CEO Dennis Gordon recognized the need for change in 2005. I was at that time on industrial attachment in Broca Inc., a company in the software sales field. He summoned his management team and explained to them how each morning he had to deal with endless queues of customers which formed outside his office. He attributed that to the prevalent top-down hierarchical organizational structure.
We will write a custom Essay on Broca Company’s Change Experience specifically for you
301 certified writers online
According to him, the only way out of the problem, which resulted in poor performance, was to decentralize decision-making to improve customer service and marketing: their core business. The urgent change required flattening the chain of command resulting in a result-oriented boundaryless design. In the new design, employees would collaborate and with customers seamlessly after abolishing external and internal limits that acted as barriers.
The change was conceptualized by top management and involved all employees as far as a change of trends and expectations were concerned. Most people were enthusiastic about the idea of change but, as is common with most drastic changes, some individuals resisted, albeit passively. I noted that some were for instance reluctant to relinquish the ‘big’ titles that they had. In my view, they felt that doing away with company titles would water down their influence in the new dispensation. One middle-level manager went as far as tendering his resignation after which he sought a job in another firm.
Such feelings of uncertainty are not uncommon during such change. In my view, most of those who resisted the change passively did so due to a legitimate fear of what would have happened next; most feared losing jobs which never happened anyway.
With a lot of encouragement in terms of communication from top management, the idea of change was adopted quickly. The overall design of office space was altered to facilitate teamwork. All employees shared glass-walled offices that resembled each other, titles in offices were pulled down and a culture of fast decision making was introduced. Remarkably, even the CEO could be easily reached as he took the new look, accessible, and small office. In the new design, customers’ problems would be dealt with at once, without handing them over to a higher office as had been the norm earlier.
The change was successful largely due to the leadership that Gordon offered. He seemed to have anticipated some resistance as he had devised a mechanism of involving resistors and potential resistors in the implementation of the transformation. He encouraged employees to form small teams of eight and come up with solutions to the problems that had been encountered for a long time.
The CEO recognized those who contributed magnificent quality improvement suggestions at plenary sessions, which changed the hearts and minds of those who were contemplating resistance. It had another effect of getting all employees to own and embrace the change. The level of resistance to the change would have been higher had the management decided to force it down the throat of everyone without providing a consultative forum.
If I were to be in that capacity now, I would not offer a significantly different approach to the change that CEO Gordon initiated and sustained. Probably I would have employed negotiation more to minimize resistance and possible loss of valuable employees to competitors as it happened in the instance discussed above. I would have offered the resistor a concession in the form of more job security in exchange for his support.