Organization change is the riskiest endeavors that an organization can carry out. These changes can be earth-shaking activities that can either lead a company to the path of prosperity or ruin the future of the business. Companies seeking to gain momentum or expand their ventures can engage in an organizational shakeup. There are two categories of change: planned and unplanned change. For a reorganization to be successful the change initiators require having a clear vision and faultless implementation (Anderson, 67).The organizational change essentially involves competent and efficient people management techniques.
Liquid Telkom is a technology company located in the city of Edison. The company was incorporated in the year 2011 by four Bentley University Alumni. The company deals with software development, networking, and consultation. The company's services are supported by a total of 60 employees, a number that is relatively large for a medium-sized business.
In 2014, Liquid telecom brought onboard a new CEO, Mr. Wang who observed that the company could tap into the new markets of Cloud Computing, Artificial Intelligence, and Big Data. To achieve this, Wang proposed opening up of two additional branches in two other cities. The cities suggested were Middlesex and Cranbury. The main reason for this expansion was to bring in more revenue to the company. Expanding into these technological fields placed the company at the apex of competing favorably with other IT companies in the area. The board of directors who were the change leaders together with Mr. Wang had to ensure that the key participants in the organization had a grasp of what was projected and why. Every player needed to be aligned with the new expansion program.
To effect the change, Wang earmarked some of the experienced employees for managerial jobs while initiating a recruitment program to bring in new employees to work as support staff. A training program was started to impart administrative knowledge and skills for those who were picked for managerial work. Also, a recruitment drive was planned and executed to bring in new employees. The company interviewed and vetted the successful candidates to ensure that the right employees were brought on board. These candidates were also trained in the new area into which the company was expanding. Additionally, a budget was prepared to aid in the smooth expansion of the business.
Wang exercised caution not to disrupt the business operations of the mother company by notifying the employees of the impending changes. Within two years, the new branches were up and in action. To effect this, Wang set up a task force whose primary duty was to aid in the transition of the teams to their respective branches. The team identified and progressively addressed the many areas of resistances such as the financial budget of the organization which was at a risk of getting overstretched.
The key factors that were considered in this process were socio-technical uncertainty and business complexity. For social-technical risk, the task force looked into the volume and nature of data processing that the decision making process needed. Mr. Wang made it clear that the process could be inhibited by lengthy decision-making channels thus the need for a mechanism to accelerate the process (Cummings, Thomas& Christopher 56). Secondly, the task force looked into the issue of business intricacy that included the size of the change process, interdependencies of the actors, geographical distribution, number of services and the constitution of critical stakeholders. The task force also deliberated on the willingness and the capacity of change stakeholders, facilitative framework, appropriate resources and change urgency (Anderson, 67).
Before Wang began preparing the employees for their new roles and the expansion program, he undertook a journey of bringing the entire company into his vision. He explained his reasons as to why the expansion was necessary, measures the company will conduct to ensure smooth flow of activities and how he intended to cushion the company from the expected shock. Liquid Telkom could have faced an employee hostile response but the CEO always communicated honestly and frequently in a bid to manage and control the change.
Before undertaking any change, Wang involved the strategist like visionaries who helped in overseen the expected results from the change. The implementers chosen were old employees who had a vivid picture of the operation of the organization. The implementer's role would be to translate the change to other employees, help in overcoming and reducing resistance to change and encouraging the practice of change. The other key change makers are the users or adapters of the change. They are the people who are affected by the change either at a personal level or organizational level (Cummings, Thomas & Christopher, 76).
Liquid telecom adapted the three-stage model of Lewin to ensure the effectiveness of the change. During the unfreezing stage, Wang held a meeting with all employees and stakeholders to inform them of the expected change. The employees to be shifted to the two new companies were notified of time as a way of preparing them psychologically. The employees were given a chance to bring their ideas to the table, and their decisions were considered in the change implementation (Cummings et al., 89).
The changing step began with the relocation of the employees to the new companies and recruiting others into the mother firm. To overcome the fear and uncertainty brought about by the change, Mr. Wang ensured adequate education, support, and communication to familiarize the employee with the change. By the use of these strategies, the transition of the company was smooth and successful. Lastly, the organization went through the refreezing stage. Here, the new employees are accepted into the company while the shifted old employees adapt to the new work environment at Middlesex and Cranbury. Two months after the change, Liquid Techno moved back into the normal state of profit making (Anderson, 45).
Analyzing and Assessing the Change
The change brought into Liquid Telkom organization was necessary and essential for better performance and increased profit. A company dealing with software technology ought to have many branches in big cities to enhance customer service and attract new markets. When a new chapter is opened, it is crucial to deport the old employees to work I those stations since they are familiar with the work goals, objectives and core values of the organization (Cummings et al., 99). Liquid Telkom adapted the same strategy by recruiting new employees in the old company and shifting the former employees to work in the newly opened branches.
The company succeeded in opening the two branches at Middlesex and Cranbury thus meeting the organizational goal and target. It took few months for the newly recruited employees and the old employees to adapt and fit into the new work environment. It is an indicator that the business was not significantly affected since it picked up and started normal operations and profit-making immediately.
Challenges to the Process
Although the process was mostly successful, the process was marked by some hiccups. Firstly, the plan to simultaneously roll out the expansion in the two towns was a long shot. The process of stretched their financial resources to the point of almost crippling operations and the expansion program (Cameron, Esther & Mike, 56). Secondly, at risk was the organization culture and relationships. The transfer of employees to the new branches and the hiring of new one disrupted these relationships. New entrants had to commit to purposeful socialization while the management was faced with the task of realigning the organizational architecture. Thirdly, due to the transfer and recruitment of employee, conflicts between winners and losers arose. The management needed to create arenas where issues can be negotiated and new coalitions formed. Fourthly, loss of clarity and stability as a result of chaos from the expansion program was witnessed. The task force could have employed intrinsic communication and policy realignment to avoid this challenge.
Change in any organization is a part of growth thus it is indispensable. For Liquid Telkom, the aim was to move into new markets through opening new branches. The CEO prepared the team to actualize the vision he had for the organization. Change management aims at helping the employees to comprehend, bind to, and embrace changes in their current business setting. Change in an organization has an impact on the way work is carried out, management structure and has substantial effects on the workforce. Expansion to other locations by Liquid Telkom was a planned change with an aspect of a target at the end.
Anderson, Donald L. Organization development: The process of leading organizational change. Sage Publications, 2016.
Benn, Suzanne, Dexter Dunphy, and Andrew Griffiths. Organizational change for corporate sustainability. Routledge, 2014.
Cameron, Esther, and Mike Green. Making sense of change management: A complete guide to the models, tools and techniques of organizational change. Kogan Page Publishers, 2015.
Cummings, Thomas G., and Christopher G. Worley. Organization development and change. Cengage learning, 2014.
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