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As CEO and founder of Spectrum Sunglass Company, I want to bring a change in the company that can...

As CEO and founder of Spectrum Sunglass Company, I want to bring a change in the company that can make the company and its products more environmentally sustainable. To do that, I need to convince 20 managers at Spectrum to adopt my initiative in 96 weeks. And I used 85 weeks to reach that goal. Here’s what I did. At the beginning, I want to let them be aware of this initiative as soon as possible, so my first 3 choices are to issue e-mail notice, walk the talk and hold town hall meetings,and I thought that would be a good way to start.

But result is not good at all, no one seems to be affected, at that moment I noticed how difficult it is to bring a change into the company, no one wants to move from their confortable position, and they would pay no attention to what I said, I need put more devotion into it. After wasting 5 weeks, I start to conduct private interviews with 4 top managers to let them know this change project and to see what their opinions, the first conduct makes 6 people enter the awareness stage, and I got 4 different opinions.

Then I spend week 6 to get consultant’s support and makes one person into the interest stage, because sometimes outside experts can gain the attention of organizational member better than internal authorities can. At week 8, I privately confronted the resister Andrew Chen who is the general counsel of the company, trying to persuade him since he plays such an important role in the company, but I failed, I think it is because I still have nothing to show him that I’m right, maybe after a short-term win of this change he may change his mind.

At week 9, I conducted private interviews and got 5 people enter the awareness stage and 1 person enters the interest stage. And at week 10, I told a “success” story to 3 people, because I think the example of other companies that benefit from sustainability would make them interest in this project, and it turned out to make 1 person enter the interest stage and 1 person enters trial stage.

Then I used private interviews and “success” stories alternatively though week 11 to week 15, because both of them took only one week to complete, so this would be the most efficient way to lead people into the awareness stage and make this awareness into interest, it turned out that I’m right and I successfully bring 9 people into awareness stage and 6 people into interest stage. And so far all 20 managers have been aware of this change project. At Week 16, I provided internal skill- building to show those who are willing to change the way to adopt this project, and I made 1 person enter the trial stage.

At week 18 I decided to issue an e-mail notice, by now they should pay some attention to the context of this e-mail, and it made 1 person entered the interest stage. At week 19, I conducted a pilot project, hoping to achieve a short-term win that can nourish faith in the change efforts, and the results are that 1 person entered the interest stage, 1 person entered the trail stage and first person entered the adoption stage. At week 25, I conduct private interviews again and made 1 person enter the interest stage. And week 26, I privately confront resister Pal D’Arcy hoping that he may change his mind, but he didn’t.

At week 27, I walked the talk and show them the actions aligned with the change initiative, and make 3 people enter the interest stage and 4 people enter the trial stage. At week 29, I recognized an adopter and hoping this would have an influence on others, but it only made one person enter the interest stage. At week 32, I provided external skill-building and made one trainee enter the trial stage and one enter the adoption stage. At week 36 I hold town hall meetings to communicate the change vision, and it made 3 people into the interest stage and 3 people into the trial stage.

At week 38, I post progress reports and made 1 person into the trial stage. From week 39 to week 45, I choose to build a coalition of support and recognized an adopter, because I think it would bring the coalition members, the adopter and their friends into adoption stage, however, it affected no one, the reason is still unknown. At week 46, privately confronting resister still didn’t work. At Week 47, I told a “success” story again and made 1 person enter the adoption stage. At Week 48, I announced goals and deadlines to provide a target to aim for, but no one was affected, goals and deadlines may be to early to set.

At week 52, I decided to walk the talk again, and got 2 people enter the trial stage and 4 people enter the adoption stage, the visible actions really worked. At week 55, I post progress reports to all, and made 2 people enter the trial stage. From week 56 to week 62, I conducted private interviews and pilot project but didn’t work. At week 63, I clarify organization values and made 1 person enter the trial stage and 8 people into the adoption stage, this is a big achieve, and I believe a change sticks when it melt into the company’s culture. At week 71, I tried to hold town hall meetings to make the last 4 people adopt but I failed.

At week 73, I revise reward system to stimulate them and success at week 85. It took me 85 weeks to successfully convince all 20 managers to adopt this change, less than 96 weeks, so I think I’m a qualified change agent. However, I also take a lot of invalid actions and wasted a lot of time, so I’m not that efficient. If I can do it all over again, I will begin with private interviews, and avoid the invalid actions (though I still have no idea why some of these actions have no affect on any managers), and I will take the relationship network in to consideration when I make choice.

I’m sure the result would be much better. This change management simulation and readings of 5 articles taught me a lot as a change agent in a company. First of all, I find that making a change happen is much more difficult than I thought, we all want benefits of change, but we are afraid of failure, so we prefer to stand at the comfortable position and refuse to move forward. As a change agent, I much help others to overcome these difficulties. To do that, I must understand the heart of change first.

People will not be changed by what they are told, they can only be changed by what they believe, so I must find a right way to make them believe in this change initiative. And there are 8 steps I learned and used in this simulation. First is to create a sense of urgency, in the simulation I conducted private interviews with every one of 19 managers, trying to make them have this feeling of urgency. Second is to form a guiding team, in the simulation, I tried to approach those who are positive about this change first, and then pulled some of them as a guiding team.

Then creating clear, simple visions and strategies. And the fourth one is to communicate the visions through simple messages, e-mail is a good way of communication in the simulation, but first I need to make them read and think about the e-mail I sent. The fifth is to empower people by removing obstacles to the vision, like providing internal and external skill-building in the simulation. The sixth one is to create short-term win, like conducting pilot project in the simulation, and this made people be more faithful about this change project and may change the resister’s mind.

The seventh one is to maintain momentum, this is achieved by revise the reward system that encourage people to change in the simulation. The last one is to make change stick, and the best way to do that is to make this changed value be a part of culture of companies, like restructuring organization in simulation. I did the change management simulation as the CEO of the company, so the high authority in the company and good credit among the employees help me a lot to success. I think there would be more challenge if I were just a normal manager in the company.

 

Jul 21 2020 View more View Less

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