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As we know change is never constant, it keeps on changing and its appearing to be happening at a faster rate in today's organisation, it's increasing and occurring more regularly at a faster rate than ever before. Since its increasing largely the organisation needs a better and more structured way of managing its individuals and organisation as a whole. Change management is an effective approach to deal with the change perspective of an organization and on the individual level, referred to as "dynamic, complex and challenging process" (Robert, 2008, p. 4)for an organisation or to the people who are experiencing the change. It is believed that change management is "never a choice between technological, organisational or people - oriented solutions but involves a combination for best fit; integrated strategies designed to produce the desired results." (Robert, 2008)
In this report we are looking at the case study of Mole Map who developed their own technology that resulted in a state of a procedure involving digital imaging, archiving and remote diagnosis of moles and other suspicious lesions. The organisation decided to expand its business in Australia. However due to not being financially stable and market differences, the Mole Map had to exit Australian Market. They restructured/changed their plans/goals/objectives, took Australian Market into consideration, developed new strategies and came back with a better management. We will be discussing the pros and cons and the importance of change management and how Mole Map encountered the changes in order to be back in Australian market.
The Importance of Change Management
In our globalised and interconnected economy organisations deals with continuous change, internal or external, that is Market Conditions, Customer Demands, Technologies, Inputs and Competition (Wedell, 2011). Organisations must adapt to these changes and must continually revaluate their business model and ask questions about the appropriateness of the strategy and tactics they are employing to reach their long term goal. Change management plays an important role in the organisation, it's not as easy as it seems. In a change management you require, people's skill, system skills, analytical skills and business skills (Importance of change management in an organisation, 2008). Having an analytical skills helps to evaluate financial and political change. Peoples skill to understand, build knowledge and accept the change (tomorrow, 2010).
An effective change management is where things are explained to employees to understand why change is happening. If the changes are not communicated properly, employees feel that change is forced on them rather than managed, it's best to engage employees in actual decisions and solutions that bring about the business change, as they feel part of the change and performance increases. It also helps to adjust resources of an organisation and able to respond to customer demands with increased customer service and knowledgeable employees (Prosci, n.d). In accordance with change management, it lowers the risk involved and manages the cost contained with the change. Since cost gets managed, there is an increased return on investment which opens the door of best practices leading to leadership development and team development (Prosci, n.d). Change gives an opportunity to the companies to compete better with their rivals, develop new product or gain new skills and bring in a higher profit (Lauer).
However if the change management is not effectively managed the organisation will lose its benevolence and could fail in time, most likely it can bring down the whole organisation. If change is not implemented properly the organisations productivity will decline as the employees become less interested in the current state of company and stop showing up at work, calling in sick (Prosci, n.d). This leads to some of the valued employees leaving the organisation and additional cost to the company to replace to them. Also if changes are not managed or sponsored properly by senior management then a lot of resources gets wasted and becomes too costly, it fails to meet organisational financial objectives and insufficient planning or lack of research results in organisation having difficulty in signing up for any new projects (Prosci, n.d).
Therefore it is important for an organisation to understand the change, in order to determine what needs changing and identify how to minimize the negative effect. The organisation needs to plan the change, it needs to discuss how the process, communication and training will be carried out and how can risk be managed.
Furthermore the organisation should look in to implementing the change, how to go about executing the programme and accomplishing the objective. Most importantly the organisation should reinforce the change, making sure the change is working appropriately that is fully adapted the change and identifying if any action needs correcting. Moreover we will be looking at one of the change management model which was developed by Kurt Lewin, the Unfreeze - Change - Freeze model,
this will tell us the process of change.
Change Management Model
Kurt Lewins Model has three stages of theories, Unfreeze, Change/Transition and Freeze. The first stage we will be looking at Unfreeze. This is one of the most important stages to understand the change in today's world, understanding that change is necessary and "getting ready to move away from the current comfort zone" (Lewin's freeze phases, n.d).In this stage we prepare ourselves and others before the change is about to happen, basically bringing up situation in which we want the change. The more we feel the urgency of change the more motivated we become to make a change. But if there is no urgency then the "urge to change is lower than the need to change" (Connelley, n.d).The motivation for change becomes much lower and difficult to get on with it. If the pros for motivated change outnumber the cons before we take any action, this is known as forced field analysis. It's another way of saying there are many different factors for and against making change that we need to consider. For instance the factors" for change outnumbers the factors against change," (Connelley, n.d) the change will be made. But if it doesn't then change for motivation is low and feel pushed to change, requiring effort to move from frozen state to unfreeze state therefore getting them to move on which they might feel grumpy about it.
The second stage is called the Change or Transition, the reason being, Kurt believed that change is a process; therefore he called the process transition. "Transition is an inner movement or journey we make in reaction to change" (Connelley, n.d).In this stage, changes are made as it is needed. This is one of the hardest phases the people have to go through, the people are unfrozen, moving towards a new beginning still trying to learn and take their time to understand the change and work with it. Some support is really important here; it can be form of counselling, coaching, or training and expect some misunderstanding or mistakes.
Therefore we can allow people to develop their own solution to help make changes.
It is also very important to make sure a clear picture is communicated to people to know the desired change and the benefits so that people don't lose the focus of where they are heading.
The last stage of the model is known as Freezing. This is called freezing because people are forming stability once the changes has been made. They accept the change, build new relationships and start settling into their routines which can take time. Lewin has said that change is reinforced and making sure that the desired outcome is accepted and maintained into the future otherwise people tend to go back to what they were doing (Connelley, n.d). Change will reach its full effectiveness once it is made permanent; therefore we should support the desired change ensuring that it continues and is not lost (Connelley, n.d).
It is very important to know how go about the change management so that you don't fall in the negative side of it. With the above findings we can identify what went wrong and how Mole Map managed to rectify and bring in a change in the management. How they implemented the changes and became successful.
Mole Map Implementation
Mole map as an organisation was running successfully in New Zealand but to be financially viable it had to be sold internationally and made a joint venture with Australia. The Mole Map thought that having the joint venture with Australia would benefit them for instance like growth opportunities, having similar market of climatic condition, market opportunities and providing better services to dermatologists as some of the people were at risk. But before the Mole Map did the joint venture with Australia they did not do sufficient research on Australian Market. As to how they going to establish the product in market, what are the customer's views and opinions, ratio of the people buying or using the product, how they will be branding the product and financial cost of promoting the product. No survey was done and on the assumption of how New Zealand climatic conditions are similar to Australia they decided to sell the products in Australian Market. But not long in the market Mole Map realised that this was not working, they did set up a retail shop but none of the customers were responding, they were unable to sell through their product due to market differences. Also they were not financially stable to stay in the market, as the market size compared to New Zealand was larger in size.
Therefore Mole Map decided to exit the Australian Market. As we see can after exiting the market they realised due to market conditions and customer demands they needed a change in the management. They understood that a change is necessary and need to move away from that current zone. They decided to go back to the Australian Market and set it up in a different way because they knew there is a potential to expand in Australia and had urgency to change. Mole map wasn't sure what is required in the Australian Market and what the customer focus is, therefore they took a step to undertake a wholesale approach through the dermatologists, introducing the new use of technology, which had waiting list of people and competing with other skin cancer clinics. The new use of technology would provide a better service to the patients. However it was important to gain the knowledge of the technology, training and coaching was provided as well as to avoid any misunderstandings and any mistakes.
Mole Map proceeded with the pilot programme for six months in which they understood the customer demands and was clear that it was running properly. Since the wholesale approach worked out Mole Map went in venture with the dermatologists. Following that Mole Map became financial stable and was able to expand further. However in the process of doing so, if Mole Map hadn't had an
effective change then they wouldn't have able to meet the financial objectives and not able to cope up with Australian Market.
The Mole Map still had the challenge to process the change step by step, first they educated the market regarding the technology, then promoting the product through media channels and found higher risk of litigation in Australians than New Zealanders. This was not all; they had to make the product approved by Medicare, which gives a quality to the product but it remains a challenge for Mole Map. Because they had implemented the wholesale strategy, they were able to gain quality like products on dermatologist's recommendations. Mole Map had a bit of struggle they had to train their employees to understand and be suitable for the Australian Market. It wasn't easy, employees would have gone through frustrations and grumpiness as it takes time for them to adapt the change.
Furthermore Mole Map's implemented their change appropriately as to now they are in a better position to stand in the Australian Market. But if they didn't have an effective plan, they would again still be failing financially, because to survive in that market they need sufficient funds. People working for Mole Map would be dissatisfied as they business still not achieving its desired results. This would have caused loss of interest in job and productivity for Mole Map would have declined.
But Mole Map had an effective change which lead them through success, they now are able to expand with a clear vision of how to fit in market and having a detailed financial strategy. With the training and coaching support they have now a senior management in the Australian office which is situated in Melbourne. Mole Map has partnership with Australian experts who have broad knowledge of the target market. But change does not stop here, it needs to be reinforced so it is not lost, therefore Mole Map plans to develop a business in North America after gaining confidence and experience in Australia.
In conclusion change management is very important to each and every organisation. With the changes, it takes place from strategies to finance to employees and organisation are able to make an effective change for their future. We have looked at benefits of change management and as well as negative effects of change management, we gathered that change management can lead to success. Discussed above is the stages of change management process, it can be useful in today's organisation as they can prepare themselves for the change and know the process step by step. The Mole Map NZ had undergone a change management; they made an improvement and moved towards success and expansion of the organisation. The change that Mole Map NZ gone through was an effective one, they did go through struggle but in the end they survived. But not just having change managed in the organisation is end of story; it needs to be maintained and carried on and avoid being lost.