Every Organization Must Change Commerce Essay

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Changes happen in each minute and even each second. Change is a general concept that refers to the process of becoming different. However, on this paper, changes will mention to change management in organization or organizational change.

Every organization must change - not only to survive, but also to retain its relevance in a world of intense competition, constant scientific progress, and rapid communication. But in order for change to bring a benefit and advance an organization to a higher level of service and operation, that change must be driven by knowledge. By basing on this idea and deal with the question that whether consultation is necessary for the successful change, I will discuss on this topic with illustrations of implementing organizational change in HP Norway company with consultation from Accenture- one consulting firm.

Overview of HP Norway

Hewlett-Packard Company (HP) was founded in 1939 by Stanford University classmates- Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard. Now, HP is a leading global provider of products, technologies, solutions and services to consumers and business. The company's offerings span Information Technology Infrastructure, personal computing and access devices, global services, and imaging and printing. In May 2002, the merger of Hewlett-Packard and Compaq Computer Corporation-the largest tech merger in history-forged a dynamic, powerful team of 140,000 employees serving more than one billion customers in 160 countries. For fiscal year 2002, the combined companies reported revenues of $72 billion.

Overview of Accenture

Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company. Combining unparalleled experience, comprehensive capabilities across all industries and business functions, and extensive research on the world's most successful companies, Accenture collaborates with clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments (Accenture's website).

1/Change in Organization

Organizational change can be recognized as a transition from the current state to a desired future state. Kurt Lewin showed a management technique- Force Filed Analysis to diagnosis the problem that affect to the changes of an organization. He said that "An issue is held in balance by the interaction of two opposing sets of forces - those seeking to promote change (driving forces) and those attempting to maintain the status quo (restraining forces)".

Figure 1: Force Filed Analysis

Source: Kurt Lewin

According to this theory of Kurt Lewin, Organizational change can be driven by internal driving force such as strategic product diversification or an external one such an advent of technological development. Conversely, the change can be restrained or delay by retraining force, for example, fear of change.

In the book "Leading change", Kurt Lewin mentioned that: now, a globalization economy is creating both more hazards and more opportunities to make transformation not only to compete and prosper but also to merely survive.

Understanding about the change in organization and forces for change by supporting from theories would help organization have a basic knowledge to plan and also to implement changes effectively.

1.1.1/ Case studies: Key Driven Change in HP Norway

Global businesses tend to a greater scale to improve efficiencies in computer and information technology lines of business-with the overall goal of increasing shareholder value. However, along with scale, increasing complexity and difficulty in coordinating geographically dispersed operation is accurately the challenge that HP faced when it merged with Compaq. Following the combination, it was difficult for HP to immediately begin integrating the operations of the two companies to achieve economies of scale, reduce the cost and complexity of information technology systems for business and improve the overall experience consumers have with technology. Performed on a country-by-country basis, this integration process involved physically blending HP and Compaq resources, facilities and people, and solidifying its image as a unified, high-performance company.

Throughout the transition, HP Norway's executives were very focused on understanding current employee behaviors and acknowledging where changes needed to occur to achieve the vision of a unified HP whose new business model would enable the company to dominate its markets. These leaders further recognized that the real challenge of integration would come when the company formally merged its people and resources into one new, shared facility. At that point, the vision of the new company in Norway would really come to life.

2/ Management Consulting

2.1/ Definitions

Consulting was determined basing on two approaches through some different theories.

The first approach bases on the functional perspective of consulting. Fritz Steele defines consulting like: "… any form of providing help on the content, process, or structure of a task or series of tasks, where the consultant is not actually responsible for doing the task itself but is helping those who are" (Fritz Steele, 1969). Besides, Peter Block describes consulting in this way: "you are consulting any time you are trying to change or improve a situation but have no direct control over the implementation…Most people in staff roles in organizations are really consultants even if they don't officially call themselves consultants" (Peter Block, 1999). Thus, a manager can also act as a consultant if he or she gives advice and help to fellow manager, or even to subordinates rather than directing and issuing orders to them.

The second approach views consulting as a special professional service and emphasizes a number of characteristics that such a service must possess. According to Larry Greiner and Robert Metzger, "management consulting is an advisory service contracted for and provided to organizations by specially trained and qualified persons who assist the client organization to identify management problems, analyze such problems, recommend solutions to these problems, and help, when requested, in the implementation of solutions [in an objective and independent manner]". Similar more or less detailed definitions are used by other authors and by professional associations and institutes of management consultants. According to the International Council of Management Consulting Institutes (ICMCI), for example, "management consulting is the provision of independent advice and assistance about the process of management to clients with management responsibilities".

These definitions depict that consultants are helpers, or enabler, and assume that consultants play role in various positions.

2.2/ Internal versus External Consulting

The large-scale planned change programs need some person leading or guiding process of change. They can be considered as practitioners or consultants. Internal consultants are from inside of the organization and may be either managers practicing OD with their group or OD specialists that may be from human resources or organization development department. In contrast, external consultants are not part of the organization and come from outside. However, both the use of external and internal consulting have advantages and disadvantages.

Figure 02: Advantages and Disadvantages of Internal and External Consulting

 

Internal consulting

External consulting

Advantages

More knowledge of organizational culture, history and practice.

More experience with a variety of clients

Already has relationship with organization members.

Does not enter organization with bias from past experience with organizational members

Perceived as having a longer-term view and potentially greater stake in success of outcome.

Less political involvement; can be truthful with less consequence.

Earn a regular salary.

May have greater "star power".

Less need to market services.

Organizational member may feel comfortable sharing confidential information without fear of leaks.

Disadvantages

May be blind to seeing some issues because of history with culture.

May have trouble seeing the hidden meanings or subtle issues.

Less variety in clients, industries and issues.

Must build relationship trust with organizational members.

May be presented with ethical challenges where it is hard to refuse.

May be perceived as short-term.

May be confronted with confidentiality concerns, particularly with an internal manager.

Must seek out clients to earn paycheck.

Organizational members may be reluctant to share sensitive information for fear that may leak internally to colleagues.

May have recommendation perceived as selling or extending work unnecessarily.

May be seen as an agent for manager

May not be able to follow through beyond interventions to see long-term results.

(Source: Donald L. Anderson, 1971, Organization Development: The Process of Leading Organizational Change, Sage Publication, Inc., California, Pg 90)

Choosing appropriately whether internal or external resources to involve in organizational change process is important for successful change. In fact, a collaborative between internal and external consultation in the change project brings the best advantages.

3/ Consulting for Organizational Change

It can be observed that in the recent time, management consulting is getting more important for the organizational change. Under influence of the environmental changes in business or society, organizations have recognized that needs of consultations for their change strategies.

Paton and McCalman introduced the list of the roles taken on by effective change agents that following:

To help the organization define the problem by asking for a definition of what it is;

To help the organization examine what causes the problem and diagnose how this can be overcome;

To assist in getting the organization to offer alternative solutions;

To provide direction in the implementation of alternative solutions;

To transmit the learning process that allows the client to deal with change on an ongoing basis by itself in the future. (Paton and McCalman, 2000, p.182)

3.1/ The Role of Consulting in Different Mode

For practical purposes, Gordon and Ronald suggested visualizing about a greater number of consultative roles along a directive and non- directive continuum. It is illustrated in (figure 03). By directive, the consultant may be considered a position of leadership, initiates activity or tells the client what to do. In the non- directive role, the consultant provides information for the client to use or not. However, it is useful for consultants to play different compatible roles simultaneously or consecutively, switching from role to role as the relationship evolves to response to a client's needs.

Figure 03: Illustration of the consultant's role on a directive and non-directive

 

MUNTIPLE ROLES OF THE CONSULTANT

 

 

Reflector

Process specialist

Fact finder

Identifier of alternatives

Collaborator in problem solving

Trainer/ Educator

Technical expert

Advocate

 

 

 

 

Client

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Consultant

 

 

 

 

LEVEL OF CONSULTANT ACTIVITY IN PROBLEM-SOLVING

 

 

 

 

Non directive

Directive

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Raises question for reflection

Observes problem-solving processes and raises issue mirroring feedback

Gather data and stimulates thinking

Identify alternatives and resources for clients and help assess consequences

Offer alternatives and participates in decisions

Train the client and designs learning experiences

Provide information and suggestions for policies or practice decisions

Proposes guidelines, persuades or direct in the problem-solving process

 

Advocate

In an advocate role, the consultant tries to influence the client. There are two quite different types of advocacy, including: positional or "contact advocacy and methodological advocacy. The positional consultant emphasizes on persuading the client to choose particular goods or solutions or to accept particular values. However, the methodological advocacy consultant tries to influence the client to become active as problem- solver, and to use certain methods of problem- solving, but is careful not to promote any particular solution (which would be positional advocacy). In this role, the stance of believe or value on content or methodological matter is the derivation of the consultant behavior.

Technical expert

Besides that, technical specialist or expert is also considered as one of another roles adopted by any consultant. It is obvious that traditional role of a consultant is that of an expert. In this role, the consultant uses special knowledge, skill and professional experience to serve the client. The client is mainly responsible for defining the objectives of the consultation. Then, the consultant assumes a directive role until the client is comfortable with the particular approach selected. Later in the relationship the consultant may act as a catalyst in helping to implement the recommendations made. The consultant may be a resource (content) specialist in the client's problem, or a process specialist advising how to cope with a problem and how to implement change. This particular role makes use of the consultant's knowledge.

Trainer and educator

Innovative consultation frequently requires the consultant to carry out periodic or continuous training and education within the client system. For this role, the skill of the trainer is an important requirement. The consultants may impart their experiences, information and knowledge directly. Besides that, the consultant can suggest needs in the aspect of helping relationship.

Collaborator in problem- solving

The helping role assumed by the consultant uses a synergistic (cooperative) approach to complement and collaborate with the client in the perceptual, cognitive and action- taking processes needed to solve the problem. The consultant helps to maintain objectivity while stimulating conceptualization during the formulation of the problem. Additionally, he or she must help to isolate and define the dependent and independent variables that influenced the problem's causes, and will ultimately influence its solution. He or she also assists in weighing alternatives, sorting and developing a course of action for an effective resolution. The consultant in this role is involved in decision- making as a peer.

Identifier of alternatives

Costs or economy is one of considerations of decision making. Therefore, in selecting an appropriate solution to a problem the consultant can normally identify several alternatives, along with their attendant risks. Thus, another role of consultant is identifier of alternatives. In this role, the consultant establishes relevant criteria for assessing alternatives and develops cause - effect relationships for each, along with an appropriate ser of strategies. Noticeably, the consultant is not a direct participant in decision making but in this situation, the consultant is a retriever of appropriate alternatives facing the decision- maker.

Fact- finder

Fact- finding is an integral part of any consulting assignment, both for developing a database and for resolving intricate client problems. The consultant's role may even be confined to fact- finding. In this case he or she will assist the client system by choosing the sources of data, using a technique that will get the client more or less involved in gathering and examining data, and presenting data to the client in a way that show where and why improvements are needed. In this role the consultant functions basically as a researcher.

Process specialist

This is the "pure" process role. The consultant focuses chiefly on the interpersonal and intergroup dynamics affecting the process of problem- solving and change. He or she works on developing joint client- consultant diagnostic skills for addressing specific and relevant problems in order to focus on how things are done rather than on what tasks are preformed. Furthermore, the consultant helps the client to integrate interpersonal and group skills and events with task- oriented activities, and to observe the best match of relationships. In this role, an important function of the consultant is to provide feedback.

Reflector

When operating in the mode of a reflector, the consultant stimulates the client to prepare and make decisions by asking reflective questions which may help to clarify modify or change a given situation. In doing so, the consultant may be an arbitrator, an integrator or an emphatic respondent who experiences jointly with the client those blocks that provided the structure and provoked the situation initially.

3.2/ Case Study: The Role of Accenture in Successful Change in HP Norway

After recognized the need of change, HP Norway turned to Accenture for help in making sure that its integration momentum would not falter during the actual relocation. HP selected Accenture because of its history of helping companies identify and capitalize on ways to improve overall business performance. Playing a key role in HP's decision were Accenture's track record of successful project execution; deep understanding of not only HP's business and values, but also the technology industry overall; extensive experience in developing innovative tools and technologies; and proven, holistic approach to organizational change.

How Accenture consult HP Norway effectively

For HP Norway's integration to be successful, the company needed to maintain an effective, external focus and continue to serve its customers throughout the integration process. To that end, Accenture quickly assembled a team to help the company design, implement and manage-over a period of just three months-six distinct activities:

eSurvey - Accenture and HP Norway created and distributed a tailored Web-based survey to all employees to reveal cultural characteristics, differences between the ex-HP and ex-Compaq workforces, attitudes toward the integration and areas of potential risk. The eSurvey helped the HP/Accenture team understand the workers' expectations, assess awareness of HP core values and develop programs to guide a smoother transition.

Defining Focus Areas - Based on the results of the eSurvey, Accenture worked with HP Norway to identify potential areas of resistance during the integration process, craft messages and define activities to promote and secure the effective cooperation between employees.

Integration Portal - To answer any questions employees might have about the integration process and the office relocation, Accenture and HP quickly developed a one of-a-kind Integration Portal, integrated with HP Norway's existing website and internal Web publishing tools. Using an easy-to use navigation structure and a subway map metaphor, the portal provided practical information (e.g., "Where will my workspace be located in the new facility?"), as well as updated messages from HP leaders that managed workers' expectations and kept them focused on productive activities. This portal was hugely successful, logging 10,000 "hits" in the month prior to the move.

Office Relocation Event- Accenture worked closely with HP to create a "no-hassle" transition on the day of the office and workforce relocation. The team made sure that "info butlers" and technical support resources were on site to guide employees on arrival, answer any questions they might have throughout the day and solve any setup problems immediately. The team also set up "base stations" on site to encourage the HP and Compaq groups to meet and interact with each other. For many, this was the first time they met their new colleagues. Finally, the team helped ensure that HP Norway's management created a positive atmosphere by providing important information related to the new direction and hosting special meetings with their work groups.

Project Support for the HP Management Team - In addition to coordinating activities and processes on the day of the relocation, Accenture helped develop and execute the plan, tools and checklists for detailed project control and also identified high-risk areas and possible consequences.

Creative Concept - Accenture developed a creative concept to help communicate the critical issues and messages related to the integration. Using a popular local comedian, Accenture created a series of highly entertaining videos-available via the Internet over the three-week period prior to the relocation-that explained the core values and new rules for the HP organization. The success of this project is due, in large part, to HP Norway's commitment to its employees and core values. Building on the successful completion of the relocation program, HP Norway once again turned to Accenture-this time for help in changing the organizational culture so it best supports "the HP Way." For this project, Accenture has hosted executive forums, workshops, team discussions and interviews to define HP Norway's existing culture. Armed with information from these sources, as well as data from the eSurvey tool, Accenture is now helping HP Norway determine and implement the changes needed to align the culture in a way that best supports HP Norway's goals.

4/ Recommendation for Successful Organizational Change with Consulting

The consulting process involves two partners - the consultant and the client. In theory it should be easy to put the consultant's expertise to work on the client's project, since it is fair to assume that both parties will do their best to achieve the same purpose.

The reality is infinitely more complex. The consultant remains external to the organization. Even an internal consultant is external from the viewpoint of organization units where he or she is supposed to intervene. Quite independently of its technical relevance and quality, the consultant can upset people and hurt their feelings in many different ways. Rejection can take many forms. The history of consulting contains thousands of excellent reports that have been buried in managers' desks and never implemented, although they were formally accepted. Many consultants terminate their assignments with feelings of bitterness and frustration. They are absolutely sure that they have provided excellent advice, yet the clients do not follow it. This underlines the critical importance of creating and maintaining an effective consultant- client relationship.

Building this relationship is not easy. To achieve success, both consultants and clients need to be aware of the human, cultural and other factors that will affect their relationship, and of the errors to be avoided when working together. They must be prepare to make a special effort to build and maintain a relationship of understanding, collaboration and trust that makes the effective intervention of an independent professional possible. There is no alternative.

Developing a Trust Relationship

The development of openness and trust between practitioner and client is an essential aspect of the organization change. It is important because trust is necessary for cooperation and communication. When there is no trust, people will tend to be dishonest, evasive, and not authentic with one another, and communication is often inaccurate, distorted, or incomplete. There are several basic responses that the practitioner may use in the communication process aimed at developing a trust relationship:

Questions- "How do you see the organization"

Applied expertise (advising) - "One possible intervention is team building."

Reflection - "It sounds like you would like to see a participative form of leadership".

Interpretation - "From your description, intertearm conflict could be the problem."

Self-disclosure - " I've felt discouraged myself when my ideas were rejected"

Silence - Say nothing; let the client sort out his or her thoughts. (Donald R. Brown & Don Harvey, 2006)

CONCLUSION

Change in organization is a way to adapt to its goals as well as the changing in environmental business. By recognizing the need for change and both factors boosting and resisting change, the organization could be build change strategies appropriately.

Contributing to the successful organization change is the participation of both internal and external consulting. The roles of consultant are showed in various mode or style of consulting. For the most of all, consultants are helpers in process of implement change in organization.

However, the challenge to consulting in organizational change is building and maintaining relationship between consultant and organization (client) to make effective cooperation for change program. The most important for both parties is developing a trust relationship.

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