Discussions on Business
As an OD consultant I believe that the key issues that are involving this company are that the executives that are working for Learning time do not believe that it is a good idea for the president of another company to be the new CEO. Especially if they feel that they have the qualifications to have the job. This has caused resistance and increases competitiveness that has caused Mary the CEO of the Learning time company and other staff members to disengage. There is also worries from the other employees about the merger between LearningTime and the Turtor for Kids company. I believe that the first intervention that should be implemented would be to incorporate the . McKinsey 7-S model collectively determines how a company will strategically operate, According to the model, managers, need to take into account of seven basic factors to be sure of successful implementation of a strategy. These include strategy, structure, systems, style, staff, shared values, and skills. (Rothwell,2015). I would use this intervention to bring forth the leadership team for the LearningTime company and the Tutors-for Kids company to have a meeting to discuss their concerns and help assist the leadership team to come up with strategies to help the team strategically operate together. I can encourage both leadership teams to discuss what areas that have worked for them and areas that they both would like to improve on. This will help encouraged both teams to promote honestly and learn their shared values and mission, so it can be implemented to have a positive and effective merger. It is important for both leadership teams to know what skills they can both bring together to help their companies come together. Finding positive attributes, values, their company structures, and the types of staff that they have can help both teams to be more comfortable to get to know each other while problem-solving ways that both companies can work together. Using this model can also help with the leadership team coming up with a policy that involves a step by step process of finding a new CEO for the company. Since both companies are merging together, I believe that it would be beneficial for both leadership teams to come up with policies and procedures of qualifications for the next CEO. It is important for both parties to create because it provides a sense of reassurance of both parties feeling important and valued that they are able to establish a teamwork effort of establishing a process of the next face of the company.
I would also, incorporate Kotter’s Eight step change model. Kotter proposed acknowledging and managing people's reactions to change, both emotionally and behaviorally, and using this as the framework for change management (Rothwell, 2015). According to Galli (2015), Kotter communicated that "leadership must create and sustain the kind of changes needed for a successful organization to compete in the current competitive world." I can use this intervention to help both leadership teams to discuss the merger and what benefits both companies coming together can help their companies in a positive way. I believe that by opening that communication between both leadership teams can help them pass along to their staff in a meeting about the benefits of the merger between two companies and that change can be difficult but it is a great aspect for positive change. The leadership teams can come up with rewards systems to increase motivation with the employees for both companies and to reassure that they are valued, important and that their jobs are not in jeopardy due to the merger. Discussing positive change can help both company's leadership team and staff to get to know one another to establish a positive and effective teamwork effort. When selecting both interventions I believe it is important to consider that change can take time for members of both companies to adjust. It is important to help both parties to established communication in a nonjudgmental environment and to encourage both leadership teams to provide input about their concerns and strategies they would like to see implemented to make the merger of both companies be successful.
Galli, B.J. (2018). Change management models: A comparative analysis and concerns. IEEE Engineering Management Review, 46(3), 124-132
Rothwell, W. J. (2015). Organization development fundamentals: Managing strategic change. Alexandria, VA: ATD Press
The employees at LearningTime Inc. and Tutors-for-Kids are disengaged with work, feeling anxious about the impending changes which has resulted in resistance and are in disagreement about leadership all of which has resulted in maladaptive work behavior. Organization development (OD) interventions can help an organization learn how to solve problems, reduce resistance to change, and create a more effective organization. I would recommend the following interventions:
Future Search is a proactive organization wide approach to organizational change (Jex & Britt, 2014). The process entails a 3-day conference with the aim of developing a future vision for the organization and strategies to achieve that vision (Jex & Britt, 2014). This method results in a shared vision for the future, improved work design, and increased organization wide participation at work (Jex & Britt, 2014).
A shared vision for the future is important for LearningTime Inc. not only because they are losing their long time CEO but also because they are gaining an entire company that has its own structure and culture. Through its focus of finding common ground in the past, present, and future, the conference results in a shared vision for the company (Bolman & Deal, 2017). Future Search also requires a partnership, and open mind from participants (Bolman & Deal, 2017). Being open-minded allows for a free flow of information and honesty as all options are explored (Swann, 2018). LearningTime can use this shared future vision to find the right person to fill the CEO position – a person that has the right skillset to enact the created future vision. According to Swann (2018) when the right person is in the right position it opens the stage for creativity and innovation.
Furthermore, this intervention requires the active participation of members of the organization (Bolman & Deal, 2017). Therefore, it will help to re-engage the CEO, Mary Williams, as well as her employees as they work together with the employees of Tutors-for-Kids in developing a future vision. As a result of this active participation in the 3-day conference, employees feel more valued, and take more ownership of the change process and consequently will be more likely to accept the changes. This increased level of communication and participation can also result in employees viewing the organizational changes as being conducted fairly. Jex and Britt (2014) state that when changes are viewed as fair, employees are more likely to accept them.
Team Building Interventions
Research has shown that team building activities have had a positive effect on team functioning (Jex & Britt, 2014). The teams become better at identifying problems, brainstorming solutions to the problems, and ultimately solving problems (Jex & Britt, 2014). This approach will not result in a problem free environment, rather it will provide the team with the skills needed to diagnose and solve future barriers to performance (Jex & Britt, 2014). Team building will improve communication skills, increase trust among employees and can promote creativity (Jex & Britt, 2014).
When two companies join, the team dynamics change. In this case, the change is heightened by the leader exiting the team. LearningTime and Tutors-for-Kids need to find a way not only to resolve the interpersonal competition, but also ways to continue doing this as the teams work together in the future. Team building can help the employees of the two companies to better understand the new team dynamics by getting to know their new peers (Levasseur, 2017). Working together through the team building activities, employees undertake a collaborative approach rather than a competitive approach (Levasseur, 2017). This is needed because many executives are competing for the CEO position which has resulted in maladaptive, competitive behavior such as backbiting.
Factors to Consider
When selecting an intervention for an organization it is important to consider certain aspects of the organization. Failure to do so can lead to the intervention failing (Jex & Britt, 2014). One important factor to consider is support from top management. This support is crucial because employees look towards their leaders for guidance, especially during times of turmoil or change (Jex & Britt, 2014). Their behavior can determine whether the employee will adopt the recommended changes regardless of whether the changes are beneficial or not (Jex & Britt, 2014). For example, I chose Future Search as an intervention model because the CEO, Mary Williams, has become disengaged. This could result in her employees not accepting the change because she is not enthusiastically promoting it. The intervention would help to ensure her engagement in the process as well as the engagement of her employees and the board members.
A second factor to consider when selecting interventions is the level of resistance to change. It is important to implement change in a way that serves to decrease this resistance. High levels of communication and feeling involved in the process can reduce resistance (Jex & Britt, 2014). For example, at Tutors-for-Kids there is a high resistance to change because employees are feeling anxious about their uncertain future once the acquisition is complete. This was considered when selecting both interventions. Future Search can help to reduce the employee’s resistance because the process entails communication (e.g. what happened in the past, what is happening now, what will happen in the future) and active participation. Team building can also help to reduce resistance to change because these activities involve employee participation and leads to increased feelings of value (Levasseur, 2017). If the level of resistance to change is too high, then interventions should be coupled with change management techniques to help increase their acceptance by employees.
Bolman, L., & Deal, T. (2017). Reframing Organizations: Artistry, Choice, and Leadership. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Jex, S.M., & Britt, T.W. (2014). Organizational psychology: A scientist-practitioner approach (3rd ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Levasseur, R.E. (2017). People skills: Building the perfect team – A change management perspective. INFORMS Journal on Applied Analytics, 47(3), 195-227.
Swann, A. (2018). The human workplace. London, England: Kogan Page.