- Discuss the need for change for the company in the scenario using either the systems contingency model or the organizational life cycle model.
The company needs to change its strategies because of the environment it exists in. Using the systems contingency model, which states that organizations vary their changes according to changes in the environment (D’Ortenzio, 2012), the company needs to change its goals. Also, it needs to change its strategies and strategy implementation if it has to fit in the changing world of business. To be particular, it has to change the organizational structure, and also allow employees to contribute to decision making. The reason for this is because employees can influence the success of a company. The fact that it is expanding worldwide calls for change even in technology. It has to employ the upcoming fast technology to meet the needs of its prospects.
- Describe the differences (at least two) between a learning organization and a traditional organization.
In the traditional organization, conflicts are solved by the top management by use of power and hierarchy while in the learning organization, conflicts are solved by integrating the views of different personnel in the organization where they discuss and come up with solutions. For instance, when solving a conflict between two employees, the management may involve supervisors and other employees in solving the conflict.
In the traditional organization, ideas and decisions are made by the top management and the employees have to adhere, on the other hand, ideas and decision making in a learning organization are open to every level of management. For instance, a junior manager can implement ideas.
- Identify which stage of Woolmer’s 5-stage model the company is currently in.
The company is currently at the end of stage two of Woolmer’s 5-stage which is the developing stage.
- Explain why the company is currently in the identified stage of Woolmer’s 5-stage model.
It is at the end of stage two because it is developing across the world. It has expanded its services internationally with over 500 employees. Additionally, it has improved its profit margin from $1 million in sales to $100 million. This is proof that the company is rapidly growing. On top of this, it has noted that some changes need to be done such as the technology it uses. This is a sign of a developing company.
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2. Explain how the company from the scenario would use Senge’s 5 disciplines to become a learning organization.
The company would incorporate everyone associated with it including the employees to come up with a clear vision for the company. This involves the managers, supervisors, employees, and key stakeholders. It provides a common direction for everyone to work on a common goal. A shared vision provides focus and energy to employees (Bhasin, 2019). By this, employees will be motivated and find interest in what they are doing.
This involves the implementation of ideas and problem-solving. If the need for this arises, the top managers should not make decisions on their own, rather, they should include other management levels. They should give room for other people to channel their views because a business is made of many other objects. This is vital because other people may have more knowledge than the managers and in some instances, it would be hard for managers to make successful decisions. For instance, when deciding to buy new equipment for the company, the managers need to incorporate junior staff. Through this, the company will become a learning organization.
If the company is to become a learning organization, it must encourage team learning by investing in training their employees as a team rather than an individual. Team learning means the company providing educational programs to its employees. For instance, a manager should not invest in their education up to Ph.D. levels whereas some employees don’t have enough skills for their work. Organizing training workshops for employees may help with this. They will also be able to adjust to advancing technology through being taught the practical skills. Additionally, if team learning is encouraged, employees foster good relationships within the company. In the end, employees as well as managers will have gained skills thereby making the company a learning organization.
It includes an individual putting their 100% effort in learning the skills necessary for a task. If the company urges every employee to do their best, without doubts the company will achieve its goals. Individuals should also strive to master the necessary skills needed for their job. The company can help with this by organizing self-improvement programs that will see to it that the staff and employees are motivated to perform to their best. It will result in the production of more quality products. By this, the company continues to learn thus improving.
The company needs to set the minds of its employees according to the company’s norms and values. This is because the employees perform according to what they think or assume of the company and the norms and values act as driving force to them. Integrating new skills, values, and norms in the workplace creates the right mindset about the organization to the employees. By this, employees get to learn how they are supposed to behave making the company a learning organization.
- Identify the end result and nature of the change to take the company from a traditional organization to a learning organization using Balogun and Hope-Hailey’s model.
The company could consider taking incremental nature of change and realignment as the end result
- Explain why the end result and nature of change would be appropriate for the company in the scenario using Balogun and Hope-Hailey’s model.
Incremental changes would favor the company in that if the changes fail the company will not suffer a massive impact. For the company to become a learning organization, it will need to adapt to gradual practices that will realign its way of doing things. This is because the incremental nature of change involves small changes that if they fail, will not have a massive impact on the organization. The practices ought to identify areas of concern that require change, adapt to them, and realign the company. For instance, installing new software applications would result in an increased speed of activities being done, introducing training to employees would result in more knowledge thus high productivity. These changes are gradual but their results realign the company into being a learning organization.
- Discuss how four steps of the action research model could be applied to the change process (traditional organization to learning organization) for the company in the scenario.
The company could partner with their researcher to identify the areas they need to change. For instance, it could be how ideas are implemented, training of employees, or employing digital technology. Employees can also be included to channel the problems they encounter when on duty. Diagnosis can also be done by the company involving its prospects and put into consideration their feedback.
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After identifying the areas of change, the company can list down all the possibilities on how they should approach the change. This could be from holding interviews with the staff and the employees to gather their opinions, or involving experts. For instance increasing the number of employees, providing days off, buying new equipment, and so on, and then selecting the most basic areas.
After, selecting the areas that need change, the company needs to implement the actions. For example, buying new equipment, organizing training workshops for employees, among others. (Serverson, 2015) says that there is something magical in the concept of ‘just doing’. Therefore, doing the action itself is already a step ahead. Furthermore, taking action will help the company avoid delays and move along with the changing world. By this, the company will rapidly transform into a learning organization.
After taking action, a learning organization must study the overall impact of its actions. The evaluation will enable the company to identify the weaknesses, strengths, threats, and opportunities associated with is actions. Identifying these factors is also crucial for the company in gaining a competitive advantage and grabbing the highest market share. By this, it will know where to improve the chances.
E. Recommend two innovation strategies that management could use to transition the company in the scenario from a traditional organization to a learning organization.
The management of the company could use active and passive strategies for innovation to become a learning organization.
- Explain how one recommended innovation strategy would be used by management in the company’s change process.
On the passive strategy, the management could wait for customers to give feedback about the products or services. This would be wiser because the consumers are the ones using the products. So their feedback would be essential as the management will know where to apply changes in its products. For example, if the company manufactures mattresses, the consumers could complain that the sides of the mattresses are not uniform. The management should in turn take the advantage and if it puts into account the feedback of the consumers, then it is transitioning to a learning organization.
- Discuss how four steps of Kotter’s 8-step model could be applied to the change process for the company in the scenario.
This can be done by identifying the potential threats that may harm the company. By this, it will be able to apply changes before they have negative repercussions in the company. For instance, buying new equipment to replace outdated ones would help to make high-quality products. If there is no urgency, other companies may overtake and capture close to the whole market. Thus, urgency is important if the company is to embrace change.
Building Guiding Team
A powerful team that could lead to the process would be vital. The company can form a group of people who seem to be influential and critical thinkers. Key stakeholders as well as experts can be included. This team should be very vigilant and responsible for any activity that happens at the company. For instance, it should observe how the employees work and identify any factors within them that need changes. By this, the company will improve to be a learning organization.
Develop a Vision and a Strategy
The management can do this by revising the previous vision to come up with a new one. The vision must be specific, measurable, attainable, and realistic. Additionally, it should be relevant to both the company and the consumers. The core values of the company must be considered when creating a vision. A vision helps a company to focus and create purpose in what it is doing (Kotter &Cohen, 2012).
Communicating the Vision
Communicating the new vision often to the staff, employees, and the key stakeholders of the company will be imperative. There is power in communicating something. This will set their mindset and they will always think about bringing change into the company. The company can do this during a meeting, training workshops, placing stickers on notice boards across the company’s compound among other ways. Communication will aid the company to become a learning organization.
- Explain how each of the five pillars of sustainable change could be applied to sustain the learning organization environment of the company in the scenario.
Leaders in the company need to show the direction to the learning environment, that is, the employees to facilitate positive change. The leadership of the company determines the direction the company will take in the future. Thus, having strong leaders who can make informed decisions is imperative. Leaders’ momentum will determine the speed employees will take to implement change.
Strategy in this context means the company making itself the market leader. To maintain the existing market during the process of change, the company needs to be customer-centric to avoid to remain in the competitive edge. Also, connecting with its customers through the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform will foster good relations.
The company ought to adopt a culture of open-minded communication, encouraging its employees, critical thinking, and sharing a common goal with its employees and staff. A culture means practices that the employees, managers, and stakeholders will make a habit to follow. If they are strong enough, the company will evolve into a learning organization.
The company needs to have an organizational structure that allows everybody to air their ideas including employees rather than only the top management. Having this will eliminate fear in potential employees who can contribute to the success of the company. This will allow them to share their knowledge and aid in decision-making, problem-solving among other issues. Therefore, it will create a successful environment for learning.
Technology and System
As technology advances, the company also ought to advance. It needs to incorporate new technologies and systems such as expert and decision making systems. If this is done, its products will be of high-quality courtesy of new technology. Also, employing technology when holding online meetings such as the zoom platform will facilitate learning and advancement in the company.
Bhasin, H. (2019, October 18). What is a learning organization? Peter Senge’s 5 disciplines of learning. Retrieved from https://www.marketing91.com/learning-organization/
D’Ortenzio, C. (2012). Understanding change and change management processes: A case study.
Kotter, J. P., & Cohen, D. S. (2012). The heart of change: Real-life stories of how people change their organizations. Harvard Business Press.
Serverson, D. (2015, January 28). The power of taking action. Retrieved from https://www.inc.com/dana-severson/the-power-of-taking-action-how-i-got-unstuck-and-started-living-my-dream.html