GMBA8032 Manage Change
The purpose of the first Learning Diary is to develop your experiential, problem-solving, holistic, and reflective skills. Your Learning Diary will provide a critical reflection of your key learning from the content in Weeks 1-3, which incorporates an introduction (where I started), your reflections (Question of the Week forum posts), and a conclusion (where I’m at now…). Your Learning Diary should follow the following format: A) Introduction): Where I started (‘Before this course, my approach to change was …’) Think about how you thought about and approached change at work or in your private life prior to the course. Focus on: B) Reflections – “Question of the Week” Forum Posts: Base your reflections on the below Questions : 1. What is the ‘change problem’ and how should we respond to it? 2. What is the value of the ‘Iceberg’ and ‘Rollercoaster’ images of change? 3. How should I apply the mapping tools in the change journey? the key new concepts learned in the week applied to your own experiences (experiential) • critical reflections of these concepts – the problems to be addressed and solutions to be provided (problem-based) your intellectual (head), emotional (heart), and practical (hand) connections to the concepts (holistic) a consideration of how you might experiment with these ideas in the future to transform your habitual approaches to change (reflective) C) Conclusions: Where I’m at (‘My approach to change is now … ‘) Reflect on your progress in relation to these key course learning outcomes: Extra information: Learning objectives of Weeks 1, 2 and 3 Week 1: Examine conventional views of how the change problem is defined in modern organisation, its nature, cause and solutions Question and debate failure rates of organisational change initiatives and systemic causes Analyse and evaluate conventional change management approaches and how to build on their contributions Week 2 Develop the reflective capacity to stand on the ‘balcony’ and take a ‘third position’ when confronted by different and conflicting images of change Question and debate the imbalance in contemporary images of change, in particular the excessive weight given to formal, rational and mechanistic imagery Analyse critically and creatively apply images of the ‘iceberg’ and ‘death valley’ as generative counter-images for re-imagining change Week 3 Prepare a gap analysis to define the change by detailing the distance you have to travel between ‘where you are’ and ‘where you want to be’ Conduct a forcefield analysis of the conditions and forces you will encounter on the journey, and which need to be taken into account in planning your route Create a route map for the change journey, charting your progress through the standard stages of change (beginning, middle and end) and adapting this to the conditions at hand, conditions that are identified in the gap and forcefield analyses Required reading Week 3: The Daffodil Inn case This week you will be exploring and applying your new mapping tools (Gap Analysis, Force Field Analysis and Route Analysis) in a case study of the ‘Daffodil Inn’ from an excellent textbook by a colleague and friend Professor Muayyad Jabri: Jabri, M. (2017). Managing organizational change: Process, social construction and dialogue (2nd ed.): 130-132. The case describes a change situation confronting the 4-star Daffodil hotel. Note: This case was prepared by Muayyad Jabri as the basis for classroom discussion rather than to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a managerial situation. It is used in GMBA8032 with permission of the author and publisher. Case study: Daffodil Inn Deborah James, the marketing manager and head housekeeper at Daffodil Inn, pushed her chair away from her small desk, stretched and sighed. She didn’t know what to do. The vacancy rate at the hotel was rising far above other comparable hotels in the area, and Jade Green, the hotel’s general manager, didn’t seem to have noticed. To make matters worse, staff were talking about leaving. Rumour had it that there were plenty of jobs elsewhere that would give them more scope to use their skills. Deborah realized that she was going to have to do something. But what? Daffodil Inn Daffodil Inn is a medium-sized, four-star hotel with 74 air-conditioned rooms, all with free wifi and free parking on site. All rooms have a small desk, a refrigerator and a tea and coffee maker, as well as a bathroom with a hairdryer and free toiletries. Its restaurant offers woodfired pizzas and a barbecue area with outdoor seating. It sells a wide range of beers, wines and cocktails. Daffodil Inn also has an indoor swimming pool and a fitness centre with plenty of facilities, including workout sessions at weekends. Jade Green is the hotel’s general manager, and she has two departmental managers reporting to her, as well as 23 other employees. Jade and the other senior managers have all worked at Daffodil in those roles for the past five years. The hotel prides itself on being a warm and friendly environment for customers and employees alike. Employees’ performances are not overly monitored, with the expectation that all employees will do the right thing, which is mostly the case. To maintain the highest levels of quality, a deep room cleaning and facilities maintenance programme is carried out every fortnight. This programme is managed and supervised by two experienced and highly dedicated housekeepers. A traditional reward system provides no monetary incentive beyond tipping, which is virtually nonexistent. A conversation with Jade Deborah’s concern was chiefly the vacancy rate. The number of empty hotel rooms had been growing for some time. Figures from the previous quarter showed that 32% of the rooms had been vacant. Occupancy rates were down 4% on the same time last year. What was worse was that other four-star hotels in the area didn’t seem to have the same trouble. The level of employee turnover had also started to rise. In a business that prided itself on unusually low turnover, this was ringing alarm bells for Deborah. She looked at her watch, and decided that she just had time to see Jade before she left for the day. ‘Hi, Jade,’ she said, with a smile. ‘I hope you don’t mind me coming down, but I’m really getting quite worried. I think we need an upgrade on some of our facilities. I’ve been looking at our vacancy rates, and I’m worried that if we don’t, the hotel will come under even more pressure. We really need a refurb to keep us competitive in the market. Jade frowned. ‘I understand where you’re coming from, but we really don’t have and spare capital right now. I can’t help thinking that this isn’t very urgent right now.’ ‘But that’s just it,’ Deborah replied. ‘The staff are getting worried about this, and they’re starting to leave. Not enough is done about upgrading facilities, or even keeping them up to date. Even the TVs are all out of date. Service and facilities is what brings customers back.’ Jade said, abruptly and rather sharply, ‘Staff turnover is a completely separate issue and I don’t see that it has anything to do with capital investment. What’s more,’ she added, ‘our hotel still performs better than plenty of others.’ ‘But we need to continue building for the future and we’ve always prided ourselves on unusually low turnover and new facilities,’ Deborah pointed out. ‘We can’t do that just now.’ Jade’s mobile started to ring. She reached for it, and Deborah turned away to see a customer entering the otherwise empty reception area. She moved to greet him. The conversation was over. A conversation with Jim A few days later, Deborah was having coffee with Jim, the HR manager. She remarked to him that there were rumours that several employees planned to leave and go to other hotels in the area. Jim had only been in the job a few months, but already he had been involved in sorting out several disputes, between individuals and departments. He was also finding that he was being used as a sounding board in hotel as well as personal problems. ‘Mmm,’ he responded thoughtfully to Deborah. ‘I’ve heard those rumours too. It’s certainly true that turnover is increasing. That’s usually a sign of organizational problems, but I don’t know if that’s the case here.’ Jim had always thought that high employee retention rates were important in any customer service business. The familiarity that develops between staff and customers cannot be bought or learned. He knew that losing that would have a direct and negative impact on almost everyone in the hotel. Given Deborah’s concern, he decided that it was definitely part of his job to take a quiet look at some turnover figures and see what he could discover. Some surprising news Jim found himself shocked by the figures. The hotel had a staff turnover rate of almost 40% over the past 18 months. Jim had little doubt that this was impairing customer relationships. He, too, decided that he would have to talk to Jade. However, Jim was a little surprised at Jade’s reaction to his figures. ‘Don’t worry,’ she said. ‘I’m sure it’s not a big issue. This will go away; you need to know that the hotel industry has always suffered from people moving from one place to another.’ ‘Oh,’ said Jim, slightly nonplussed. ‘Everyone is tired,’ Jade went on. ‘This always happens at this time of year. By the time Christmas comes around and we have a couple of quiet weeks, everyone will settle down.’ Jim was a little taken aback by these comments, but didn’t want to disagree with his general manager, so he simply replied ‘Okay, you’re the boss.’ But he wasn’t sure he really wanted to leave it there. Perhaps he could talk to Deborah? Later that day, Jim remarked to Deborah that he was genuinely concerned about employee welfare. Many of the employees had mentioned to him that they found their jobs were becoming repetitive and sometimes dreary. This was particularly concerning in customer-facing jobs. Deborah replied, ‘I think that the structure might be a bit top-down. It’s making some of the employees feel that they don’t have any power or chance to take any initiative. Housekeeping is organized so that each housekeeper is supposed to be responsible for a particular 12–16 rooms, and they’re not supposed to swap them around. But they all know it takes longer to clean a room when the guest has checked out than a stayover, so some of them end up with too much work, and some with not enough. That just makes them frustrated, and it’s even worse if they have hotel management qualifications, because they’d really like more of a challenge.’ ‘Two of the staff came to see me to ask for a reference,’ Jim replied. ‘When I asked them why, Kylie said “I really like working here but beyond a pat on the back there is no incentive to do better, I just do what I am told.” She’s good. And I’ve seen John going out of his way to check wi-fi connections for a last-minute conference. It will be a real shame if we lose either of them. When John came to see me the other day, I asked him about his job, and he said, “I really like it here and the fact that it is so relaxed, but I don’t have any control over my day-to-day job, I just don’t feel invested in the hotel and it is affecting my motivation, which is not how I like to be.” And you know, I understand that.’ ‘Me too,’ Deborah agreed with a smile. ‘Here’s one closer to home for you,’ Jim went on. ‘I had someone come to me the other day. She wanted to talk about how to deal with the way her housekeeping supervisors go around checking on her work all the time. She didn’t want to say anything to them, in case it upset them, but it was bothering her enough that she was thinking about leaving. I’m not sure our “no conflict” norm is helping. If anything, it seems to have resulted in concerns not being flagged up and motivations being ignored. She said she thought that housekeepers should trust the work done by junior staff. I’m wondering if we should be thinking about how to help our senior housekeepers assume more of a coaching role, and move away from this topdown thinking.’ Deborah agreed that this might work. She remarked that she had noticed that her experienced housekeepers were becoming less flexible with roster requests, and were particularly cross at being asked to work at short notice. There were also fewer more junior staff who were showing signs of being keen to help one another out and work as a team. Finding a way forward ‘I wonder if the issue is that staff and supervisors aren’t really paying attention to each other,’ Jim mused. ‘It seems to me that senior and junior staff are both upset. I hope they’re not taking this out on the customers, though I bet some of them are at least.’ ‘And I bet the staff could tell us what is wrong,’ Deborah said. ‘I think perhaps we should start to do a bit more listening, or maybe set them up to listen a bit more.’ ‘Yes,’ Jim agreed. ‘You might be right. It could certainly help us to refine housekeeping procedures.’ ‘Do you think that introducing selfmanaged teams in housekeeping would be the answer?’ Deborah asked. She had been doing some reading about this for a course. ‘It might make the staff talk and listen to each other a bit more.’ Jim was doubtful but prepared to be encouraging. ‘Perhaps,’ he said. ‘I don’t know much about it. Perhaps you could suggest it to Jade?’ Deborah was surprised. She had been thinking of just going ahead with a small trial. But on mature reflection, she realized that Jade’s support was probably essential for long-term success. Jade, it turned out, was prepared to support the introduction of self-managed teams, on condition that it was tried out first on a small number of rooms and no more than 20 altogether. As she left Jade’s office, Deborah thought to herself that she had been thinking of Jade as inflexible, but that wasn’t true. Jade had shown that she was open to new ideas, and prepared to consider incremental change at least sometimes. The question now was whether her idea would work. Deborah could only hope so.
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