Wichita Facility Essay
Where would you place the Wichita change initiative on all four dimensions of change initiatives described in the reading Organizational Change: An Overview (i.
e. , scope, source, pacing, and process)? Scope of change: the scope of change involves aspects such as “how work is done and by whom, who makes decisions and controls resources, what activities and resources have status and value, what the company should be and how it should be seen (Ancona, et. al. , 2005, p. M8-15).
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” Scope can be either radical which involves fundamental changes in the organization or incremental, which are local.In this case, the Wichita change was incremental, meaning that all changes were done at the local level, specific to the needs of the Wichita location. Pacing: the pacing of change involves whether it is punctuated, meaning there is a clear beginning and end, or continuous, meaning it proceeds over time and leads to another change.
In this case, the pacing of change was continuous, as it proceeded over time. Initially, there may have been a desire to have a clear beginning and end, but the process did take longer than planned.As mentioned in the textbook, continuous change involves ongoing experimentation and improvement.
An example of this is the problem chat. Initially, no one showed up to the chats, but over time, more employees found use of it. They were able to evolve the problem chat to include actual fixes to issues mentioned.
Another example is with the team-building. While the problem chats fixed issues, there was still some tension between groups. To fix this, they instituted and experimented with softball games, which ended up being a huge success.Source: the source of change is whether it is driven by top management (top-down) or initiated further down the organization (bottom-up). In this case, I believe that the source of change was from the bottom-up.
Although it was identified by top management needed to change, it ended up being the employees who directed what needed to be changed, and how much of a priority it was. This was established through the use of SPITS teams that took problems identified by employees in problem chats and institute solutions from a group of cross-functional employees.Process: the process of change involves whether the change is planned or emergent, meaning that “the change initiative starts with no explicit map or how it should proceed, but develops over time as one action leads to another (Ancona, et.
al. , 2005, p. M8-16). ” The initiative started off as planned, with Jimenez knowing that productivity and morale needed to be increased at this specific location.
However, once she went in, there was no specific outline for what needed to be done.Instead, Wichita was successful because the team “rolled with the punches,” letting one successful initiative lead to the next. ? Why was the initiative successful at Wichita? Identify at least 3 reasons for its success One of the reasons for the success at Wichita was the creation of monthly problem chats and SPITS, which were ad hoc groups of cross-functional employees put together to fix issues that were identified at monthly problem chats. One of the main issues identified by Jimenez was that management and labor did not get along, creating friction which decreased morale and productivity.However, once the problem chats were initiated, the workers started to realize that if they worked together they would be able to fix their problems.
Additionally, SPITS lent to success because it involved all groups of employees, who each had their own skill, and had them working together to increase productivity. One last bonus of this initiative was that employees realized that management was acting on issues that they said they would fix. This leads to trust among the employees, which helps to increase their morale and productivity as well.Another reason for the success was Jiminez’s decision to make David Keller the project leader of the Wichita initiative. Jiminez identified David Keller as a highly influential employee with a long history of experience at the company. Having Keller’s assistance gave great insight into what mattered to employees and what steps could be taken to meet those needs.
A third reason for the success is the bottom-up management and involvement of employees at all levels of the change initiative.In this case, team-building was important to the employees, and the softball games became a big success. However, instead of implementing this outright, Jimenez and Keller observed that this was what the employees wanted, and facilitated this type of program. ? Where would you place the Lubbock change initiative on all four dimensions of change initiatives described in the reading Organizational Change: An Overview (i. e. , scope, source, pacing, and process)? The Lubbock initiative was mirrored to the Wichita change, but was different in its four dimensions of change.
In this case, the scope of change was radical, as the organization was making changes at the general level rather than instituting local changes to Lubbock based on unique factors. The pacing dimension in this case was punctuated. Whereas in Wichita, Jimenez had no defined end date, with Lubbock, the team had given itself a timeline by trying to complete the change in less time than they had in Wichita, without fully analyzing the uniqueness of Lubbock needs. The source of change in Lubbock was top-down, with the organization driving all of the initiatives from top management.In Wichita, the employees drove the change by instituting what they needed, but in Lubbock, the change team was driving the change rather than tapping into the employees as resources. Lastly, the process of change was too carefully planned.
The change became a process rather than an initiative, with each step planned out before execution started. ? Why is the change initiative not as successful at the Lubbock facility? Identify at least 3 reasons for its challenges. One reason for the challenge is that the change was top-down, unlike the Wichita initiative.Not involving employees, the key stakeholders, will make it hard for an individual to successfully lead change because there is no way to guarantee buy-in. Jimenez herself mentioned that she felt as though she was bribing prison inmates.
In a case like this, she was forcing the change, such as making problem chats mandatory, so employees may have felt trapped. A second reason for the challenge is the radical approach that was taken. Again, unlike the Wichita initiative, the Lubbock approach was not specific to the Lubbock facility.In this case, the organization decided to model its changes company-wide, starting with Lubbock. The organization assumed that everything could be fixed with a “one size fits all” or “cookie-cutter” approach, and mimicked the exact Wichita initiative without deviation. The third reason for the challenge was that not enough time was given to truly make a transformation.
The organization assumed they could fix Lubbock in less time than Wichita, which is a mistake, leading back to the cookie cutter approach. This lack of research and reliance on assumptions caused the initiative to fail from the start.The organization was not intent on fixing Lubbock itself, but rather creating another Wichita. ? If you were brought in to advise Jimenez, what specific actions would you recommend to her to move the change initiative forward at Lubbock? There are a few specific actions I would recommend * Build a stronger coalition of allies. “One of the first actions in a change initiative should be building a coalition of allies who share a commitment to the change program (Ancona, et. al.
, 2005, p. M8-18). ” With Wichita, Jimenez had Keller.
In Lubbock, Jimenez needs to find a similar employee, one who is familiar with the Lubbock facility and one who can champion the change to his or her peers. * Research the issues at Lubbock more closely. Rather than treating them with the same uniform solution, Lubbock needs to be analyzed to determine what type of issues are causing lack of productivity and morale at this particular facility. * Get buy-in from all stakeholders before implementing change. The stakeholders are not going to react positively to change if it is thrust upon them.
The stakeholders must be educated as to why change is needed; moreover, they must be included in the process because their expertise will help in strategy creation and they may uncover solutions to issues that are both known and unknown. “The implication is that if you give people the information about why the change is needed and what has to change, they’ll ‘get the message’ and get involved in the change effort (Ancona, et. al.
, 2005, p. M8-19). ” References Ancona, D. G.
(2005). Managing for the future: organizational behavior & processes (3rd ed. ).
Mason, OH: Thomson/South-Western.