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Stories of Change Problem Solution Essay


Change is a dynamic process that organizations have to undergo each day. Sometimes, change initiatives fail simply because of disconnect between the initiative and the implementation process. This may be in the form of miscommunication, excessive complacency, and permanent bottlenecks in organizations.

This paper will explore change errors identified by Kotter in order to make justifiable recommendations to reverse the errors.

Change Errors and Recommendation

Error 1: Allowing too much complacency

Many companies fall in the trap of too much complacency because “they overestimate how much they can force big changes on an organization and underestimate how hard it is to drive people out of their comfort zones” (Kotter, 1995, p. 5).

Besides, such companies may fail to acknowledge the fact that some actions might only lead to reinforcement of the status quo. Kotter also identifies the element of confusing the aspect of urgency for change to simple anxiety.

In the case of Adrien, the new head of production of a chemical company, the initiatives he proposed simply collapsed because there was disconnect between action plan and the urgency of each proposal.


It is important to note that change does not just occur because it seems to be a good idea, but it occurs the moment responsible people are satisfied to justify the difficulties of incorporating transformation (Hannan & Freeman, 2004).

As a result, professionals are obligated to ensure change in an organization is able to come up with strategies that will ensure that there is a need for such a change to take place instead of simplifying on the benefits expected from such alterations.

Change agents who have an understanding of this need should take up the role of ensuring that they offer assistance to others in order to embrace inclusive change (Weick & Quinn, 2009). An organization cannot continue to hold on its status quo, but embraces positive change.

In order to create a clear picture of the above description, there is a need to create systematic change initiatives that address the needs through prioritization of different change instruments to ensure that the outcome meets the expectations.


In view of change to occur in any organization, all change agents must be able to make an analysis of the system that they will effectively operate and function in.

It is therefore critical to note that whenever a change occurs in any one of the organization systems, it is expected that other systems will be affected as well. This will be either directly or in an indirect way (Kotter, 1995).However, variability in organizations calls for various distinct approaches to bring about such changes.

Attributing change image to the leading managers

The leading managers should adopt a consultative approach to ensure that potential factors that promote the status quo are eradicated to guarantee and a smooth and successful change process.

Recommending different strategy for managing the change initiative

There is a need to introduce an accreditation initiative to establish the relevance of any change initiative. Basically, accreditation initiative functions on the need awareness as part of confidence mitigation in an organization.

The accreditation aims at satisfying employees’ needs through building confidence in the change image as necessary. Accreditation initiative as an aspect of change management refers to activities which are employed to promote and maintain interest towards a proposed initiative (Hannan & Freeman, 2004).

Actually, quality assurance is aimed at handling issues that might affect the change process, especially in a dynamic organization.

Error 2: Under-communicating the vision by factor of 10

In most cases, any proposed change is just a dream as long as employees, who are supposed to be implementation agents, are not brought on board. Without properly communicating the benefits that employees may get from embracing a proposed change, it is almost impossible to bring such people on board.

Improper communication may be disastrous in change implementation since the first step in successful organization functionality operates within the aspect of capturing the hearts and minds of employees through continuous, friendly, and beneficial communication.

According to Kotter (1995), “communication comes in both words and deeds. The latter is generally the most powerful form. Nothing undermines change than behavior by important individuals that is inconsistent with the verbal communication” (Kotter, 1995, p. 10).

In the example give, Kotter notes that the CEO of the midsize company failed in his change initiatives simply because the communication channel the management adopted was not dynamic, beneficial, and friendly to the employees.


There is a need for planned change that incorporates the elements of the proactive communication system, which tracks the progress of each initiative against the feedback from employees.

Planned changes in an organization are normally adopted and implemented by professionals who have complete knowledge on possible impacts to the organization.

This is because such professionals are able to consider where such changes shall be conducted and its history (Kotter, 1995). Planned changes in an organization aim at improving situations and desirability in goals before its commencement.

Examples of planned changes include salary increase for employees, changes in production capacity, product and service change, reduction on the production, and operation costs (Hannan & Freeman, 2004).

However, management may adopt and implement changes that may not be driven by people’s will. Failure to act on human will result into such organizations moving towards undesirable directions.


Importantly, it is through people that changes in an organization can be adopted and implemented. It becomes critical to note that nothing can really move in the right direction without motivation, coordination, and linking stakeholders.

Typically, stakeholders form up the workforce for the organization since whenever change occurs, they may develop a negative or a positive interest, including agencies that the organization has entered into a contract with (Weick & Quinn, 2009).

An effective implementation of project changes by an organization requires full involvement of the stakeholders at different levels. This makes them to understand the reasons behind their involvement and benefit from such projects.

Additionally, it gives them opportunities during forums to give their opinions and make possible recommendations on what and how it should be conducted. However, such changes may fail to create an opportunity that may allow for negotiations, collaborations, or cooperation.

Such experiences depict an approach towards change in a more open manner through consultations. This makes the stakeholders to feel the recognition and develop an attachment to the organization.

Attributing change image to the leading managers

The communication model used by the managers should have proactive encoder-decoder functions to track live feedbacks from employees in order to guarantee procedural and steady change implementation.

Recommending different strategy for managing the change initiative

The change initiative emphasis should be put on the line of interaction with the stakeholders to guarantee maximum support and cooperation. This is because quality communication system in change management helps to attract and retain the stakeholders.

In addition, all internal processes and interactions should be efficient to make the change initiatives successful. This is because they either directly or indirectly support the lines of interaction with the change initiatives.

Since the current internal system of communication in the highlighted organization does not incorporate employees and clients in any traditional decision making process, the use of this alternative as a change management tool will enhance acquisition, dissemination, and sharing of knowledge in the organization (Weick & Quinn, 2009).

As a result, this initiative will facilitate the realization of six sigma capabilities to develop high quality of services by reducing bottlenecks associated with bureaucratic decision making, lack of motivation, and poor skills.

Error 3: Permanent obstacles to block the new vision

According to Kotter (1995), “new initiatives fail far too often when employees, even though they embrace a new vision, feel disempowered by huge obstacles in their paths” (Kotter, 1995, p. 10).

Among the obstacles identified by Kotter are organization structural failures in terms of job requirements, compensation plans, customer relationship management strategy, unstructured promotion and employee growth system, and disconnect in the hierarchy of command in an organization.

In the example highlighted by Kotter, the organization failed because the organizational structure was too narrow and not responsive to the needs of the employees who are supposed to be the change agents.


In order to present an alternative but flexible change, the process should be able to allow firms to plan for future desirability and be able to achieve them while responding to the rising circumstances. Its flexibility may allow for application to be use in a number of organizations.

Being cyclic in nature, it operates on the perception that management of change in an organization is an interactive process to ensure that the permanent bottlenecks are addressed before the change initiative is implemented.


Operational strategies are plans that ensure functions are well articulated as required by every section of business. This means that deployment of professionals in these divisions becomes of an essence. As an enabling strategy, it assists management to deal with various groups of people.

Consequently, the task of management should be in a way that it is evidenced both in the internal and external customers in the supply chain. As an exemplary behavior, it needs to be incorporated into the management system in order to be in a continuous evaluation (Weick & Quinn, 2009).

Achievement of these factors will only occur if behaviors of the business are clearly defined and described appropriately. Management of an organizational change requires consistency in the approach together with purpose constancy.

Attributing change image to the leading managers

The managers should create a flexible and dynamic organization culture to minimize potential of change rejection.

Recommending different strategy for managing the change initiative

Benchmarking initiative would be instrumental since it involves streamlining service deliver to ensure efficiency via a proactive quality mitigation channel that reports progress of the intended quality improvement system.

This is because significant improvement can only be achieved if the scope of quality is broadly understood within the organization and the employees are committed to use of their quality knowledge to continuously improve work processes and practices (Hannan & Freeman, 2004).


Hannan, T. & Freeman, J. (2004). Structural Inertia and Organizational-Change. American Sociological Review, 49(2), 149-164.

Kotter, J. P. (1995). Leading Change: Why Transformation Efforts Fail. Boston: Harvard Business School Publication.

Weick, K. & Quinn, R. (2009). Organizational Change and Development. Annual Review Psychology, 50, 361-386.

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