Change Stories

timer Asked: Jan 23rd, 2014
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Question Description

Briefly reflect upon an important change you have experienced in your life. Compare your change to the change stories from the beginning of Chapter 1.Compare the change stories from the beginning of Chapter 1. Answer the following questions and respond to at least two of your classmates' postings.

  • What are the common issues across each story?
  • What are the differences?
  • Of the change "lessons" outlined in Table 1.1, which of these are present in these stories? Which are absent? What are the implications of this?
  • Are there other "lessons" embedded in the stories for future changes for/to the companies?
  • What three key conclusions do you draw from these stories about managing change? What lessons are embedded in these stories that you can apply to future changes you may face?

TABLE 1.1 

Managing Change: Some Lessons from the Four Stories 

Hewlett-Packard Change Story 

• Different interests need to be recognized and addressed during an organizational change 

• These interests are likely to provoke different reactions to change 

• Organizational politics and lobbying are likely aspects of an organizational change that will need managing 

• Negotiation and persuasion are key communication skills 

• More successful communication strategies are likely to be those that “touch” the people to whom they are 


• Communicating change often entails providing a vision of the future that is compelling 

• Pressures to change come from both outside and inside organizations 

• Restructuring is a common organizational change when confronted with problems 

• Any organizational change usually involves paying attention to organizational culture 

IBM Change Story 

• Innovative changes often emerge from below in organizations 

• Making change stick requires persistence over time and actions that need to be taken on multiple fronts 

• Change needs appropriately placed champions to gain support throughout the organization 

• The informal network of the organization is an important part of mobilizing and communicating 

organizational change 

• Change requires marshalling of appropriate resources 

• Some changes are incremental, others transformational 

• Some smaller change actions often convey powerful symbolic messages to help reinforce the sincerity and credibility that senior management attaches to the larger change Kodak Change Story 

• Organizational change involves handling reactions of both internal and external stakeholders 

• Communication strategies need to be designed for internal and external groups 

• Reactions to change are likely to be influenced by the success of previous changes and the extent to which there has been delivery on past promises 

• Change involves risk and uncertainty 

• The consequences of change cannot always be predicted 

• Managers of change need to address 

the question for staff of “How will I be affected?” 

McDonald’s Change Story 

• Organizational changes occur in a competitive, international business environment 

• This means that to prepare for the future, change may need to occur even when things still appear to be going well 

• Organizations face external pressures to change such as providing socially responsible products and services 

• Some changes fail to deliver on their intended outcomes 

• Change in and of itself is not necessarily good for a company; careful assessment is needed of the relevance and likely success of a proposed change 

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School: Cornell University

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