Large-scale change at WSSC
This report is about Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC). WSSC was created in 1918 by the Maryland General Assembly to plan, construct, operate and maintain water and sewer services for residents and businesses in Maryland’s Montgomery and Prince George’s countries. The bad performance of the company despite of its monopoly situation led the government to warn the company. They had to change their way of operating and this was an emergency. For that reason John Griffin was hired as a general manager of WSSC in 1999 in order to proceed with the appropriate changes. This report focuses on the change plan that Griffin used in order to restructure the company, what effect it had and what was the problems and the challenges that he had to face. There is also an evaluation about the opportunities he has now and how he could react.
Table of contents
2. What were the risks associated with the change effort?
3. Were the key activities that enabled change to occur?
4. Do you agree with the extent of change initiated?
5. How successful has the change effort been thus far?
6. What should John Griffith and other senior managers at the WSSC do going forward?]
Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) provides safe drinking water and wastewater treatment for Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties in Maryland. It was established on May 1, 1918. It is the eighth largest water and wastewater utility in the United States. The WSSC serves about 1.8 million people in an approximately 1,000-square-mile (2,600 km2) area. It owns and manages about 10,000 miles (16,000 km) of water and sewer mains. WSSC is a public company that currently employs approximately 1500 people. its mission to be entrusted by community, to provide safe and reliable water, life’s most precious resource, and return clean water to our environment, all in an ethically and financially responsible manner. Though WSSC was operating good and held a monopoly situation, the community was studding the option of the privatization of the company or how to change its operation procedures, because it seemed that the company was not cost efficient or competitive to the market. Also one more factor that made community skeptical about WWSC was the complaints of the customers about the rates and the operations. This was the alert that the company needed to change immediately. In October of 1999, John Griffin was hired as the new WSSC’s new general manager in order to implement the appropriate changes the organization needed. Griffin was the first outsider manager in the company for very long time and he had to find a way to lead the change, overcome resistance and earn credibility and support of the employees. Every change made in an organization lurks some risks that every manager has to be prepared to face. A change may cause resistance and panic around the organization. People tend to fear change, and employees may be reluctant to see their familiar processes and software programs thrown out. In situations of change, employees tend to move from their ‘comfort zone’, where they feel secure confident and in control of their lives and work, to the ‘no zone’ that they become paralyzed at news of the change of their work, they are affected and performing bad because of the sock and then they move to the ‘gap zone’, where they are trying to find ways to react. The challenge for the manager who is implementing the change is to move the employees to the ‘go zone’, where everyone is going ahead the change. There are many ways to combat resistance to change. One way is to ensure that employees see that the management is completely committed to ensuring the change occurs. Second, it is important for the change vision to be communicated clearly to all employees so that everybody understands what to expect. Part of why...
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