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Change Management for Big and Small Companies, Essay Example

Pages: 2

Words: 619

Essay

Introduction of new technology usually means that employees have to learn new skills, change their existing way of doing things, and certain business processes may need to be revised. In addition, new technology may also bring uncertainty among employees regarding their own future. Thus, it is understandable why changes are usually met with some resistance and Kotter’s 8-Step Change Model has important guidelines for dealing with challenges of introducing new technology in both big and small companies.

Kotter’s 8-Step Change Model emphasizes tackling change step by step and involving employees in the process(Kotter International). In the case of introducing a new technology, the model may suggest involving employees in the selection process, easing their fears that the new technology will not hurt their employment, providing training to the employees, giving them financial incentive to learn and adopt the new technology, and showing them how the new technology will contribute towards achieve the organizational goals.

If a change is intended as a proactive approach, the management may explain to the employees how it will help the organization gain or maintain the market leadership position, improve organizational efficiency, and continue to stay ahead of the competition. This will not only benefit the organization but will also mean more secure career as well as performance bonus opportunities for the employees. If the change is reactive, the management will have to convince the employees that it is a matter of survival and unless the company takes steps to at least be as competitive as other players, its very survival may be in jeopardy. This in turn will also mean a potential loss of employment for the employees.

An example of a big company may be Adidas. Adidas is older than Nike but Nike leads the market due to its never-ending focus on innovation and an efficient supply chain. The new technology may mean that Adidas becomes leaner and as such, some employees may resist the change fearing loss of power. Adidas may ease the fears of such employees by demonstrating how they will continue to be involved in the decision making process and adopting could also be encouraged by tying the annual performance bonus to the learning and adoption apt of new technology. For Adidas it will be a reactive change because besides Nike, other competitors such as Puma are also improving and it is likely that rising economies like China may also give birth to home grown apparel and shoe manufacturers with global ambitions.

An example of a small company going for a proactive change would be Under Armour. Under Armour has become famous for its innovative products aimed at the American Football market and the success of Under Armour shows it is possible to take on Nike by differentiating through product quality instead of economies of scale. New technologies make it possible for small companies to gain significant improvements in their business processes and Under Armour could use the new technology to make similar successful attempts at other markets such as basketball and baseball.

Two common pitfalls are that the management assumes new technology will automatically improve performance. The management should do a careful analysis of how the new technology may help it improve some of its business processes and possibly replace them and how it will contribute towards achieving the organizational objectives. Another pitfall is that new technology is always expected to improve performance efficiency. For new technology to work, the employees have to be willing to learn it and adopt it. Otherwise, the new technology may actually deteriorate performance if it is not embraced by the employees who either do not like it or don’t have the skills to take advantage of it.

Reference

Kotter International. The 8-Step Process for Leading Change. 28 September 2011 <http://www.kotterinternational.com/kotterprinciples/changesteps>.

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