28 Nov 2022


Change Management: How to Encourage Employee Creativity and Participation

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As a new management consultant at a manufacturing company, I am charged with numerous tasks with the main one being the ability facilitates the company during its period of transition and transformation. The scenario in the new firm is that the employees lack the motivation to be creative or partake in decision making. Further, the company has just made a tremendous growth in the past decade with $100 million generated sales. It has just expanded internationally with a new pool of employees scaling to 500 in number. The following paper answers key questions and explains to them in relation to the company scenario. 

Question A 

The organizational life cycle model confirms that the company is in a struggle to move from Phase IV (coordination) to phase V that is collaboration. Initially, it appears that the company has a crisis in seeking to move from Phase II that is the direction to Phase III that is delegation considering the leadership assumes a top-down and centralized approach with very few employees involved. However, it is affirmative that the problem and struggle lie in the movement from Phase IV (coordination) to Phase V (collaboration) that is as a result of the recent expansion and increase in the number of employees that was done without proper training and opportunities to improve innovation. A second indicator is the ageing software systems and the accompanying processes that are far beyond their usefulness. The outdated systems and process are barriers to the company growth. 

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Definition of the Organizational Life Cycle 

Phase I- Growth based on Creativity 

The above phase is usually the start-up phase and is often characterised by a loose and informal structure, motivation that is closely tied to the marketplace with a generally quick and fast response to the customer feedback. A leadership crisis usually follows with the occurrence of growth because the founders may not be strong managers indicating a need for change in order to continue with growth. 

Phase II- Growth by Direction 

A more structured leadership in the organization is likely to occur with the company continuing to grow and pass onto the second phase. The result will be the utilization of a more functional organization having departmental units and job specialization in place (Acrobatiq, 2017). Furthermore, there will be effective formal communication, less personal management gains and more authority with key decisions taking the top-down direction. 

Phase III 

The company will proceed to the next phase or the third phase rather as the leadership starts losing its grip on controlling decisions. The managers and employees will assume more responsibility in order to accomplish goals during this time. The company structure will assume a decentralized and less top-down decision-making process. A crisis will occur if the management attempts to regain control and re-establish centralized the process of making decisions (Acrobatiq, 2017). 

Phase IV- Growth from Coordination 

The following phase comprises of the attempts to create coordination using efficiency. The phase seems to be a vital point in management seeking to assume back the control of managers without appearing like that is what they are doing. It sees the setting and putting into place of formal procedures, an addition of control staff to the control and reviewing of line managers as well as treating of various groups as centres of investment that need to show ROI. 

Phase V 

At this point, the company has seen high and tremendous endorsements for collaboration and flexibility as well as spontaneity. Such formal controls pave the way to self-discipline and social control with some of the key areas being in the reduction of headquarter staffing, cross-functional teams and educational programs necessary for training the managers. 

Question B 

The primary difference between a learning organization centre and a traditional organization lie in the philosophy of the particular organization and its specific design. The traditional organization assumes a vertical structure that comes with a hierarchical command whilst the learning organization assumes a more horizontal collaboration (Acrobatiq, 2017). The learning organization is always looking towards making improvements and evolving hence seeks to offer a continuous flow of learning opportunities for the employees. The traditional organization, on the other hand, does not have an empowered employee team to make decisions and further lack the incentive of innovation. 

1. The organization in the scenario above belongs to Stage II of the Woolner’s model that is the Developing Organization. 

a. Explanation 

The company in accordance to the described scenario is still learning through trial and error and has not yet engaged incomplete training of the employee to initiate the process of learning. However, the firm has done well to have a solid model of business and products that can start offering opportunities for formal learning. 

2. Company Scenario using Senge’s 5 Discipline 

Personal Mastery : the company should consider learning among employees to foster their ability to create visions facilitating the transition to a learning organization. 

Systems thinking: the organization must move from the thinking idea of a “me” situation to a “we” situation that prioritises the group. Currently, the organization only thinks of itself and has not bothered with the entire picture. 

Mental models : it is important that an organization changes the current ingrained models to overcome the current bureaucratic culture mindset and politicized environment that impedes open sharing and thinking (Senge, 2014). 

Team learning : team learning will enable the organization to move to an action level that will see employees begin creating synergy and solving problems collectively. 

Building a shared vision: the leadership needs to develop a strong shared vision that makes it easy to appreciate learning. 

The company will need to employ an incremental transformation that is the evolution quadrant of the model when considering the Balogun and Hope Hailey’s model 

1. Explanation of type of change and rate of change 

The evolution strategy fits best the company because of the lack of a need to transform from the current structure of an organization into a learning organization. The given kind of change should be incremental instead of a big bang approach being more of a realignment considering it will entail shifting in thought and vision across the company. The result of the change is a superb growth in performance and innovation as seen by the newly empowered employees. 

1. Problem/Opportunity Identification 

The process continues as a key part of the analysis is appreciated in this document. The company is currently in a place where it has the opportunity to transform itself into a learning organization. 

2. Collect Data 

The company will make observations and interview the employees that will provide a correct insight into the existence of key issues and further show the area to best focus training to facilitate transformation. 

3. Joint Diagnosis of Problem/Opportunity/Findings with the customer 

The following section comprises the place where findings, diagnosis and methods used in making diagnoses are shared with the customer with a goal of creating a common reference frame. The processor step rather entails collaborative discussions and findings on the manner in which to proceed. 

4. Collection of Post-Implementation Data 

The company must collect data from similar methods as in the past to ensure effective change and determine the necessary steps to facilitate the change. The step will further lead to more diagnoses and more recommendations and opportunities for change. 

Question E 

Recommendation of Innovation Strategies 

• Internal strategies will have to be organized around key projects such as the development of products or new ventures. External strategies, on the other hand, will assume the form of acquisitions and mergers as well as making strategic alliances. It is imperative to align the internal factors of the company so as to prepare for the new strategies. Therefore, the organization will need to select a cross-functional team that will comprise of visionary and energetic people with leadership skills to inspire the difference in the firm. 

• The organization will have to mix the seniority levels from the executive to the management at the middle level all the way down to the employees who are closer to the customers. The purpose of the team will be to focus on subject matters and implement strategies employed by the management. 

Explanation of Change Innovation Strategy 

The first recommendation does well to correct the weaknesses of the strategies currently used in the company. By improving the strategies on its weaknesses, the company becomes successful in ensuring to attain a competitive advantage in the market. The second recommendation suggests that the company mixes the seniority levels from the executive to the middle-level management that is sufficient to help management reach the lower level staff hence understand their problems. 

Establish the Sense of Urgency 

The change being proposed for the company is significantly large and hence the need to create urgency in order to motivate and facilitate the shift towards the goal. The attempts to further the process will probably bog down in the analysis before getting to action if the urgency is not present. 

Creating Vision 

The company needs significantly to have a vision that will help direct the efforts and encourage the employees to embrace the change because of the fast growth rate of the company up to date and the existing structure of leadership. 

Empowering Others to Act on Vision 

The purpose of this step or option is to remove the top-down approach of the existing model of leadership. It entails getting a buy-in from the employees and giving them the power to work towards accomplishing and achieving their goals as stated in the vision. 

Plan for short-term wins 

The company needs to begin an evaluation process for new software that comes with the inclusion of a front-line staff in the process of making decisions. As a firm, it should do well to train employees according to a schedule in a quick manner. The creation of an incentive structure seeks to encourage thinking innovatively (Barrett, 2010). It ensures that employees have a structured plan to follow in their line of work and their trend towards achieving the company goals and extending or rather facilitating the overall growth of the firm. 

Explanation of the five pillars of sustainable change applicable to the sustenance of the learning organization environment of the company in the above scenario 

1. Strategy 

The company should do all that is within its power to define its target in the market and further define the strategic position in accordance with the given definition. In doing so, the company puts itself in a better and much more suitable position to preserve itself in the market. 

2. Leadership 

The leadership needs to partake in the transition of the firm by ensuring the structure is in line with the complete transformation. Leaders set the strategy and as such must steer it so that the company reaches its goals. 

3. Culture 

The company needs to ensure that it creates a culture of unity and support among those that share similar views as it does and describe how the firm will be operated. In addition, it must take the broad step of being more open in sharing and disclosing information that is relevant to others and rewarding experimentation. 

4. Structure 

It is of extreme importance that the company gives the impression that it operates in isolated silos as a key part of its organizational structure of running. A good part of the transformation that needs major improvement includes the ability to collective share information. The above can be achieved by employing electronic communication such as messaging and the setting up of cross-regional or cross-team meetings. 

5. Systems 

The company is in serious need of updated software for inventory management, an initiative that goes further to possibly help the integration of departments across various geographies and functions making it easy to share data and improve the abilities to make decisions. Such upgrades go a long mile in preparing the company in handling major malfunctions in their drives and act promptly to solve them hence avoid incurring costs in repair and having to acquire new systems. It is particularly well to appreciate the need for having new systems in place that best work for the company. 

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StudyBounty. (2023, September 14). Change Management: How to Encourage Employee Creativity and Participation.


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