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Change Management: Power and Influence

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As the CEO of an organization, one must make large-scale decisions on a regular basis in order to promote company growth, keep the employees happy, and achieve success. In this simulation assignment I was the CEO of Spectrum Sunglass Company, a company that provides its customers with high quality sunglasses. The future was looking bright because the market was growing, there was no pressure from competitive pricing, and people were being rehired after the recession. Spectrum had the opportunity to focus its efforts on creating new eyewear from more sustainable resources.

If implemented correctly, Spectrum would be able to continue business with its largest account, BigMart, which constitutes for 30% of its revenue. However, not all members of the company were on board with the new idea. They believed that the company should focus its efforts towards getting back on their feet after the recession and not on implementing a new sustainability project. It was my job to convince my team that this was the right move. Unfortunately, I was not successful in doing so. I had some effectiveness in my efforts, but overall was not able to reach my entire staff.

Even though I didn’t completely succeed in my efforts to implement the new idea of sustainable eyewear, there were a few things that I did that helped me with my cause. One of the most effective actions I took to manage organizational change was called “Walk the Talk” in the simulation. This decision helped to enhance my credibility as a CEO by expanding employee knowledge of the idea at hand and how it would be implemented. By informing them on the idea and how it will work, they were all convinced a little more and became more open to the idea. The second thing I did to achieve some success in my efforts was called “Tell a Success Story” in the simulation.

By doing this, I was able to prove that the plan has worked in the past and that it could work with regards to the future of Spectrum. The third action I took was called “Get Consultant’s Support” in the simulation. By bringing in an outside expert who didn’t have any bias towards the company or the idea, some employees were more easily convinced of the plan. For them, it was easier to hear success from other someone else’s point of view besides my own. Overall, there were many positive actions I took in order to gain the support from the Spectrum staff.

Looking back, there were a few things that I did that were extremely ineffective towards convincing my employees of the organizational change. For example, using the “Recognize an Adapter” decision in the simulation, I was unable to convince multiple people of the plan. I was trying to reach out to people who were open-minded about the concept, and it failed each time I tried. Secondly, I attempted to gain support through the “Build a Coalition of Support” option in the simulation. However, I should have further convinced them about the idea before doing so, because no one was on board with me and I was still alone in my efforts. My third failed attempt came through in the “Post Progress Reports” stage of the simulation. By posting information about how the company was doing, I wasn’t able to come through to employees about my ideas. They thought the company was doing fine already and saw no need for change. Overall, I made more than one mistake with regards to my efforts and can use what I learned to hopefully be more successful in the future.

After completing this simulation, there are definitely practical concepts that I can takeaway from the experience regarding the management of organizational change from a leader’s perspective. One thing I learned is that it’s very important to take your time to fully evaluate the situation of the company during each stage of change. By using the graphs, diagrams, and understanding the relationship network of the employees in this simulation, one can grasp a better understanding of how to reach the employees and which measures to take in order to do so. By taking the time to fully assess the situation throughout each step, the decision making process will be much easier and one can achieve more success.

The second big concept that I can takeaway from this simulation is to really focus on the big picture of the situation, which is to convince all the employees of the new sustainability idea. During the simulation, I focused more on getting the executives and managers on board, hoping they would then convince the employees that they oversee. I was able to convince most of the executives and was making progress with the managers, but I barely made an impact for the employees on the bottom of the hierarchy. I should have given them more information, communicated with them more, and given them incentives in order to become excited about and agree with my idea.

When it was all said and done, I was completely and utterly unsuccessful in my simulation attempt to educate and convince Spectrum employees of the sustainable sunglass idea. Immediately upon completing it, I wanted to give it another try because I feel I really learned a lot and would do much better a second time. Some of my ideas worked and were well implemented, but some also were not. I ended up with only four “adopters” and six employees in the “trail” state. I think if I had a little more time, I would have been able to do better, but my setbacks heavily weighed on me. My credibility ended up being 7/10, so maybe with a few more simulation decisions I could have sealed the deal and met the quota. The simulation was overall a great work experience and taught me concepts and ideas that could potentially help me in the future if I ever am in a position where I need to make large-scale decisions for an organization.

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