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HRM 587 DeVry Week 1 Discussion 1
Stories for Change
Chapter 1 of your textbook includes, on page 9, Table 1.1, “Managing Change: Some Lessons from the Four Stor
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Chapter 1 of your textbook includes, on page 9, Table 1.1, “Managing Change: Some Lessons from the Four Stories.” Review the four “lessons” (bullet points) on the table, and think about what some of the key “learning points” you gleaned about change from these stories. Then, do one of two things:
Post the top three learning points you gleaned from the stories, and include how the stories for change helped you learn these points, or
Research one of the four companies and see how or if that company has since changed (yet more) since the time of the book’s publication. How did that recent change fit with or not fit in with the “lessons” that the textbook mentions the company “learned” from their original set of changes? Explain what you find (bring the URL of the research/article you used to help you).
Your instructor will follow up with you with additional questions throughout the week to push the learning further. Feel free to discuss your classmates’ findings and thoughts on these questions with each other as well.
Hi class, and welcome to week one! Our TCO’s this week are A and B. This thread will focus on TCO A, which has to do with understanding the nature of change in an organizational setting. Be sure to read chapter one (Stories of Change) before posting. Then choose either option one or two from the discussion instructions: either post your top three learning points, or research one of the four companies and see what has changed….
HRM 587 DeVry Week 1 Discussion 2
Pressures for Change
Organizations change due to many different pressures. In your lecture for Week 1, as well as your reading in Chapter 3, you are introduced to many of these pressures. Think about a time at work, at school, or at home, when you have been subjected to similar pressures (this is “your” example). Did that pressure make you change or “dig in your heels” and refuse to change? What does that say about pressures for change? Does it always lead to change?
Provide your example in your first post, and if you can, explain how the theories on “pressures for change” help explain why you were or weren’t actually pressured to change in your example. Please also discuss your classmates’ examples with them. In follow-up posts, talk about how these pressures did or didn’t cause a company to change, to their benefit or detriment.
Class: In this thread, we will be talking about the driving forces for change, or the environmental pressures that cause change. Later in the week we will also discuss the forces that hold back change, or act as barriers to change. Let’s start with your personal example, per the discussion instructions. Think about a time at work, at school, or at home, when you have been subjected to similar pressures (this is “your” example). Did that pressure make you change or “dig in your heels” and refuse to change? What does that say about pressures for change? Does it always lead to change?….
HRM 587 DeVry Week 2 Discussion 1
What Change’s in Companies?
The textbook talks about many types of “change.” Here is a list of many of the “types”: first order, second order, anticipatory, reactive, adaptive, tuning, adaptation, reorientation, recreation, midroad, tectonic, incremental, transformational, downsizing, technological, mergers and acquisitions. It is all quite overwhelming, really. Our goal this week is to gain clarity and understanding of the differences among the types of changes.
Consider the company you have selected (or one of them you are still choosing between) and discuss a recent change which has occurred at that organization. Pick which “type” of change you would say that change was, and why. Utilize the course textbook as the start for analyzing the theory of the change. Explain the theory of the change.
Do you agree with the change which the company has decided to take? Let’s get started, and we will be addressing more questions about this throughout the week. Further, feel free to debate/discuss your classmates’ project/company findings with them as well…
HRM 587 DeVry Week 2 Discussion 2
Green Mountain Resort Case
The Green Mountain Resort case is a perfect one for us to work together as a class on the different images for change and how they are reflected (or could have been reflected) in that case. We will cover multiple facets of this throughout the week but to start, let’s talk about the role that Gunter plays in our case study this week. For our opening posts, pick one or two of the following (or debate with your classmates):
1. Which image of leader do you see Gunter best fitting into? Why do you think this?
2. How did Gunter use that image to “lead” the company through this change?
3. Which image do you think YOU would have selected to lead the company through the change, and how would this have been better than how Gunter led the change?
Do you think it sometimes make sense to lead a change effort from different perspectives, at different stages of the change? Perhaps leading as a “Navigator” early on, but then shifting to mentor or “Coach?…
HRM 587 DeVry Week 3 Discussion 1
The Diagnostic Model
Chapter 5 identifies several diagnostic models. The first five speak of the overall structure of the organization. Select one of these five and research it on the Internet. Discuss why you chose this particular model, with special emphasis on the components included and how they (and the model) fit with your view of the organization you are researching for your project. Speak also to what you see as the model’s strengths and weaknesses….
HRM 587 DeVry Week 3 Discussion 2
Force Field Analysis
The Force Field Analysis Model is one of the most famous in change management. It was originally developed by Kurt Lewin and can be found in Chapter 5 at the end of the chapter (printed page 151). Review this model and relate it to an issue in your organization or your associations outside of work. Define how understanding the “forces for” and the “forces against” inter-relate. What insights did you get from the analysis? Define how understanding the “forces for” and the “forces against” inter-relate. What insights did you get from the analysis?…
HRM 587 DeVry Week 4 Discussion 1
Barriers to Change
(Note: This case is a work of fiction.) Addition/Subtraction Company (A/SC) is a textbook publisher for math education, including 1st grade through graduate school levels. The company has been supplying textbooks to public education schools (grade – university level) for 55 years. The company has always prided itself on the loyalty it shows to its employees in that almost all of its authors are full-time employees, and very little of the work done in the organization is farmed out to independent contractors.
However, over the last 10 years, the earnings of the company have taken a huge hit, partly because of the No Child Left Behind Act, which caused some of A/SC’s textbooks to fall out of print before they made a profit, and partly because of the increase in costs due to the company’s health insurance premiums when a large number of their employee base (and their families) contracted serious illnesses requiring lengthy and expensive treatments which has impacted the bottom line of the company.
The HR Vice President has reviewed the business practices of their two main competitors, and realized that they are making their profits because they rely mainly on independent contractor authors, paying them only royalties on sales versus the salary/benefits packages which A/CS employees make. Further, because the other companies have a wide open subject matter expert pool by using independent contractors, they are much more nimble at reacting to changes in need of the market, and they can offer more math areas in their textbooks, giving them a larger market share. In fact, the last projection which was done by the marketing team showed that A/CS was going to be out of business in two years if they don’t change something quickly.
The HR Vice President is going to recommend to her CEO that the author group of employees (numbering 510) be downsized out of the company and replaced with independent contractors. Further, because of certain employment laws, none of those who are downsized will be invited back as independent contractors. The publishing team will be expected to work with independent contractors and manage all book writing projects using less human power as well. That team will be downsized by 15% over the next year. Choices of “who” will be downsized will be based on a review of the last two years of performance evaluations, seniority, and roles.
This week, discuss the barriers that will exist to successful implementation of this change. Along with discussing how the change itself will be perceived by the employees, talk about risks to the company, internal and external factors which will create barriers, and challenges to overcome them.
HRM 587 DeVry Week 4 Discussion 2
Emotional Intelligence/Overcoming Resistance
(Note: This case is a work of fiction.) Lefty’s BBQ is a U.S. national restaurant chain which serves beef, pork, and chicken barbecue along with Pepsi products, thin-cut French fries or slaw as sides, and offers biscuits or garlic bread as well. The restaurant operates as a drive-up only, with parking lots available at most locations for people to sit and eat in their cars, as well as picnic tables outside in some southern locations. The “average” customer is white male and about 35-45 years old. Many of the workers in the chain are high school part-time, hourly workers who operate the registers, clean-up, and cooking. Managers range from the age of 18+. Lefty’s BBQ senior management has implemented a change plan to introduce alcoholic beverages to its menu (beer and wine only). This is going to impact quite a bit of the operations, and certainly is going to impact the employee base, as in most states, to serve alcohol will require employees to be a minimum of 21 years of age. Due to some licensing issues, Lefty’s is also going to switch from Pepsi products to Coke products along with introducing the beer and wine to its new menu. Unfortunately, the press got a hold of this change in plan before senior management had communicated the change to the rest of the employees throughout the country. Identify, discuss, and begin to address the many resistances, emotional intelligence issues, and unintended consequences which the management will face and need to overcome and handle throughout this change.
HRM 587 DeVry Week 5 Discussion 1
Organizational Development Theory and Practices
JetBlue Airways is a company which has embraced the OD theory and allowed OD’s vision of emotional intelligence, value proposition, positive reinforcement, and change through improvement and culture to drive much of its results over the past years. The airline industry is one in which external influences have had an unbelievable impact on the bottom line of all of the companies that fly. Thus, it may defy imagination at first that in an industry of barely controlled daily chaos, Jet Blue has found a way to make OD work to control that chaos. Interestingly, in 2010, JetBlue was one of only three domestic airlines to turn a profit, and their CEO, David Barger, is the lowest-paid CEO among the 10 largest publicly traded U.S. airlines in 2010. (Potkewitz) Doing research online, use a Google™, Bing™, or other search-engine-style search, and find case analyses or articles discussing JetBlue’s OD approach. Start the week by reviewing this article, “An Extraordinary Stumble At JetBlue,” found at http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/07_10/b4024004.htm. After the crisis, CEO Neeleman was terminated and Barger was put in his place. The company has grown since Barger’s implementation. Their focus on organizational development, and company values and culture, continues to this day, which is why it is not a surprise to see that JetBlue Airways was one of the main case studies presented at the 2011 Customer Experience Strategies Summit in Toronto, where Vicky Stennes, VP of Inflight Experience presented on their inside-out approach to motivating employees by creating a customer-service-centric business model.
We’ll begin with these questions:
1. How does a company with an OD approach differ from one without that approach?
2. Which company would you prefer to work for – one with an OD approach or one without?
3. Do OD companies offer a higher value proposition to their customers than non-OD companies? And if so, why don’t all companies take this approach?…
HRM 587 DeVry Week 5 Discussion 2
Kotter's Eight Step Model
Class, you will be the “change agents” for this change. Your professor will be the CEO, issuing dictates, orders, suggestions, support, ideas, and thoughts. However, you, as class members, will need to take each new piece of information and determine how it will fit into your plans for change, as change agents. Keep an eye on the new information as well as how your colleagues are addressing it. Innovation, creativity, and level headedness is key to making this week’s solution succeed. Good luck!
Here’s the change: Bubble Bath Inc. is a privately owned company with approximately 2,000 employees whose make up is primarily line workers. Management makes up about 20% of the company, with the remaining 1,600 people working to produce the line of bathtubs, hot tubs/spas, and designer fixtures for which the company has become famous. The company started 10 years ago working out of the initial founder’s garage, and quickly increased in size when Jacuzzis became a standard fixture in many middle-class remodels and new constructions. Due to excellent marketing strategies, Bubble Bath Inc. has not experienced a downturn in sales despite the recent economic downturn in construction. Instead, they have parlayed the middle-class flight from tourism to encourage the “staycation” and the upgrade of the home as the new spa of the 21st Century. Profits last year were up 15% and everyone is feeling cautiously optimistic. Nevertheless, the CEO is concerned with market analysis reports that despite the staycation mentality, growth over the next two years is predicted to be stagnant to declining. Last week, as per the original exit strategy of the founding investors, the company will be restructured into a limited partnership of three people from an incorporation model of 15 shareholders. 12 of the shareholders will be paid a return of 8% on their investment, and the remaining 3 shareholders will form a limited partnership. As a result, the CEO has received word from the new partners that they want to change the operations model as follows, effective in three months:
Discontinue the line of designer fixtures and focus solely on hot tubs and bathtubs. (This will mean eliminating two lines of 30 employees each.)
B. Move the entire operation from the city of Atlanta, GA to a town 25 miles south of Atlanta called McDonough, where all 3 of the partners reside. No relocation packages will be offered, but those employees who choose to “retire” at the time of the move will receive a 4 weeks’ severance package. A new building which was originally intended to be a “HottubsRUs” factory is sitting vacant and the partners bought it for a steal. They already have a buyer for the old factory in Atlanta.
C. For the first time, include a sales office right in the new production building where a showcase with sales staff will be located. Along with supplying retail stores, the company will now also sell directly, both in the office and online. Initially, 5 sales people and one sales manager will be hired.
Your CEO has asked you, the managers, to come up with a change plan using Kotter’s 8-step model. What are the first things that you will do in order to create a plan for change which will maximize efficiencies, utilize current processes, and ensure that profits continue? Who wants to start?…
HRM 587 DeVry Week 6 Discussion 1
Types of Communication Methods
Throughout the term, you have been researching two companies and the change plans each underwent. This week, you will be working on the communication plan which you feel one of the companies most likely used (or you will create one you would have recommended it use). This plan will include types/methods of communication, a timeline for that communication, etc. (See the project for more details.) This week, we want to work together and look at types of communication. Also, you will be given an opportunity to share a draft of the “sample” communication you are going to provide for your project, and receive feedback from your classmates.
First, let’s talk about the different types of communication methods and when each may be used and why. Take a look at the examples of types of communication methods listed (in this week’s lecture). Pick ONE of the types, and describe that type of communication, explain who would use it, provide a potential audience for that particular type of communication and the pros/cons of using that particular type of communication. Or respond to a colleague who has already posted.
For example, a conversation is a type of communication. Two managers may use it, they might discuss with each other their roles in a change, their concerns about the change, and how they plan to discuss the change with their teams. A pro of this style of communication is that it is cheap, immediate, has an instant feedback mechanism, and is relatively easy and low-key; a con is that it can be overheard and repeated by others who aren’t to hear it yet, it is difficult to memorialize or “prove”, and/or it can be twisted later by others….
HRM 587 DeVry Week 6 Discussion 2
Tyco Case Study
Review the Case Study on the Tyco company which appears in your textbook at the end of Chapter 11, pp. 345-346. After reading the case, let’s start the discussions with these questions.
1. How did the turnaround team use Gerard and Teurf’s transformation skills (discussed earlier in Chapter 11) to overcome the frustrations of employees?
2. What were some of the examples given in the case which led you to think those transformational skills were used?
3. Of the three types of cultural transformation (behavioral, experiential, and attitudinal), which of these types occurred in the Tyco case, and why do you think so?…
HRM 587 DeVry Week 7 Discussion 1
NASA Case Study
Read the end-of-chapter case in Chapter 12 of your text and do Internet research on NASA during both disasters, with particular emphasis on the disasters’ effects on the culture. Why do you feel it is so difficult to “sustain” cultural change in a large organization AFTER the immediate effects of a major event like Challenger or Columbia? What role should leadership play in working to “institutionalize” such cultural changes? Why do you feel it is so difficult to “sustain” cultural change in a large organization AFTER the immediate effects of a major event like Challenger or Columbia?…
HRM 587 DeVry Week 7 Discussion 2
Cracking the Code of Change: HBR Article
Locate and read the HBR article, “Cracking the Code of Change,” in the Online Library. It can be found through a general search in EBSCOhost, in the Harvard Business Review collection, May-June 2000 issue.
The article identifies two primary types of change that are most prevalent in today’s organizational world. Which type (E Change or O Change) do you think is most prevalent and what factors in our society influence that predominance? How can a leader best work toward a synthesis of both types to maximize the effectiveness of each for a successful change initiative? What are the benefits of each approach? What are the risks and costs associated with each?…sked you, the managers, to come up with a change plan using Kotter’s 8-step model. What are the first things that you will do in order to c