risks (Great Britain Office of Government Commerce, 2007, p. 25).
The above strategies can be effectively implemented by Land Rover group by helping them diversify their services and provide other services that may not be related to car manufacturing. The organization can diversify its services to include logistical management activities and offering training programs in automobiles to not only its employees, but also any other interested persons in the UK.
Prior to the implementation of the changes, the company should be able to calculate the risks that may be involved with the implementation. Given that the automobile industry faces peak and trough seasons in a given year, the organization should be able to project its finances to activities effectively, as well allocate working hours efficiently in order to eliminate any chances of redundancy, thus increasing its competitiveness all year round.
The organization should also ensure that it offers necessary training to all employees on how to undertake different activities that are part of the changes.
Change in an organization is inevitable. The management must therefore be ready to effectively implement the changes that may occur in the organization. The organization can achieve this by implementing the changes systematically, while at the same time ensuring conflict does not arise.
Moreover, to ensure that change management and strategy implementation are successful, the management needs to diversify services, allow collective participation, carry out pre-implementation risk analysis, and provide training programs to all employees.
Coghlan, D. & Rashford, N., 2006. Organizational change and strategy: an interlevel dynamics approach. Oxon: Taylor & Francis.
DTI. 2005. Managing Change: Practical ways to Reduce Long Hours and Reform Working Practices, Land Rover Case. (online). Available from: http://www.bis.gov.uk/files/file14239.pdf (Accessed March 21, 2011).
Great Britain Office of Government Commerce. 2007. Management of risk: guidance for practitioners. London: The Stationery Office.
Lepsinger, R., 2010. Closing the Execution Gap: How Great Leaders and Their Companies Get Results. London: John Wiley and Sons.
Partridge, L. & Sinclair-Hunt, M., 2006. Strategic management. Cambridge: Select Knowledge Limited.
Sinclair-Hunt, M. & Simms, H., N.d. Organisational Behaviour and Change Management. Cambridge: Select Knowledge Limited.
Thomson, J. L. & Martin, F., 2005. Strategic management: awareness and change. London: Cengage Learning EMEA.