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Events & Issues
The events that triggered the Royal Conservatory of Music (RCM) to initiate change events have been captured in the text book as the forces of change. From the case scenario, it is clear that the RCM has been influenced by both external and internal forces to adopt change efforts or risk becoming irrelevant.
The external forces of change have been triggered by stiff competition from the University of Toronto and lack of traditional role, arising from the annexation by the University of Toronto. The internal forces of change arise from the difficulties in operations caused by the annexation that occurred in the 1950s, as well as lack of location.
The strategies that the president of RCM, Mr. Peter Simon, has taken to steer the change efforts have also been well outlined in the text book.
Among these strategies, it is clear that Mr. Simon is interested in streamlining product/service delivery and costs by doing away with excess members of staff and closing loss-making local branches, changing the organizational culture from an academic-led culture to a corporate-oriented culture, diversification of products/services through the introduction of new programs, and venturing into more local and international markets by adopting expansionist strategies.
Success of Peter Simon
A critical analysis of the case problem demonstrates that Mr. Simon is gradually succeeding in turning around the fortunes of the RCA, implying that his change strategies are working.
Evidence of success can be found in how new programs have succeeded to penetrate international markets, thereby bringing more revenue to the organization, introduction of three more product offerings to the organization’s traditional classical music orientation (diversification), and expansion by developing its new Telus Centre for Performance and Learning.
These undertakings to a large extent increase the profitability and competitiveness of an organization
Shift from Academic to Corporate Culture
An organizational culture is a central pillar of any successful change effort, and Mr. Simon demonstrates this unique understanding by initiating efforts that will change the organizational culture of the RCA from being academic-oriented (arising from the fact that the RCA was founded by the University of Toronto as a teaching institution) to a corporate-oriented culture, which is primarily directed by the urge to post profits for the organization’s shareholders.
The two notions are not incompatible in the sense that an academic-oriented culture, as is the case with a corporate-oriented culture, can be directed by the urge to make profits and remain competitive in the marketplace.
However, the RCA had to initiate a shift in organizational culture if it expected to survive the ever competitive environment due to fact that its initial owner – the University of Toronto – was offering similar programs and competing in the same markets although using an academic-oriented culture.
To remain competitive in the future, Mr. Simon needs to continue diversifying the product/service offerings and globalize the programs to increase the markets and opportunities for more growth and competitiveness.
The President also needs to adopt strategies that will continue lowering the operation costs and initiate strategies that will be primarily aimed at learning the needs and expectations of the local and global markets with the view to establish a strong customer base that will be instrumental in taking the RCA’s agenda forward.
These expansionist and diversification strategies will guarantee the RCA of its own customer base, and hence the organization will cease to be accused of poaching students and music programs from the University of Toronto.