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There are numerous problems in the Choco-Media that needs to be addressed. These problems are brought to light by different individuals starting from the “few folks” all the way to the General Managers.
1. Reluctance to change: Throughout the organization, there is a reluctance to change. The general managers do not feel the need to change although the current situation does not give any room for the non-conformists. This is illustrated by the new folks along the halls that point to the fact that there are some managers who need some charm school. Some of the higher authorities are also resistant to change. This is illustrated by the Bill Haley who gets irritated by just the mention of leadership and management development.
2. Introduction of accountability: There are numerous cases, where the radio division is expressed as particularly freewheeling, extraverted, and one that blurs the boundary between sales/marketing and on air products. Things are done by the rules of thumb and are done haphazardly. This creates a lot of problems as the promotions changed to involve crazy stunts that were sometimes dangerous and had serious liability risks.
3. No teamwork between the radio and publishing divisions: Although the two entities are from the same organization, they seem to be working in totally different worlds and totally different direction and ways. Whereas the publishing division is controlled, intellectual, introverted and widely organized in everything it does, the radio division, on the other hand, is opposite in every detail and mainly incorporates low learned people in its ranks.
4. Inadequate professionalism in the radio division: The radio division is portrayed as notorious in engaging in highly risky behavior, regardless of the outcome. In addition, the General Manager of the Dallas Cluster advocates for “let’s just have fun stations that people like”, which shows an exceptionally high level of non-professionalism for the institution of their size.
5. Lack of the initiative to drive change: The New York General Manager, who had been in business for long and was highly regarded by other General Managers, sees the need for a change but does not take any initiative to achieve the change. She indicates that there is a need for change but the change should also protect the culture. This indicates that she does not have the drive to initiate these changes. The existence of these people who want change is also shown by the new Human Resource Vice President, Fred Brochet, who has just had his department create the company’s first Employee Handbook and Policy Guide. His department is also in the process of developing a performance management system to increase accountability from all employees.
6. Undefined roles and boundaries: For the small clusters and markets, there is significant overlap of the stations and leadership.
7. Inadequate investors’ trust: Lack of this trust among the investors and stock analysts are resulting to overall downfall of the Choco-Media. This is illustrated by changes in the preferences of the stock analysts on the media companies which indicate less security and stability in the areas of the radio and publishing, thereby resulting in company’s stock tumbling precipitously.
8. Ignorance and lack of discipline in the company: The reluctance to change has mostly been due to the lack of discipline and lack of respect for authority. This had been illustrated when the company went public. The corporates tried to put some rules in place, but the leaders who are supposed to enforce them also illustrate the same to the junior members. They did not do anything substantial and, therefore, the rules were ignored.
9. Neglect of duties by corporates: When the corporates were trying to instill some order in the company just after going public, they did not follow up on it after the General Managers showed some resistance. The corporates were supposed to see that their guidelines and proposed changes were adhered even though it meant having radical changes in the organization management. These changes were supposed to be in line with the company’s strategies for the growth, and maybe that is why they were neglected in the first place. From the systems, one can easily identify resistance to change in any formal setup that parties involved are not working together (no team work), there is a widespread disregard of the higher authority and team work is missing or is inefficient, which in turn leads to uncontrollable disasters in the company.
After identification of the problems in the Choco-Media, one can deduce that for the plan to cause any change in the company, it should start with the change of the attitudes towards the change and thereby allowing some opportunity for personal growth in a professional manner. Some of the goals I could target in order to achieve this leadership/management development program are;
In order to achieve these, I should be able to answer most/all of these questions;
In order to meet all my objectives, I need to be more informed about the structure of the organization. I can get this information from the Chief Executive Officer, CEO, the Vice President of Operations and Vice President of Human Resource. The same people can provide me with the number of employees in the different divisions. In addition, I need to know how Don Addams, the Vice President, Human Resource in 2004, was implementing his earlier version of management and leadership program. In the same case, I would like to know what it involved, and the resistant he encountered. I can get this information from the current Vice President of Human Resource, Fred Brochet, who is for the change. In addition I need to understand the present situation of the company in all areas I am interested in. To achieve this, I need to conduct a massive survey in all areas and involve all employees, as well as the management. Lastly, I need to get financial records for the company for each department and division so as to analyze their work in terms of financial gains to the company. This will also indicate the extent of damage done by the unprofessional stunts to the employees. I can get this information from the Chief Financial Officer, Sarah Trent.
To get the information from the employees, I will employ the method of interviews and the use of questionnaires, filled by employees in the organization. For the correct useful and relevant information to be responded I need to have some of these questions;
With the totally different cultures of the radio and publishing divisions, I have determined that the publishing division is well organized and controlled and, therefore, less work is to be done although there is the need to integrate it to the mainstream radio division. First of all I need to instill some sense of discipline, order and accountability in the radio division. After that, I need to introduce the concept of innovation to the publishing division as well as maintaining it to the radio division. It is after my overall plan of the leadership/management development program that I will merge them by introducing the concept of the new organization structure, of which it will unite them together. The earlier and the present leadership of the company was and is still being resistant to change and especially the leadership development programs at the company. The only way to achieve their trust is by clearly telling them that it’s for their own good. This can be achieved by organizing seminars to indicate the circumstances leading to the present crises and the possible results if they are not corrected on time. In addition, I need to effect these changes in small incremental steps to avoid massive resistance to it.
After answering the questions we had arrived at, our starting point would be seeking other ways of initiating some changes in small increments and deep involvement in all the parties. By experience from other related fields and studies the factors that will ensure our improved chances of success is the use of the incremental change and innovation. Incremental change encompasses the following: characteristics of our innovative ideas, approving and acknowledging the skills and altitudes of the innovative employees, involving everyone in group processes and the team of coworkers, altering the leadership style of the employee supervisors, and lastly ensuring an improved organizational context (OECD, 2010).
Our innovative ideas should be re-altered so as to allow for more primary tasks for the employees that have enormous repercussions to the whole company. Although this will be costly, it will remove some aspects of uncertainty in our outcome. These innovative ideas should be directed to the periphery of primary tasks and should also be limited to the working domain of the employee in question. After attaining the adherence of the employees to the basic primary tasks and ensuring that they enjoy the overall output of that innovation, then we should work on the skills and altitudes of the innovative employees. By recognition and realization of the innovative ideas from the employees and the management, we can be able to tap their cognitive and interpersonal skills, their willingness to discuss and resolve disagreements as well as to lower the incidences of conflict among the employees and management. In addition, by recognizing the innovations, the employees feel they are the ones driving the change and not the other way round. It is also widely known that those “highly job-involved innovators for whom innovative performance is identity relevant will produce greater personal conflict in cases where innovation meets the resistance to change other factors” (OECD – Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, 2010, p. 127). After gaining the confidence of the innovative managers and employees, I will show them the probability for growth in a professional way. I will also try to involve the ones in the resistance in a bid to show them that they can also be innovators just like their counterparts. This is meant to reduce the nature of the resistance, and to give them an insight into themselves and the nature of change I am proposing, while increasing the acceptability to the innovators.
After that, I will initiate group processes in the team of co-workers. It is widely known that innovation is seldom as a result of one individual but of a group. If it is as a result of the group, then teamwork and co-operation are essential for the conversion of other whom are resistant to change. By applying the appropriate team knowledge, skills and abilities, one can affect any group processes in terms of conflict resolution skills, collaborative problem solving skills, in terms of goal setting and to accept personal performance assessment skills. This will also enhance the groups’ effectiveness to have shared goals and participation in decision making. It is also evident that if there is diversity and team tenure then there is a higher probability of getting positive outcomes.
After a considerable gain in the confidence of the junior employees and managers in general, then I will try to change the style of leadership of the employee supervisors to allow for the inborn altitude of innovation and professionalism about it among the employees. I will also ensure that they give the employees some space to allow for further innovations in addition to giving the innovators some autonomy from the organizational rules and procedures. By participation and direct support from the supervisors, these innovators will feel stimulated. To achieve this, I will encourage participative leadership, which implies constant consultation and delegation and support that implies recognizing and providing the necessary resources for the innovation. By encouraging this participation and support, I will emphasize the result oriented innovations that are less risky and have considerable returns to the company. In order to achieve this, I will advise the human resource managers headed by the new Human Resource Vice President, Fred Brochet, to recruit new academically qualified research staff for research. This new branch should incorporate more new members than those in the company presently. By so doing, the employees will feel to be part of the company as their innovations will be backed by solid market related research and thereby allowing them some opportunities for personal growth. My reason to choose Fred Brochet is due to the fact that he is aware of the problems of the company well, and has inward ability and drive to lead in matters of change. He is also more accountable to himself and to the company. This is illustrated by changes in his department in terms of creating the company’s first Employee Handbook and Policy Guide as well as he is in the process of developing a performance management system to increase accountability from all employees.
Also, by the choice of the new Human Resource Vice President, Fred Brochet, the general managers will be have less trouble being answerable to him than to someone new to the company and, therefore, will show less resistance to change. The accountability will be introduced in the company as well as some sense of discipline in the radio division. He also advocates for invention and, therefore, he will be in line with the already transformed employees and some general managers. The rest, who are still reluctant to change, will have no choice but to abide to the well intentions of others. They will be individuals rather than the whole bunch of managers and employees who already want personal and professional growth. As they abide to the New, Human Resource Vice President, willingly or non-willingly, I will have attained most of my initial objectives and goals for leadership/management development program I have for the company.
With the changes in the structure of the company having had tremendous changes at this time, I will then look at the organizational context. This refers to the development of an adaptive or innovation or acceptance of culture in any organization. It can also be looked as the removal of the barriers to innovation and growth. This is also important due to the fact that implementation of new change or “innovations in any mechanistic organization, designed to protect established courses of action is more likely to provoke conflict than in the organic organizations where employees are expected to coordinate through mutual adjustment” (OECD – Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, 2010). Choco-Media is an example of this mechanistic organization and, therefore, these changes need to be done carefully and the barriers to growth dealt with whenever possible. These barriers include the mentality, blame culture, poor communication, having short term perspective, risk avoidance, and bureaucracy. All of which, impede the growth and development of my leadership/management development plan and for the company in general. On the other hand, Choco-Media has some characteristics that allow for innovation space, but it is misused up to the disadvantage of the company. Therefore, I will utilize that opportunity to ensure continued growth of the talent while on the other hand, instilling some professionalism in it. Choco-Media has a customer focused characteristic which must be encouraged at any cost. It is this customer based characteristics that have led to this tremendous growth in the company for the last ten years. In addition to that Choco-Media needs to cultivate the support for change and organizational learning so as to safeguard the contribution made by the customer oriented growth. It should be noted that support for change is decisive in the face of potential conflict emerging from my leadership/management development program innovations. The organizational learning is critical to the company as it brings together and consolidates individual knowledge dispersed throughout the organization as well as regulating knowledge appropriation by the individual employees (OECD – Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, 2010). When all these three organizational context strategies are working together, they will reverse the downward trend the whole organization is experiencing, and lead to the upward growth of the company once again. The stock analysts and investors trust in the company will be revived, and the whole company will regain its momentum in the growth. At this point, I have attained almost all of my goals except for the undefined roles and boundaries within the company itself.
In conclusion, the overall organization structural design needs to be re-organized or changed so that the overall gains got will not be lost by the same general managers who have opposed changes throughout the span of the organization. It is very much easier for the gains to be lost because of the comfort they had all this time (ten years). The new structure is an essential tool since it will orients the General Managers and their subordinates to think and act within a specified framework. It’s also necessary since it will have well defined roles and show distinct boundaries for each of the business clusters. It is also meant to bridge the division between the publishing division and the radio division. Although these two are from the same company, they do their business in two totally different ways. Although the publishing division structure has been built around the work to be done, the counterpart radio division has not been well structured to incorporate the work to be done and for maximum efficiency. Results from earlier studies have shown that for maximum efficiency to be attained, work must be logically divided into elementary, routine and repetitive tasks. These tasks should then be arranged in the form of departments headed by an executive who should have a limited number of subordinates who would be reporting directly to him. In addition, the command should flow from only one individual and everyone should have one and only one boss (Rao & Rao, 1999). Work should also be assigned to individuals based on the job demands and the individual’s ability to do the job. Our new organization structure should follow this theoretical structure such that the threads of control are held by individual superiors working at the top of the hierarchy. Incidences of indiscipline will be highly reduced and also improve on the accountability among all the individuals.
At the end of my leadership/management development program, behaviors will be regulated by the directives, rules, and regulations which specify the exact manner in which the roles and duties are to be performed and who is answerable to whom. This should be done carefully to allow for the innovative ideas, that drive the growth of the company are maintained and given some support. As the company will grow due to these radical changes, then any new members recruited should be due to his or her qualification or due to strategic well thought and researched information and should add value to the company. By this time, I will have attained all my goals and my leadership/management development program will have been a success.