Gm 545

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Course Project: Leadership & Organizational Behavior in Action August 26, 2012

I. Introduction
xxxx Insurance Company is a Fortune 100 company based in Northbrook, Illinois that employs over 50,000 employees across the country. It is widely known through its “You are in Good Hands with Allstate” slogan. Allstate’s major business is private passenger auto and homeowners insurance which are marketed under the Allstate brand, Encompass and Esurance (acquired in 2011). This course project will focus on the Direct Sales & Customer Relationship channel of Allstate Insurance Company. In 2000, Allstate launched “The Good Hands Network,” a multi-access approach to enable customers to reach the company however and whenever they wanted. The network included the sales and service of P&C and financial products through a local Allstate agency, via allstate.com or through 800-Allstate which is the Direct Sales & Customer Relationship channel. At its inception, 800-Allstate was comprised of two call centers located in Charlotte, North Carolina and Woodridge, Illinois. Today, call center operations have expanded to also include locations in San Antonio, Texas and Pocatello-Chubbuck, Idaho. At my departure from the organization, I held the position of Direct Sales & Service Leader within our Organizational Effectiveness Unit. I was directly responsible for change management initiatives for process improvement, implementation of new units and products into the Direct Channel, customer retention and experience. Additionally, I was directly responsible for coaching and development of frontline leaders in our sales and customer relationship departments.

II. Problem Statement
Employees (all levels) within the Direct Channel at Allstate are resistant and slow to change. Typically, new processes implemented to move the organization forward are not fully implemented and seemingly fail leading to “going back to the ways things have always been done”. Why does a Fortune 100 company that has been in existence for over 80 years face resistance to change management?

III. Literature Review
Resistance to change - change takes as long as those who are driving it want it to take. If the supporters (the hosts or sponsors of change) are really committed to the process of working through the resistance to change and building a strategy to overcome it, the wall of resistance could be 'knocked down' and the benefits of change realized quickly (Atkinson, 2005). A major problem in driving change in organizations is dealing with and managing the resistance you will encounter. Whether the initiative is focused upon coaching a new leadership culture, or promoting new behaviors in customer relationship management, the problems encountered will be similar. It is unusual for any change not to attract some resistance. Even with foresight, pre-planning and all the apparent logic behind the need to change, you should expect some resistance as the norm. Recognize and welcome it as a healthy response and an opportunity to openly debate possibilities and treat resistance as a powerful ally in facilitating the learning process (Atkinson, 2005). * Leadership vs. Management

Scott Edinger (Forbes 2012) states that it happens every day. A stellar performer is promoted from team member or individual contributor to manager of a team. And nearly every day, that new manager struggles. They struggle because the job they are now doing is vastly different from the job they were doing, even though they stayed on the same team.

Leadership is the process of influencing others and the process of facilitating individual and

collective efforts to accomplish shared objectives. Managers are persons who support the work

efforts of other people (Schermehorn).

The main difference between managers and leaders is the way the two styles motivate people and teams to achieve objectives. Leaders set the goals and new...
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