Change is inevitable and an integral part of life, beneficial to the people or an organisation. Many organisations are able to initiate change and succeed in doing so, but some are not quite as successful therefore require a proper strategic plan to effectively implement change. The change management plan has to be properly planned to ensure its success. Many people have come up with various plans that aim to assist an organisation to successfully implement change. In this case, the focus is on organisational change on Quantum Property Services (QPS). It is a well-established and known organisation whose specialty is in the search for, acquisition and restoration of large forgotten industrial and historical buildings in order to sell them on for both public and private use. The organisation has been doing well but has several challenges. Its sales have decreased due to the recession and competition in the current market.
The company has seen that there is a critical need for soft change such as changes in the cultural setting of an organisation which can be quite messy. The company needs to take up the changes required to help maintain their identity as shown in the multiple cause diagram. Their need for change is fuelled by a number of reasons. First, their sales have decreased by half and this is not a good thing for the company. Secondly, there is lack of movement according to the organisation’s CEO. Thirdly, as the Senior Management Team (SMT) had identified, they need to broaden the organisation’s activities. Fourthly, there is an immense and growing need for a new and different skill set. In order for them to boost their sales and be able to maintain their status of excellence and quality, various changes need to be made in the four areas mentioned above; their decreased sales, lack of movement, the need to broaden the company’s activities and the growing need for a different skill set (Weiner, 2009).
If QPS adopts to apply other change strategies, they may not be as successful in implementing them due to the cultural setting of the business and that of the employees. These ineffective changes include hiring new employees with no proficiency and the compliance to change as mentioned in the force field analysis. If the company evaluates their staff and decide to keep incompetent employees, these employees would not be effective in the planning and implementation of change in the organisation (Kanter et al., 2003).
QPS needs to increase their sales from three per year to an average of six or more per year in order to avoid incurring losses. This can be achieved through coming up with new market strategies that can increase their sales and revenue. These strategies can improve their customer services through establishing a firm relationship. They need to implement changes through creation of motivation especially with the employees. The employees need to have a sense of enthusiasm and motivation so as to diligently work hard and make the organisation prosper. Motivation can be in the promise of promotion, an increment in wages or even extra vacation days.
A new skill set, for example in the Social Media department ensures a steady online presence for the company, needs to be established and identified in order to give the company a stronger edge and base for future operations. Broadening the company’s activities would give the company an opportunity to establish itself on a better platform the greater good of the enterprise. They can broaden their activities through establishing and partnering with foreign firms in selling their products overseas and also through investing in new projects in a different market structure so as to expand the company’s portfolio.
In QPS, the company would use the OD soft system model for change (Figure 1). The OD soft system model is easy but tactful model for change because it illustrates challenges of soft complexity in unbounded situations. The OD processes fully referred to as the Organisational Development (OD) according to Senior (1997) its ‘a term for a set of values and assumptions about an organisation and the people within them, together with a range of concepts and techniques, are thought useful for bringing about long-term, organisation-wide change’; that is change which is more likely to dissolve problems than resolve or solve them. The OD process operates at all levels of the organisational, individual, and group. It is a fairly long-term process for initiating and implementing planned change (Senior and Swailes, 2010, p. 326).
Figure 1: OD Model of Change (Senior and Swailes, 2010, p. 328).
For an effective change plan that can be implemented through effective communication and participation, the problems and challenges that QPS faces need to be identified so as to establish a clear model for change. The OD approach is a better approach in identifying the problem and looking for strategies that would tackle these challenges and issues. OD focuses on culture and processes, QPS has a culture of excellence and diligence and by using the OD process it would have an advantage of maintaining its processes (Senior and Swailes, 2010, p. 328).
The first stage which termed as ‘the present and future state’ seeks to imply the dimensions that an organisation needs to work on. The present state of the organisation needs to be evaluated so as to decide on the future state of the organisation. One cannot succeed without the other. The vision part clearly identifies what the future should hold for the organisations. This usually gives an outline of what vision QPS should have. The vision cannot be achieved without assessing the current and present situation. The first stage in this process is diagnosing the current situation. In QPS, the current diagnosis is the declining sales of the acquisitions they acquire. This gives a perspective to which an effective plan shall be developed. After this, there is need to develop a vision for change. After an explicit evaluation of the present stage, an organisation gets a clear perspective of what it needs to change. QPS can develop a vision that it would aim at achieving in the future. It would have to come up with ‘something new’ to give it a competitive edge in the current market. This may imply a different strategy in terms of services and markets for the organisation. It may also imply a change in structure and culture of the organisation as shown in the systems map future. For QPS to achieve the desired change it has to bridge the gap between the current strategy and goals and those to which it must aspire in order to respond to the forces and circumstances of changing internal and external environments (Senior and Swailes, 2010).
The fifth stage involves assessment and reinforcement of the change. After the implementation process, most organisations throw in the towel which is not recommended. In order to ensure that the change process is successful, the assessment of the changes made needs to be done. QPS would gain a lot from the assessment process. Assessment of the company because change is an evolving process concerned not only with changes in quantifiable performance objectives but also with changes in attitudes, behaviours and cultural norms where measurement is bound to be less precise (Senior and Swailes, 2010).
QPS would benefit a lot from the changes if it implements them successfully. Primary it would allow QPS to discover new opportunities, acquire new know-how and apply their new learned expertise in ways that would assist the business in the future as presented in the systems map. In the end, QPS would be able to expand its growth opportunities. The company has already developed and established its status quo as an excellent and competent organisation, but with the changes it would implement, it would be able to adapt a greater status quo. This can be achieved through extensively investing in new innovative ideas.
In addition, QPS would benefit from increased adaptability by employing ‘fresh blood’ young employees from different and diverse workforce for the new Social Media department as illustrated in the force field diagram. It would also have a wider service range due to the diverse collection of experiences and expertise. If the organisation decides to neglect the call for change, it may also face a number of risks. These risks include losing its customers in the current market, incurring significant losses, employees quitting their jobs while others get hired by other rival companies. In the end, the company might end up shutting down (Greenberg, 2004).
Other triggers of change just as a PESTLE analysis is necessary for the process of formulating new strategies that would be advantageous to the company and a SWOT analysis of QPS is important since it would be able to identify the strengths and weakness of the company’s actions and the opportunities and threats in the current market (see Appendix A and B).
Challenges of planning and implementation
Change is essential to the company because it enables QPS to operate on a renewed scale. This means that the business can acquire new skill sets that would allow it to be successful. Customer needs are also changing. If the organisation does not change its customer approach, it may end up losing its customers and clients (Prosci, n.d.).
QPS needs to change so that it can maintain a strong brand and be capable of obtaining advantage of new opportunities when they present themselves. During the implementation of these changes, there shall be obstacles experienced. Some of these challenges include differing perspectives, resistance to the change from employees and lack of efficient change management resources and planning.
By using the K??bler-Ross change curve, these challenges can be addressed (Figure 2).
Figure 2: K??bler-Ross change curve (K??bler-Ross, 1969).
Most employees are afraid of what the change entails; some might think that it involves losing their jobs and might have fears over job security. To tackle these obstacles, they need to carefully explain to the employees on what they would be getting themselves into. In terms of efficient change resources and management, the company ought to implement new management to oversee the change plan. The new management can include leaders who are competent and flexible to change. In terms of the differing perspectives, the company should have an overall strategic change manager as show in the future systems map, who will effectively supervise the ideas and thoughts that would be offered. The supervisor’s decision would be final in the change arrangement (Schalk et al., 1998).
Kotter’s model can also be used in to address challenges and the last two steps in the process can be very useful in tackling these issues because they aim at implementing and sustaining change (Figure 3). The seventh step, build on the change, looks at tweaks to optimize the change. This step is used to increase reliability in the current change. This ensures that the QPS does not go back to its old ways once it has adapted to the new change. The eighth step, make it stick, seeks to make the change developed in the organisation to stick and should be for the long-term. The change can be made firm through support from leaders and passing on the new change ideas to any newly hired employees and staff.
Figure 3: 8-Step Process for Leading Change by Kotter (Kotter, 1997).
Overall, change is important in any given organisation. It ensures that companies have a competitive edge and can accommodate the growing base of customers. If QPS implements the changes highlighted above while paying close attention to the challenges and the future systems map, it will be the leading organisation in the restoration, restructuring and vending of the historical buildings in the current market. They will have rebounded from a slump and effectively implemented an effective change management process which can be replicated in the years to come ensuring the long-term sustainability of their company.