Leading Change with the 5-P Model : ''Complexing'' the Swan and Dolphin Hotels at Walt Disney World

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Cornell Hospitality Quarterly
http://cqx.sagepub.com/ Leading Change with the 5-P Model : ''Complexing'' the Swan and Dolphin Hotels at Walt Disney World Robert Ford, William Heisler and William Mccreary Cornell Hospitality Quarterly 2008 49: 191 DOI: 10.1177/0010880407306361 The online version of this article can be found at: http://cqx.sagepub.com/content/49/2/191

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© 2008 CORNELL UNIVERSITY DOI: 10.1177/0010880407306361 Volume 49, Issue 2 191-205

Leading Change with the 5-P Model
“Complexing” the Swan and Dolphin Hotels at Walt Disney World by ROBERT FORD, WILLIAM HEISLER, and WILLIAM MCCREARY

An effective change process must account for all aspects related to that change. This article presents a “5-P” framework for implementing change and illustrates the application of the framework with a case situation in which the operations at the Swan and Dolphin Hotels at Walt Disney World were consolidated. The five “P”s are as follows: purpose, priorities, people, process, and proof. Briefly put, change should have a stated purpose; specific targets of change should be identified and prioritized; people potentially affected by the change should be identified and brought into the change process; the process should use appropriate levels of direction, participation, and consultation; and the proof should demonstrate visibly and believably what the change accomplished. While the Swan-Dolphin complexing was not without bumps along the way, the approach resulted in a successful change implementation that saved $4 million in annual expenses.


change management; leading change; hotel management


ewspapers and trade magazines are full of accounts of organizations implementing new and innovative strategies to meet changing business conditions. Whether implementing a major change such as installing an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system within a global organization, or a relatively minor one such as implementing a new procedure within a single department, leadership of the change process is an increasingly valued managerial skill (Kouzes and Posner 1995). While some propose that the management of change is a specialized competency of people in organizational development or human resources (Ulrich 1997), it is becoming increasingly clear that change management is more than merely

MAY 2008
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Cornell Hospitality Quarterly




managing the process of change; it involves leading people who must themselves change to make the process successful. As John Kotter (1996, 30) suggested in his classic work, Leading Change, “Managing change is important. Without competent management, the transformation process can get out of control. But for most organizations, the much bigger challenge is leading change.” While there is a wealth of articles and books that can help the manager trying to bring about organizational change, these writings tend to focus either on specific, but limited, aspects of the change process or provide advice that is long on prescriptive generalities and short on specific examples that illustrate the application of these change principles (see, e.g., Beitler 2003; Burke 2002; Dawson 2003; Fernandez and Rainey 2006; Kanter, Stein, and Jick 1992; Nadler 1997; Quinn 2004). In contrast, this...
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