The Journey and the Destination Essay

The Journey and the Destination

In Chapter 10 of Leading Change, Kotter explains that he believes cultural changes must take place after a major change initiative, to support the changes that have been made. 

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  • Do you agree or disagree with this viewpoint?
  • Share an example from your own professional life where you have seen cultural norms support or impede progress.
  • What actions can HR leaders take to foster a culture that sustains changes that have been made?

Post your initial response by Wednesday, midnight of your time zone, and reply to at least 2 of your classmates’ initial posts by Sunday, midnight of your time zone.​

1st response

“The Journey and the Destination”

In chapter 10 of Leading Change, Kotter explains that he believes cultural changes must take place after a major change initiative to support the changes that have been made.

  • Do you agree or disagree with this viewpoint?
  • Share an example from your own professional life where you have seen cultural norms support or impede progress.
  • What actions can HR leaders take to foster a culture that sustains changes that have been made?

Hello Professor Bodam and Classmates,

I agree that cultural changes must take place after a major change initiative to support the changes that have been made. It is crucial that moving forward after a major change initiative that everyone in the organization understands and is in agreement with those change(s). HR leaders can begin by altering the norms and values of the organization. In some cases, the only way to change the culture of an organization is to change some of employees.

I know that this example is different, but it does show the response of management when employees did not agree with culture. I recall a company that used to work for put its clients first which did not go over well with many of the employees working in the service department. Employees were upset by the fact that managements decisions made it impossible to do their job effectively. However, instead of management admitting their error or listening to employee opinion, management got rid of those who were not on board with their ideas.

HR leaders can implement cultural values and practices that allow them to use smaller change initiatives as a proven ground for team building and refining HR’s approach to change leadership (JWI556, notes). HR leaders can accomplish this goal by providing the following:

  1. Voice and Dignity– all people want and deserve to have their ideas, opinions and feelings heard and their work and effort respected.
  2. Candor– the willingness to be open about what they think and to speak up. Candor generates 1- richer ideas, as more people get into the conversation, 2- more speed as ideas are debated and acted upon more quickly, and 3- cost reductions through the elimination of meaningless meetings and reports.
  3. Flat Organizational Structures and Empowerment to Take Action– reflects and reinforces a culture of personal empowerment and accountability.

Paula

Resources:

JWI 566 Leading Change by Putting People First, Week #5 Lecture Notes

John P. Kotter (2012) Leading Change. Harvard Business Review Press

2nd response

Good afternoon Class and Professor,

I agree that cultural changes must take place after a major change to support the changes made because the new initiative will most likely not have the shared values of the old company culture. It is important to realize that a business’ old company culture has been probably been around since its inception and needs to be upgraded to shared values of groups that work the business. Businesses’ have to think about the younger generation of workers and that their viewpoints of the culture are different from the older generation or even the business culture, itself.

The company I work for hasn’t changed its mission and values in 90 years since its inception. The culture hasn’t changed much. The only thing I would say that is changing is how we serve our customers to fit norms already put in place. They are always trying to make the concept of Customer First better and being the best food retailer out of all the competition in the same market. I don’t think the culture has shared values among certain groups because most employees are under the age of 40 or have been there for over 25 years. I think they should focus on employees first because if everyone’s values are being supported in a change initiative they are most likely to stay loyal employees. After all, culture has to benefit younger and older generations, alike.

As Kotter described, their ways to anchor change to make sure it stays sustained, like evaluating the results because management has to focus on the actions of change to see if clearly works and is above the old cultural norms. The other important focus is having consistent communication without talking about the new changes and how it fits into shared values among employees then it will be hard for people to get on board and support the changes. The last one I think that can be hard for management is that if some people just aren’t as supportive of the change and not really attempting then it may be time to reconsider their employment, which means having to let some people go and bring in new employees that will be open to change (1). It is necessary to changes the culture in a business at some point and management has to think about all the different groups and how it will benefit all employees. If not, there could be regression and it will be harder to move on in integrating new change to old norms and shared values.

1. John Kotter. Leading Change. 2012.

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