As it has been emphasized before, for the changes to be effective and the plan successful, all stakeholders have to be considered within the plan. This section of the paper will take an analytical approach to the aspects involved in managing the stakeholders of the change. It will identify all the parties that are involved in the achievement of the company’s vision, differentiating between the people being impacted upon and those who are driving the change. It will also identify the sponsors of the plan who are vital to its success. These sponsors are key individuals who will manage change. They have the right to depart from the plan when absolutely necessary. Another part of the plan will look into possible reactions that various parties might have to the changes proposed by the leadership team. This is a precaution for sponsors to be ready with solutions to possible problems.
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An imperative function of this section is also to identify varied methods of effectively communicating with the parties involved. Communication lines will be vital to the adoption of the changes (Paton & McCalman, 2008). It will also deal with issues in communication that might arise during the period of transition. This part of the plan will identify the proper media to be used for communication purposes. Depending on the audience, different media can be used. An appropriate media is vital in convincing the personnel to adopt and own the changes being made.
The goal of this segment is to deal comprehensively with the human aspect of change management, specifically for the Cowboy bank scenario. Clarification on all human factors will be essential in the organizational change.
A stakeholder in an organization is an individual who influences or is affected by its actions. In the business environment, there are a number of stakeholders who can affect or be affected by an organization’s actions. These include Shareholders, Board of Directors, Management, Lower level personnel, suppliers, clients and government. Each of these groups is either affected and/ or influences the activities of the company.
However, for the case of the Cowboy Bank and purpose of this paper, consideration is given to the management and personnel. This is because the functions of this plan touch on these two groups and their roles in the change. Nevertheless, it is vital to establish that the rest of the groups identified here are just as important in instituting the changes. For instance, in order for Cowboy bank to make the drastic changes it intends, it needs the approval of its shareholders and follows regulations set by government. Another plan can look into how to handle the other groups that influence or are impacted by the changes.
The management of the bank can be divided into two; the leadership team and other managers. The leadership team is instrumental to the whole process of change. As a matter of fact, it is the source of the initiative to change. This team influences change in the organization and is the key decision making body (Moran & Brightman, 2001). It involves top executives such as the Managing Director, COO, CFO and other high level managers. However, it should be noted that there are different structures of such a team. It has not been established exactly which individuals form the leadership team in Cowboy bank.
Nevertheless, it is clear that they are decision makers of the organization. In addition, the leadership team holds the greatest responsibility for the success of the change program (Anderson, 2010). They are also more probable to lose their jobs if the plan is not well implemented. Therefore, they own the plan they decide on or approve. Unlike the rest of the organization, they are involved in every part of the plan, though in a supervisory capacity. Their management skills will be vital to the successful execution of change in Cowboy bank.
The other managers are those responsible for smaller groups of employees. They are departmental leaders who take smaller roles in implementing change than the leadership team. However, they are instrumental in ensuring that specific functions of the bank are carried out. In the same way, they are responsible for the changes to be instituted at the departmental level (Robey, Ross, & Boudreau, 2002). Therefore, their involvement involves supervising over specific change executions. For instance, the branch managers in Cowboy bank will be responsible for accounting and winding up of their individual branches. This means that each of the branches chosen to be closed down will have a transition period where the manager will be responsible for this activity. This means that responsibility only extends to the specific branch. One manager cannot take responsibility for the performance of the program in another manager’s branch (Balogun & Johnson, 2004). Unlike the leadership team, these managers will be faced by career changes.
There are currently 254 branch managers. Only 20 branches will be left after the transition. This means that over 200 managers will have to be reallocated. Their morale is impacted upon. Due to the organizational change, some individuals will not be reallocated. They may be asked to take up sales jobs or quit. Therefore, this is the first group in the hierarchy to be targeted by the plan to boost morale. Also as a result of this factor, managers might own the plan more as they have a lot at stake than their juniors.
Cowboy bank has over 1000 personnel. This change program will impact on every one of these individuals. Since the majority of people in the organization are those below management, the success of the program is dependent on how they respond, adopt and take ownership of the organization. The organizational changes will shake up the comfortable jobs these employees have had for some time. The program requires that some gain new skills for sales. Others are not mentioned in the change program. This faction is also consistent of two groups, customer service representatives and loan officers.
The customer service representatives form a substantial portion of the human resource. Every branch currently holds four of them. However, in the reorganization, very few branches will be operating. This means that a big number of the customer service representatives will have to relocate and/ or change their jobs. Nevertheless, customer service will be a key function in the new structure of Cowboy bank. Therefore, it will retain or even have to hire more customer service personnel depending on the success of the program. These officers will not need to sell loans to customers. They will hold the responsibility of assisting customers with their needs. In many organizations, customer service personnel are evaluated based on the quality of their work (Salaman, Storey, & Billsberry, 2005).
Unlike the customer service personnel, the number of loan officers will be shrank to 40. The rest will have to change their job from evaluating loan requests to actually selling loans to customers. This represents the greatest level of professional and culture change in Cowboy’s change program. Of all the employees, these will be faced by the most disruption. The leadership team recognizes this predicament and agrees that even though some of these individuals will be able to switch to sales seamlessly, a majority will need training to become efficient in their new jobs (Cascio, 2002). This change also represents the greatest potential for loss in morale. These officers will face a lot of uncertainties. Their motivation to work might be boosted by the probability of losing employment but the quality of their work will be low due to morale. This group is expected to own the change program the least. Therefore, the plan will pay special attention to the morale of these individuals.
This plan’s success is tied to identifying the appropriate measures to use to influence the entire organization towards change. This is only possible if the human resource is differentiated or grouped into appropriate sections, depending on the effect of the change program on the individuals (Aladwani, 2001). For the purposes of implementation, two groups have to be identified. The strategic actions taken to ensure success of the program depend on which group the individuals are placed. It is also imperative to note that there are no clear lines dividing the groups (Devanna, Fombrun, Tichy, & Warren, 2006). Each individual in an organization undergoing changes is affected and has some influence over the changes being made.
The plan consists of two factions; those affected by and those influencing the changes. However, as mentioned above, there are no distinct lines of division. Taking the case of Cowboy bank, for instance, each stakeholder as identified here is impacted by the change and drives the changes. What differentiates them is the level of control each has over the changes being executed.
The management has a greater control over the changes than the rest of the human resource. Consequently, the changes affect them least (Lorenzi & Riley, 2000). The job description of those in the leadership team remains almost certainly the same, their income structure is constant and they do not relocate to new locations due to shift in the bank branches. This means that even though they make the most significant change decisions, they do not have face the greatest disruption. They are therefore the drivers of change. In the previous section, it was mentioned that the drivers of change would be identified. These individuals are ranked the highest in the hierarchy of the organization. Note that even though the impact does not directly fall on them, they bear the greatest responsibility in the success or failure of the change program.
The lower level managers also have considerable control over the changes fronted by the leadership team. However, unlike the leadership team, they are responsible for specific functions of the program. They are also affected by the changes. In the Cowboy scenario, they will have to relocate to new locations and some will change their jobs. Some might even be forced to give up management positions. As mentioned before, their responsibility for the program’s success or failure is limited to the specific faction each manages. To this extent they drive change in the organization.
The rest of the employees have the least control over the changes happening in the organization. The greatest impact is on them. They also collectively carry the greatest responsibility of attaining the goals of Cowboy bank. It is also sensible to consider them the collective driver of change in the organization. Under appropriate and efficient leadership from management, they have the capacity to achieve the main goals of the change program. Perhaps the only control they have over the changes is their collective rights which are protected by trade union and labor laws. When structuring the change program, the leadership team has to consider these laws, failure to which could lead to legal action.
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This plan can only achieve so much in the organization, without proper support. The sponsor of a plan lends his or her authority and expertise to the plan. Therefore, the plan derives authority from that of the sponsors. The most appropriate people to sponsor this plan are those who structured the change program. Cowboy bank’s leadership team is going to be the sponsor for this implementation plan. As the authority figures in the company, they are able to inspire and influence the rest of the personnel to follow through the plan. Since the plan will also have guides as to what could go wrong and how to mitigate these risks, the leadership team is properly placed to take action in case any of the scenarios identified come to light. Since their decisions are almost always final, time taken to counteract the effects is reduced.
The leadership team will also have the authority to make changes to the plans if necessary. This way, changes made to the plan are sufficiently backed by the organization. The leadership team will also take responsibility for the success or failure of the plan. This is because the team will approve it before it is instituted. Sponsorship also means that the team will take charge of the responsibility to appoint other individuals to implement the plan. These individuals might be current managers or even outside consultants with field expertise.
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