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When Bob Nardelli arrived at ‘The Home Depot’ in December 2000, associates were not sure what impacts he would bring. At this time, when he was joining the company, it was doing very well. Moreover, it had built a story of phenomenal growth. However, amidst the growth, the company’s future was uncertain. So Nardelli was brought in from General Electrical Co. (GE) to remodel the company and revamp it while maintaining the character and spirit built over the years. Nardelli used varied principles that were similar and also different from ‘Kotter’s 8-step change model’ realize success.
Nardelli’s first strategy was bringing everyone to embraces his vision for the company. In this manner, his change strategy was consistent with Kotter’s 8-step change model. Nardelli formed a powerful coalition of top executives who helped in communicating the importance of the cultural changes to the health of the company. Nardelli employed Dennis Donovan, his former colleague at GE, to head the Human Resource (Charan, 2006). The idea was to communicate to everyone that he was dedicated to change. In his first year, many people left the company, but finally, some of them started embracing his ideas and strategies for change.
According to Kotter (2007), support for a change can be realized by creating an agency in the matter. The urgency is created influences people to see the opportunity in the change. Nardelli applied this principle. He had meetings with 15 top executives of the company where accountability and sharing of information were emphasized (Charan, 2006). These Monday meetings ensured that they stayed focused and understood the urgency of the changes that were required. Other techniques that he used and which were similar to Kotter’s model include building on change, anchoring the changes in the corporate culture, and sharing the success of the company with employees (Kotter, 2006). In the first case, he provided capacity building programs that gave employees the ability to initiate change. Moreover, he created systems that enabled managers to access the performance of their employees (Quain, 2004).
In the second case, he made change part of the company, in that everyone was working towards the realization of the overall goal. Notably, he made deliberate changes like allowing the stores to run empty so that the errors in the current systems can be discovered by everyone (Charan, 2006). Lastly, Nardelli says the company’s success is shared among the employees to boost their morale. For instance, he rewarded the stores that achieved higher than the set targets (Quain, 2004).
Despite Nardelli’s principles of change being very similar to Kotter’s model, they also differ in some aspects. Kotte’s 8-step model of change focuses on bringing on board all stakeholders to embrace change principles and the entrenchment of the same in the whole organization. Nardelli, on the other hand, focuses on creating an enabling environment and building the capacity through which they can work towards change. One of the things he did was infrastructural development. Nardelli believed that technology and change was an item. He introduced emails that enabled his link with the store managers straight away. Nardelli created an efficient way of communicating with the store managers and advertising their products in each store (Quain, 2004).
Home Depot achieved its desired goals due to Nardelli’s ingenious change strategies. However, more improvement would be achieved through the application of Kotter’s model. Specifically, Nardelli should have tried to address the concerns of those who could not embrace the new changes rather than allowing them to leave the company (Charan, 2006). Secondly, bringing in his team, new change agents who would help refresh the change ideas. Finally, communicate the vision more vigorously and making it clear to everyone (Kotter, 2006). Otherwise, the Nardelli system of changing the culture of organizations is a lesson to many managers that they should apply changes that are applicable in the context they are acting.
Charan, R. (2006). Home Depot’s Blueprint for Culture Change. Web.
Kotter, J. P. (2007). Chang Management Model Implementation Guide. Web.
Kotter, J. P. (2006). Leading Change: Why Transformation Change Fail. Web.
Quain, J. R. (2004). Retail Innovation. Web.