Transformational planning refers to the process of coming up with a strategic plan that will modify the company’s processes through the enhancement of the various activities so as to obtain the set objectives. Change management is a critical tool in transformational planning. Change management refers to the process of acquiring business intelligence for transformational planning through the assessment of the company’s culture and people so as to determine how the proposed changes will affect the business (Weiss, 2016). The main objective of transformational planning and change management is for the management and employees to come up with changes, adapt to the changes, identify the causes of resistance, and how to reduce the resistance to change. Most companies are often in a state of change, and the change can be episodic or continuous. The paper will seek to analyze how Apple Inc. can implement transformational planning and changes through the Kotter 8-step process.
Nevertheless, for the company to have a successful transformational plan, they should have an efficient leadership that will steer Apple Inc. while implementing the plans. Leading a group of people is a critical part of deciding whether the company can successfully adapt the continuous changes. Despite the fact that leaders should manage and facilitate change by coming up with flexible structures and clear strategies, they should create a culture that includes not only the hard dimensions of change such as systems, strategies, and structures but also soft dimensions that involve developing and motivating their employees to improve their performance ( Kettinger & Grover, 2015) . For Apple Inc. to continue achieving its objectives, it should be ready to have continuous change. Transformational change may occur rapidly. Apple Inc. should equally make various adjustments to succeed and survive. Furthermore, they should develop a culture that will attract the best talent through creativity, learning, and innovation.
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Apple’s mission statement states that the company is committed to offering the best experience to its users. The company was founded in 1976 and was one of the first technology companies in the world that aimed at individual consumers rather than the large corporates. It was the first company to design and market a personal computer. Their primary purpose was to ensure that their products were accessible to the average consumer. Their mission statement shows their core value of superiority. For them to become the best, they have to outperform their competitors. The technology industry has undergone various changes, but Apple’s determination to offer innovative products has remained constant ( Gassmann Enkel, & Chesbrough, 2010) . The company has a strong market orientation because they make choices according to the consumer needs. The company has continued to enjoy success because they have anticipated the needs of the market.
Customer excellence is a very critical aspect of their strategy. All their Apple stores are filled with pictures or suspended images of their latest products. All their products can be touched and tested on the available wooden tables at the stores. Apple’s product excellence ensures that customers receive value. The company achieves operational excellence by forming dependable partnerships with companies like Foxconn who maximize their operations. Their locational excellence allows them to sell to most people in the US through their 425 retails stores ( Kettinger & Grover, 2015) . Furthermore, their market is divided into segments that allow the company to improve their market share. They have stores in all the major economies and cities. Their retails stores combine prime real estates with a proper user experience. Moreover, their products can be purchased online in a very reassuring manner. However, their company has been facing various challenges in their bid to improve their performance. The transformational plan analyzes their two main problems.
One of their main challenges is their overreliance on iPhone sales. Some people have described Apple as the “iPhone Company” because of their overreliance on one product. In 2012, about 46% of their revenues were attributed to iPhone sales. In 2015, the revenue from iPhone sales increased to about 63%. The sale of Phone has been doing extremely well since its introduction into the market. Its increased sales have been greatly attributed to the opening up of new markets, especially in Chia. However, when every potential customer acquires an iPhone, the iPhone sales may start reducing ( Gassmann Enkel, & Chesbrough, 2010) . As proven through research, products often go through a lifecycle that includes birth, growth, and decline. The iPod is in the decline stage, and once its sales began dropping, Apple was unable to reverse the trend. The iPhone is still in the growth phase. If the iPhone starts declining, they have no product that will increase their company’s revenues.
The company has also found it quite challenging to manage the consumer and media expectations. Apple has been super-secret concerning their products. There has always been an information vacuum regarding the release or launch of new or improved products. There has always been hysteria, speculation, and hype that have preceded the launch of new products that may reduce the impact of the actual launch of the new products ( Müller, Kirsch, & Beetz, 2013) . Apple has always anticipated the needs of the market, and it will always be challenging to keep ahead of the market. The market has been accustomed to high-quality Apple products that address needs that the customer may have been unaware of. If apple launches new or improved products that do not have new approaches, the consumers may end up being greatly disappointed. The excessive hype should be of great concern to Apple.
Kotter's 8-Step Approach
The transformational plan will utilize John Kotter’s 8 step approach. The first step would be to create urgency. For change to occur in Apple, the whole company should desire change. The desire for change assists in sparking motivation that may influence change. Apple should explain to its employees the statistics of their reduced iPod sales and the future impact of iPhone sales. All the employees should discuss the challenge that is facing their company. When employees start discussing the challenges, they may build a sense of urgency (Weiss, 2016). The company should spend time building the urgency instead of a panic jump. The company should explain the potential dangers of a reduction in sales of their main products. The company can also request support from the stakeholders and customers in strengthening the urgency.
The second step involves building a powerful coalition. The management should convince its employees that change is required. Convincing people requires effective leadership and support from the key partners or employees in the organization. Attempting to manage change in Apple is not adequate: the management has to lead the change. There are enough change leaders throughout the company who may not necessarily follow the traditional company structure ( Müller, Kirsch, & Beetz, 2013) . For change to be implemented, the management needs to build a team whose authority may emanate from political importance, job title, expertise, and status. Furthermore, there should be an emotional commitment to the team in the implementation of change. The team should be made up of a mixture of people from different departments and hierarchy within the company.
The third step involves creating a vision for change in the company. Due to the high-quality employees in Apple, there will be great solutions and ideas that will be provided. All the concepts should be linked to the company’s vision so that every person can easily understand and remember. The vision statement of Apple will assist the employees to understand why they have to face the challenges. When the employees understand what the company is aiming to achieve, the changes that have been proposed will be easier to understand ( Kettinger & Grover, 2015) . The company should come up with strategies that will ensure that iPhone sale will keep increasing while reversing the declining trend in iPod sales. Furthermore, every employee should be able to describe the changes that are implemented by the company.
The fourth step involves communicating the vision. What the company decides to do with the vision of change will determine Apple’s success. The management should communicate the proposed changes in a powerful and frequent approach so that it will be embedded in all the company’s activities (Weiss, 2016). The proposed changes should be communicated in every chance instead of explaining the changes in meetings alone. The vision for change should be used to solve problems and make decisions. When the vision for change is kept fresh in the employees’ minds, it becomes easier to remember and respond. The management should walk the talk by demonstrating the kind of behavior and determination they expect from the employees. The transformational plans should be applied in all the company’s operations ranging from selection and training to performance reviews.
The fifth step involves removing obstacles. If Apple reaches this point, it means that the company has been communicating their transformational plan in all operations of the department. There will be resistance to the proposed changes in the company. There will be structures or processes that may hinder Apple from implementing the proposed changes. Apple should put structures that will favor change while continuously checking for barriers to the change ( Gassmann Enkel, & Chesbrough, 2010) . When the obstacles are removed, it will empower the company’s employees to execute the changes. The company should have leaders who will drive the change. All the company’s structures should be designed to implement the changes. Apple should identify people who may resist the changes and assist them to understand the need for change in the company.
The sixth step involves creating short term wins. The company should have a taste of some victory during the change process. The employees would desire to know the progress of their efforts. Apple should come up with short term targets other than the long term goal. Breaking down the long term goal into simple short term goals will leave little chances of failure in the long term plan. The change team should come up with the short term targets that will motivate the company’s employees ( Müller, Kirsch, & Beetz, 2013) . The short term objectives should not be expensive because the team should be able to justify all the investments in the short term targets. The team should analyze the merits and demerits of the short-term plans because a failure in the short term plans may hurt their ambitions.
The seventh step involves building on the changes. Kotter insisted that many transformational plans fail because of declaring premature victories. Despite the quick wins in the short term plans, the company should not ignore the long-term transformational plan. The quick wins act as a path to achieving the long term plans ( Kettinger & Grover, 2015) . Every success offers a chance to build on the success of the company while identifying the processes that can be improved in the company. The company should set goals so that they can build the momentum the company has achieved. Apple should utilize the kaizen approach to ensure that they are in a continuous path of improvement. Furthermore, the company should continue coming up with new ideas, change leaders and agents to assist in the change team.
The eighth step involves anchoring the transformational plan in the company’s culture. The corporate culture is a determinant of the success or failure of the transformational plan. The values behind the transformational plan should affect all the daily activities ( Gassmann Enkel, & Chesbrough, 2010) . Apple should ensure that all their efforts to improve sales and innovation are visible in all the company’s activities. Furthermore, the management should ensure that they support the transformational plan. All the new and current employees should understand the transformational plan. All the change leaders should support the transformational plan.
The paper analyzes how Apple Inc. can implement transformational planning and changes through the Kotter 8 step process. Transformational planning refers to the process of coming up with a strategic plan that will modify the company’s processes through the enhancement of the various activities so as to obtain the set objectives (Weiss, 2016). For Apple Inc. to continue achieving its objectives, it should be ready to have continuous change. Transformational change may occur rapidly. Apple Inc. should equally make various adjustments to succeed and survive. The technology industry has undergone various changes, but Apple’s determination to offer innovative products has remained constant. The company has a strong market orientation because they make choices according to the consumer needs. The company has continued to enjoy success because they have anticipated the needs of the market.
The 8 step approach involve creating urgency, building a powerful coalition, creating a vision for change in the company, communicating the vision, removing obstacles, creating short-term wins, building on the changes, and anchoring the transformational plan in the company’s culture. They should develop a culture that will attract the best talent through creativity, learning, and innovation. Apple should put structures that will favor change while continuously checking for barriers to the change. The management should communicate the proposed changes in a powerful and frequent approach so that it will be embedded in all the company’s activities ( Müller, Kirsch, & Beetz, 2013) . The company has continued to enjoy success because they have anticipated the needs of the market. The transformational plan offers the steps that apple can utilize to solve the problems they have encountered as they aim to maintain their global status.
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Müller, A., Kirsch, A., & Beetz, M. (2013). Transformational Planning for Everyday Activity. In ICAPS (pp. 248-255).
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Weiss, J.W. (2016). Organizational Change (2nd ed.). San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.