Developing a Plan for Action

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Course Project: Developing A Plan Of Action
Introduction: Sections 1- 8
Cheryl Duarte
Walden University Online

Dr. William Laing
MGMT 6140: Initiating and Managing Change
February 27, 2013

Introduction
Arthur Cox & Sons, Inc. is a company that I was previously employed at as the manager of the Accounting Department. The company was a wardrobe and closet door manufacturing facility and employed a relatively small amount of people to handle both its administrative and manufacturing sectors. Although it had been around for over 30 years and had established a steady and loyal customer base, its operations and administrative procedures were being performed by out-of-date methods. The owner was well into his senior years and did not feel it was necessary to make any changes or to “modernize the day-to-day operations” because the company was financially stable and still using the same procedures since it first opened. After many “hints” and “suggestions” to the owner about how certain changes to the day-to-day operations could benefit the company, he refused to consider any of the suggestions or ideas and remained complacent and satisfied with the out-of-date procedures and system operations. The concerns for this company are that, without the use and implementation of new technology and software programs, it will not be able to stand up against the competition and will have no choice but to shut down. The company’s once loyal customer base will eventually move on to another company that has up-to-date technology and can provide better and faster service. If this company does not change and update its current procedures and operations, and let technology be its life raft, than this company will no longer exist and many good employees will be out of work, as well.

Section 1: Establishing a Sense of Urgency
In today’s fast paced and global business environment, organizations are having to learn and adapt at an ever-increasing rate. Technological change, shrinking product life cycles, increasing customer expectations, and the never-ending search for efficiency all demand that leaders and managers respond not only by constantly revisiting product and service offerings, but also by re-aligning strategy, structure, and processes (Johnson-Cramer, Parise & Cross, 2007). After reviewing the different sources of complacency as stated by Kotter (1996), the sources recognized that were contributing to my past employers complacency are the following: 1. No highly visible crisis existed (p. 39); The Company was financially okay and was not suffering from any negative crisis. 2. Organizational structure focused most peoples attention on narrow functional goals instead of broad business performance (p. 40); Due to the small number of employees each department was operating within in own set of procedures and cross-functional teams were non-existent. 3. Human nature, with its capacity for denial, especially if people are already busy or stressed (p. 41); Complacency was universal among the majority of employees and any mention of change resulted in resistance and was unwelcomed. 4. Too much happy talk from senior management (p. 41); Owner of company used “happy talk” of company’s past and current success to justify his complacency to remain firm in using the same out-dated methods and procedures in the day-to-day operations.

According to Kotter, (1996), in order to increase urgency it is imperative that you remove the sources of complacency or minimize their impact. The approach that I would use to address the complacency issues at this company would be to “bombard the other employees with information future opportunities, on the wonderful rewards for capitalizing on those opportunities, and on the organizations current inability to pursue those opportunities” (Kotter, 2006, p. 44). Reason being, by bombarding others with information on how making the proposed...
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