Change can break or create success within an organisation, depending on how the organisation incorporates it into their processes and systems. However, having the ability to change to keep up with an environment is key for survival for any organisation (Hodges & Gill, 2015). Change within an organisation is a process of systems that they are wanting to move from their present state to a desired future state, which overall will increase the effectiveness of the organisation (Venkatachalam and Sellappan, 2010). However, changing a process of systems within an organisation is not that simple and successful, with support from Burnes & Jackson (2011) stating that ‘some 70% of all change initiatives fail’. According to Beer and Nohira (2000), the last time the stakes were so high with change was the industrial revolution. Living in a time of exponential change, and if you are ‘not learning, you’re losing’ (Page, 2017). Therefore, suggesting that you must adapt and transition accordingly to the evolving environment or the organisation will fail.
Katz and Khan (1966) applied systems theory to organisations. They suggested that systems theory was influenced by the ‘unknown and non-controllable variables’ (Nunes, 2016). With the unknown and out of control variables in an organisations environment, it can mean that organisations struggle to keep up to date with the changing environment. The system theory suggests that there is an open and closed system. With an open system focusing on external factors and a closed system focusing on internal factors. For an open system to work effectively the relationship between the external environment and the organisation must be open and adaptable.
The Open System’s Congruence Model by Nadler and Tushman (1980) allows organisations to analyse and evaluate the organisations strategies from different aspects. For example, the formal organisation would analyse around the structures and goals. The informal organisation would be around culture, value and norms. The task would be how something is made, produced or delivered. Lastly the individual would be analysed around the different characteristics, skills and talents or each worker. Being able to analyse each subgroup, tangible and intangible, allows the organisations to see if each are working effectively and in alignment. It also allows the organisation to see whether they are taking the inputs and processing them efficiently to produce outputs, therefore allowing the organisation to survive.
Managers use the open system theory, to understand the areas of ‘misalignment and risk’ between the organisations external environment and the organisations internal strategy and structure (Cawsey, 2016). This model is used correctly by highly effective organisations who recognise the importance of the open system cycle with its continuous evaluation of the organisation and its interaction with the external environment. If an organisation does not have managers that can see the interconnection between each factor within the open system, then these managers will not be able to make the correct strategic decisions. Managers also need to understand how each four components in the transformation process fit together and influence each other (Cawsey, 2016).
Nadler and Shaw’s trap of success model (1995) shows that organisations can become trapped by their past successes. When an organisation faces a dilemma, they tend to fall back on what they already know and use the strategies that produced their successes in the past (Nadler and Shaw, 1995). Nadler and Shaw’s model may be over 20 years old but it is still highly relevant in the 21st century environment. With markets becoming more competitive and more innovative, organisations are having to keep up with the fast-paced changes to stay relevant (Fridman, 2015). Organisations that become in denial to the ever-changing external market around them and are becoming ‘learning disabled’ (Nadler and Shaw, 1995). This is where the open system theory would link into this issue. Highly effective organisations don’t have the issue of being trapped in their own successes because they are becoming more innovative and are keeping up with the relevance of what the market wants. An example of this would be Apple, who are bringing out new products, linking to task in the open system with making the right products that consumers want.
According to Cawsey (2016), identifying change cannot always be done by looking at the organisations environment. The congruence model is used for analysing organisational problems, not for fixing them. This leaves organisations in a situation where they must use other tools to help them solve the issue. Also by using this model, it is only allowing a focus mainly on the internal environment. However, for organisation, it is just as important to see what is happening in the external environment as it is in the internal environment. For this model to work, organisations need to use other individual tools to recommend a specific change or action plan.
However, a benefit of the congruence model is that it does support the importance of achieving the ‘fit’ between the four elements and the organisation to support their strategies. If all four elements are working together, then it can create a high performance, effective and efficient organisation. And if they are not all working together and are out of sync, then the whole process is affected with the performance of an organisation also being affected.
Whole system interventions can be difficult, but by using the correct methods, it can be implemented correctly. For example, World Café has allowed new innovative approaches to be implemented (World Café, 2018). By using a world café approach, a relaxed environment is created, to allow in-depth knowledge to be shared into trying to solve a problem or create a new approach to something. While this can get lots of people to share ideas and knowledge it can be very consuming of time and money. Having collaborative approaches can be slow as people wait for everyone to agree on one way of approach. However, from a business perspective it can get different views from different levels and roles within a business. It can also generate deeper understandings of the whole system and allow a business to find a new or improved way forward for the future of the business.
Part 2: Change Plan for Fizz Event Management
Significant change means changing the direction and the way things are done within an organisation (Burke, 2018). Restructuring the organisation and creating new teams is a huge change for an organisation to deal with. Building a new team can cause many challenges and organisations need to overcome and implement the change well to make sure that the employee’s receptivity is high. Overall, creating a high-performance team is key for the success of Fizz Management. However, to create a high-performance team for Fizz Management, interventions must be put in place to allow the change to work as smoothly and effectively as possible.
Building a new team can cause many challenges, especially with the fact that in Fizz management’s case, employees previously worked on their own or in a different part of the company. The new team will have shared responsibilities and with previous work being done on its own, this could mean that the motives of individuals may not connect with the motives of the team. This could lead to confusion and frustration within the team. The biggest challenge for Fizz management is that they need to make sure the change is implemented well and that the employee’s receptivity is high.
Most of the team members seem to be ready and accepting of the change. However, 1 team member, James, seems to be still in the shock stage of the change curve. He seems to be very resistant to the change and from his point of view of being demoted, he is most likely feeling a lack of trust towards the company.
A Coaching style will be most suitable for implementing and supporting the change at Fizz Management. Goleman (2000) suggests that using a coaching style will allow a focus on personal and individual development. However, if there is resistance to change, then a coaching style may be harder to implement (Goleman, 2000).
Intervention 1: GROW
Whitmore (1979) created the GROW Model which is a very popular coaching technique, proving successful to a diverse group of people with mixed backgrounds, abilities and experiences (Performance Consultants, 2014). According to Whitmore (2009) coaching is all about ‘unlocking a person’s potential to maximise their own performance’, with the help to learn, not by teaching them. Due to Fizz Management’s team being brand new, and from different functions, this GROW Model would be useful to create new goals to work towards. Not only this, but because everyone on the team are on different levels, in terms of how they are dealing with the change, the model would help them to transition between the different stages in Bridges model (1991). Using the GROW model, the team members as individuals will be able to let go of their old role within their old team and making it easier to be engaged fully within their new role in the new team (Bridges, 1991. Cited in Hayes, 2018).
There are many benefits to using the GROW model, especially with new teams. Even though this is more of an individual technique, overall it can improve the potential of the individual within a team situation. It can promote a higher responsivity and can also encourage positive behaviour within a team (Performance Consultants, 2014). This will be good for the team member, James, especially because he is showing negative behaviour towards the change. However, the coach needs to have a coaching mind-set before coaching a mentee. This is because there is the risk that they will go in with a teaching mind-set and trail off into to telling them what to do rather than just listening and prompting with questions. By having each individual set new goals, each member will have something to work towards. This will be seen as a new motive and can be rewarding for the team members.
Intervention 2: Team Advantage Coaching Technique
This intervention was inspired by Raleigh in the article on team building (Ray et al, 2017). The article showed a similar situation of Fizz Management and the new teams. This intervention is a team building process called Team Management which is a propriety team coaching method. Team advantage is made up of 4 phases. Team Advantage can improve a team’s focus on business goals.
The first Phase is where the internal seniors and external staff carry out assessments including confidential interviews. Each individual staff member is more likely to have trust in the process from the beginning due to internal and external members of staff carrying out this process. Employees may be more honest about their emotions towards the change when speaking to an external member. This may be personally the best for James, due to his high resistance to change. With confidential talks, James may feel he can be open about his emotions and how he feels about the change.
Phase 2 includes off-site workshops where a team charter is developed to help build concrete business goals. This will allow fizz management to focus on strategic drivers. Due to the workshops being off-site, employees may feel more relaxed in a different environment, leaving them able to communicate in a less stressful environment. Using a team building exercise will allow each member, with huge personality differences to come together and understand a core value of the business for them and their team.
The 3rd phase is a coaching approach with 1:1 coaching with senior leaders. Improving their leadership skills will allow them to communicate and understand their team better. Also by improving their understanding of the change itself, it will allow them to be trusted more by their fellow colleagues. Overall it will enhance the leadership skills of the senior leaders over the lifetime of the project or change.
Finally phase 4 will be the follow up. This is a process that is continuous and allows skills to be built upon. Feedback is a very important aspect of change. Having the constant feedback is key. According to Hickman (2010) due to a constant flex, constant feedback is needed and this is where feedback such as 360 feedback comes into place. Reflection is also essential to building upon skills, as reflection allows strengths and weaknesses to be talked about.
However, 70% of change initiatives do fail (Burnes and Jackson, 2011) and this does need to be taken into consideration when implementing a change in the first place. Fizz management need to be aware of this figure, and that the change may not work the first time, meaning they will need to adapt the change to the situation.
Part 3: Supporting Middle Managers
The restructuring of BCP Aeroservices was a huge change for this organisation and the middle managers encountered many problems. Interventions are the solution to these problems. Intervening is all about listening and advising, not telling them what to do (Hayes, 2018).
Taking a supportive approach seems the best way for BCP’s middle managers. This involves ‘clarifying views and expressing feelings and emotions’ (Hayes, 2018: 107). According to Ford and Ford (2009) engagement, listening and sharing the problem is the answer. This action learning solution, allows, in this case, the middle managers to be heard and understood by senior management. Interaction between middle managers and senior management is poorly understood (Floyd and Wooldridge, 1997: Balogun, 2003 cited in Hope, 2010), and this is clear in the restructuring of BCP. Many workers will be in the depression stage of the change curve (Hayes, 2018), and these middle managers will have to support them through the reality of the change. While the workers are having emotional support, the middle managers are lacking this from the senior management. Not only will the workers be in the depression stage of the model of change curve, the middle managers will have hit the shock stage due to the sudden change. The middle managers have suggested that they have no power over the change, that they may necessarily not agree with. This can lead them to frustration stage in the change curve, as they are trying to implement change into the organisation while not necessarily agreeing with it.
Traditional assumptions of change being implemented was all about the control of top-down where senior managers direct the change, and monitor the change too. According to Balogun (2006 cited in Balogun and Hope-Hailey, 2008), these traditional assumptions have changed, with senior managers only initiating and influencing the direction for the change, not actually directing it. This is left to the middle managers to do. These managers carry out orders and implement change without questioning it, even if they don’t necessarily agree with it. Not being able to be effective communicators, middle managers will struggle to bring a ‘compelling vision of a better future’ to the employees by motivating them about the implementation of the new changes (Hayes, 2018:224).
An intervention that could be a solution to the problems that have arisen, would be personal coaching. According to (Whitmore, 2002) coaching is about ‘helping them to learn rather than teaching them’. By focusing on the individuals in the open system theory, it is key to the external alignment to make sure everyone is aware of what is happening.
Within the organisation, emotions are the key issue. To overcome this, soft approaches would be more appropriate. A soft approach for this organisation would be personal coaching. Personal coaching can help bring mechanisms out to say how the managers are feeling at present and then what can be done about it. Using a theory Y approach (McGregor, 1960), will reduce the feeling of being a ‘cog in the machine’ (Mind Tools, 2018), which managers in this case study seem to have felt. Talking about feelings and emotions of the individuals will allow them to feel more understood, just like they understand their colleagues bellow them.
Linking to the Team Performance Model, trust is key within a team. Without building trust, a team would struggle to function. Yes, this team has huge connections and emotions within the team, the trust has
recently been lacking
due to implementation of a dramatic change. The high amount of redundancies throughout the team, will indefinitely affect the emotions of the team and the trust with higher authority.
Part 4: Reflection
Before beginning the Managing Change module, I did not have a huge understanding around the topic of change within an organisation. I also did not realise the extent to which how important change management is within an organisation and what effects it can have if not implemented in the correct way.
I believe that I have always been open to change and I understand the importance of the when and why the change must happen. This module has allowed me to understand in depth why there is resistance to change, linking the change curve (Hayes, 2018), with the different stages that each individual will go through when change is occurring. This links to emotions being highly affected when changes occur, allowing me to help understand the important issues when going through change within the workplace in the future.
However, while being open to change, I was and am still anxious about the change going ahead. Meeting new people and learning to communicate correctly with them can cause me anxiety. During this semester, a change in our presentation groups came as a shock. Even though I am open to change, not being informed beforehand, made me anxious. I was anxious about having to create an efficient and coordinated team quickly, while also getting to know the team members.
I have created some smart goals to take with me into the workplace in the future.
Smart Goal 1:
- When meeting new people, I will become aware of the anxiety I am feeling. By taking a mental note each time, I will be able to try a work on my feelings and overcome the anxiety.
Smart Goal 2:
- When meeting new people, I will take a deep breath and approach the new team member to introduce myself.
The smart goals above will benefit me. Even though these goals seem simple, they will help me to include myself within the team straight away. This will allow me to get to know the strengths and weaknesses of each team member. By getting to know the new members, it will help me overcome the fear of communicating with them. By taking a mental note each time of my feelings, I will be able to try and work on my feelings and overcome the anxiety they cause.
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