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Faced with ever changing market conditions e.g. rise of emerging markets and fierce competition, more companies are struggling to maintain their positions in the World market. Some are forced to fight for survival. It has been shown in this research paper, that global organisations appreciate necessity to transform the way they function in order to remain competitive and successful on the international arena. Modern companies are often moving away from a hierarchical organisational model towards task-driven organizations where deliverables govern the structure of the team and who takes on the leadership (Beer, Eisenstat, Spector, 1990 p.158).
AGCS has been the chosen research organisation for the purpose of this paper. Like many comparable young enterprises, AGCS has been undergoing continual transformation from the point of creation in 2006. OBT, responsible for delivery of various change programs i.e. GCP, has been chosen for in-depth analysis regarding approach to change.
By comparison of selected change frameworks it became apparent that each model has limitations and that no solution could tackle all problems and issues regarding organisation transformation. Many schools of thought exist analysing the phenomenon of organisational transformation. Many offered assumptions are contradicted by organisational practice. The notion of individuals learning and designing corporate renewal can not be denied; however majority of those carefully developed program leave "unintended consequences" and often "unexpected results" ( Czerniawska and Sevón, 1996) The context-based model has therefore been developed utilising extracted success factors from existing change models and findings from conducted research within AGCS.
Furthermore, clear traits amongst popular change frameworks have been recognised. Communication, shared vision, consolidation of achieved improvements have been identified as success factors in majority of models under review. In consequence, these selected success factors have been used for the design of bespoke AGCS change framework. The model has been extended in order to facilitate organisational context by utilising research findings, hence responding management and employeesÂ´ requirements.
Kotter (1995 p.59) describes two general lessons to be remembered about change initiatives:"change process goes through a series of phases that, in total, usually require a considerable length of time. Skipping steps creates only the illusion of speed and never produces a satisfying result. A second lesson is that critical mistakes in any of the phases can have a devastating impact, slowing momentum and negating hard-won gains". The mistakes are part of a learning process and as long as leaders or change agents use lessons-learned to strive for excellence in the future, mistakes can have positive impact.
Large companies tend to often focus on philosophy statements instead of looking into core business and addressing real problems. Issuing a statement and promotion of team building does not guarantee that employees will know what teams to build and how to function within them to improve coordination and solve particular problems (Beer et al, 1990). This phenomenon can be observed at AGCS, where despite large promotional campaigns from senior management, "silos thinking" remains a problem and often counteracts change initiatives. A visible lack of awareness regarding the Global Change Program and its prerogatives has been exposed in this study. Therefore, mitigation tool in form of new structured and to be institutionalised Change Implementation Department and Change Model have been introduced in a consulting manner by author, the employee of the research organisation.
The main themes in contemporary management and transformation studies are expressed in change along two dimensions: around organisational structures or inter-organisational relationships. The structural aspect portrays division of labour and managerial style. Further, organisations can be divided into mechanistic and organic forms. The first are characterized by hierarchic control system, specialised function structure (compare AGCS) and vertical reporting lines, emphasising the authority of top down management. These mechanistic structures can be found in mature markets and industries (Webb and Cleary 1994). They show resemblance with Theory E studied by Beer and Nohria (2000). Expertise is defined on the functional level e.g. COO (Chief Operating Office in AGCS) however barriers between function exist blocking open discussion and information exchange, therefore hindering or slowing down the renewal process (Webb and Cleary 1994 ). AGCS is a very good example of mechanistic form of an organisation encountering problems with silos. The other form of organisation, the organic one, is more common in emerging markets. These forms are based on networks and usage of individual discretion at all levels (Webb and Cleary 1994). Elements of Theory O can be found in organic organisational structures. The AGCS change model therefore encourages combining fundamentals from both organic and mechanic organisational forms by frequent adjustment of job tasks and working in cross-functional project teams to break down the existing barriers. In addition, it places focus on dual dialogue between employees and the CEO to build consensus for preparation and execution of change programs.
The core purpose of change is the creation of an asset that did not previously exist. It is the conception of a learning organisation capable of adapting to ever changing external and internal conditions. Such organization has to learn how to monitor its behaviour in a continuum of change cycle and how to develop internal know-how capabilities (Beer et al, 1990) In consequence; it becomes an organization that implements lessons learned and continuously improves and builds upon gained knowledge. It is an entity where information sharing is supported by top management and the CEO acts as active change agent in a dual dialogue with employeesÂ´ collective. Such an organisation recognises talent and empowers its skilled work force to innovate and therefore secures long-term existence and implements robust tools to compete in the an ever changing and demanding global market.
Corporate renewal depends on developing a strong generation of change leaders to drive the process of organisational change. Companies such as AGCS need a strong mind-set for managing and driving corporate transformation; one that gives emphasis to processes and tangible business problems over high level ideology. It has been shown, after analysis of secondary data and supported by findings from primary data collection in the research organisation, that companies must recognize organisational change as a unit-by-unit learning process. Benefits can be realised by consistency and persistence over a long-period of time as opposed to quick fixes that often decelerate change (Beer et al, 1990). This approach is aligned with cultural aspect that plays such an important role in AGCS. It is highly regarded in German business etiquette to plan for change instead of imposing it on people in a pursue for quick wins.
It has been further recognised that it is important to educate employees about change and its impact with factual knowledge. It is vital to show the positive impact of change and also allow celebration of small, partial successes to motive people for further involvement. The importance of a well-structured, focussed communication strategy prior, throughout and post transformation has been identified as a contributing success factor in the context of AGCS. If the vision of the planned change is not well- articulated, or implementation plan is not coherent it is likely that it will not overcome resistance and is likely to stall or not produce anticipated results (Eaton, 2010).
It is therefore inevitable to treat every change in an organisation with utmost care and allow it to happen step-by-step, careful multi-layered analysis being a pre-requisite for it. Additionally, consistent message and action plan as well as celebration of achieved milestones will increase employeesÂ´ faith in the program and willingness to become part of creating new status quo. It is important to give employees an active role in the preparation process so they can see their own ideas materialising. These implications are found in the change cycle to be adopted by AGCS (see Figure 12.0).
To conclude this study, the new truth for today's global market in words of Isaac Asimov is to remember that: "The only constant is change".
The author plans to implement the new change model within OBT, where the success of change initiatives based on the bespoke AGCS change implementation model will be measured, however this activity will be beyond the timescales and deadlines for the submission of this research paper.
For future analysis several KPIs can be suggested. The goal is to have a structured change Workstream in future projects to monitor and deliver change in a consistent, context-based manner. The Key Performance Indicators to measure the success of the change implementation model could be a shorter project initiation period (currently 3-6 months in AGCS) and potential cost savings in a project work in general. In addition, intangible success factors should be considered such as increased employees' awareness regarding transformation programs, involvement in initiatives etc. An analysis between the status before and after the institutionalisation of Change Implementation Department is recommended in order to see how the perception of change is altered within the research organisation.
Furthermore, a catalogue of tested success factors should be developed into the best practice to serve as guidance for future transformation programs.