The upheaval created by the change efforts initiated by the ownership of the Concord Bookshop (Mehegan, 2003) reveals the need for a deeper understanding of change management to produce positive outcomes. In this situation, the owners decided to change the leadership of the store, bringing in a new general manager to supplant the three-person team that was already in place (Mehegan, 2003). This unilateral change led to the resignation of the three displaced managers and several key employees (Mehegan, 2003), and created an adverse reaction within the community about the way that these staff changes would affect the store (Mehegan, 2003). For their part, the ownership contended that the new direction for management was necessary because of the financial struggles of the store, although this was even disputed by the employees who left (Mehegan, 2003). This paper will focus on ways that the failure of management to create and initiate an effective, phased change process created the dramatic upheaval of its personnel and led to community furor that all but ensured its failure.
Ignorance of the Phases of Change
The primary issues in the turmoil that the change created were that it failed to understand the change process or to incorporate the staff in it. Because buy-in is critical to successful change (Durant, 1999), the failure to include the employees in the process all but ensured that they would be resistant to the new direction that new management would inevitably bring. Correspondingly, the owners failed to create a sense of urgency for the need for change in the first place, which is critical to successful transitions (Kotter, 2007); the outgoing management team contested the financial issues facing Concord (Mehegan, 2003) is indicative of this because it shows that they there was not incorporated in the process.
This failure to create a collaborative relationship is one...