Team 4 – VisionQuest
Chaturaphat O, Dewey I, Drego K, Pastelero C, Ryan I, Vardanova A (2014)
Team VisionQuest
Key learnin...
BS 5009 – Leading Change and Transformation – Simulation Group Coursework
Introduction
2
The impetus for change
GT faced a...
BS 5009 – Leading Change and Transformation – Simulation Group Coursework
Key themes
Impactful change
Joint diagnosis
Shar...
BS 5009 – Leading Change and Transformation – Simulation Group Coursework
Only one of our candidates had a sustainable “Vi...
BS 5009 – Leading Change and Transformation – Simulation Group Coursework
Key themes
5
Firing a key employee
Choosing to f...
BS 5009 – Leading Change and Transformation – Simulation Group Coursework
Our suggestion for a new organisational structur...
BS 5009 – Leading Change and Transformation – Simulation Group Coursework
Appendix
Images used without change
• BoiledFrog...
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How to save a frog from boiling - a case study in leading change and transformation

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Our team of MBA consultants, "Team Vision Quest", developed this key learnings report after completing a change management simulation exercise where we lead our client through an extensive organisational change management program - the "GlobalTech simulation" used on many MBA courses.

Entitled "How to save a frog from boiling" - this condenses the key learnings and take aways that we had from the experience.

Team Vision Quest are: Orm Chaturaphat, Ian Dewey, Karena Drego, Carlo Pastelero, Izam Ryan and Anahit Vardanova.

Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the Imperial MBA degree and the Diploma of Imperial College London, our team was awarded a Distinction for the quality of our work.

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How to save a frog from boiling - a case study in leading change and transformation

  1. 1. Team 4 – VisionQuest Chaturaphat O, Dewey I, Drego K, Pastelero C, Ryan I, Vardanova A (2014) Team VisionQuest Key learnings report How To Save A Frog From Boiling 1
  2. 2. BS 5009 – Leading Change and Transformation – Simulation Group Coursework Introduction 2 The impetus for change GT faced a fit conserving change. GT were in danger of being the “boiled frog” and therefore GT should adopt a strategy of Reorientation. GT faced a changing environment and needed to reorient itself GT’s internal organisation “fit” cohesively internally within itself but wasn’t placed to capitalise on the changing environment • GT’s long history of serving the Military segment created organisational inertia. Internally, the organisation had great internal cohesiveness and was set up to exploit the Military market • But at the same time the external fit was changing – The overall Military market was shrinking (-4% growth) – while the Commercial segment was growing significantly (27% growth). – This is what Siggelkow (2001) would call a “fit conserving change”. – In the parable of the boiled frog, GT was the frog in the cool water who was unable or unwilling to react to significant change that was gradually occurring in the industry. GT responded by playing the old game • GT had three choices – Play the old game, risk losing relevance in the wider market and end up like a boiled frog. – Play an incomplete game – changing incrementally through Adaptation or Tuning. Incremental change at GT would risk addressing only a symptom of the problem, but not the root cause of the problem. – Play a new game through Recreation or Reorientation. This requires the greatest rewiring and change management but would potentially reap the greatest rewards. We positioned this transformation effort as a Reorientation • Our team focused on guiding GT in pursuing Reorientation strategy, focusing on the root cause of having a culture that did not support teamwork. Incremental Strategic ReactiveAnticipatory Tuning Reorientation Adaptation Recreation POSITIONING SCOPE OF CHANGE GT Source: Nadler and Tushman (1989) Reference: Siggelkow (2001)
  3. 3. BS 5009 – Leading Change and Transformation – Simulation Group Coursework Key themes Impactful change Joint diagnosis Shared vision Foster consensus Spread revitalization Institutionalize Monitoring 3 Organisations are political systems An organisation is a political system and doesn’t change overnight We learned that organisations are political systems • We realised that the buy-in of the individuals in the teams made up the overall buy-in from the wider GT organisation. Change initiatives affected individuals in different ways and there was a complex dynamic between the individuals and their sub-teams and the wider organisation. • This was driven home by the negative feedback we experienced from Scott Bell (VP R&D) throughout the process. We felt that this came from his fear of how he would integrate with a new reformed GT and how his career might play out in a Commercial-dominated company. Leadership requires patience and an openness to experience • The key learning from this was that simply having the ability to craft a vision or communicate a strategy alone is not sufficient in any organisation of relevant size. • Organisations are more than just the sum of the individuals and the groups – because there are interactions and synergies that happen between the component parts. • To be successful managers therefore, we must understand these dynamics and predict their impact on the change programs we lead and vice versa. Early on in the process we recognised the importance of gaining grassroots support. This is because organisations are political systems and impactful change must be lead through the grassroots level. Leadership therefore requires patience and an openness to experience. Grassroots support is key Joint diagnosis of problems is key to a change program • The paper by Beer et al. (1993) prompted us to start the change process with a joint diagnosis of the problems faced by GT and to quickly create a shared vision. • This lead us to immediately “Walking The Floor” when we commenced the project. This tactic was very well received by GT. • In a way we sought to emulate Neil McGregor in the British Museum change case where he epitomised “management by walking around” and his weekly Tuesday breakfasts that broke down communication barriers. • We continued driving to create a shared vision through “Conducting Focus Group Interviews”. We did this because we knew that if GT empathised with the customer’s view – that the commercial product line needed revamping – that we would be able to rely on grassroots support. This tactic was also well received. Source: Beer et al. (1993) References: Barsoux, J-L., & Anand, N. (2012) Nadler and Tushman (1989)
  4. 4. BS 5009 – Leading Change and Transformation – Simulation Group Coursework Only one of our candidates had a sustainable “Vision” for GT Jennifer Smith had Vision • Jennifer was our best candidate to lead the change. Not only did she have the technical expertise and the influence but she also had vision. • A study conducted by Benningson & Swartz (1987) found that “No effort to produce strategic change was successful without a new vision”. This also rang true to us based on the team’s experience in change management projects. • Jennifer’s consistent vision of how the business could realign to address the Commercial segment was paramount in our decision to nominate her as change agent. Key themes Maurice G • Chairman • Withdrawn from biz Brian J • Championed transformation to current state Jennifer S • Accomplished engineer and product manager 4 The role of Leaders as visionaries Setting direction Aligning people Motivating and inspiring Potentially out of touch with what needs to be done Championed the move to Military market Has some allies throughout organisation Put Scott Bell in place. Scott is partly the root cause of the problem at GT Appreciates the importance of the Commercial market Influential through Authority power and Social Proof Several GT people look up to Jennifer When deciding who to pick as our change agent, we looked at the whole Executive team. Although we needed someone who was senior enough in the hierarchy to have Legitimate power, the final decision was based on a leader who could build and communicate Vision. Source: Player’s Guide References: Barsoux & Anand (2012) Beer & Weber (1997) Cialdini (2001), French & Raven (1959). Appointing Jennifer Smith Resultant buy-in • Appointing Jennifer Smith as the “Change Agent” was well received by everybody with great enthusiasm, as she was connected, respected and looked up to. • In our view she had not only Authority power through her expertise in the R&D and technical field, but she also had Social Proof power through her status as being well-liked by her subordinates. Parallels with other Change cases • There are parallels with our selection of a Visionary leader with the visionary leaders Archie Norman at ASDA and Neil McGregor at the British Museum. • Archie Norman co-created a vision through his humble approach to his top management team, admitting that he “did not have the answers and needed their involvement” and through his unannounced store visits. – Getting his subordinates to co-create the operationalisation of his vision was a master stroke of genius as it created significant buy-in. – We paralleled this co-creation by developing the vision and strategy after we had Jennifer appointed as leader. This meant greater buy-in from the change Team who felt they were driving the process. • Neil MacGregor’s quest for change was aided by the fact that he clearly articulated his new vision for British Museum across different stakeholder groups. – We paralleled this visionary storytelling by having Jennifer Smith “Develop Vision and Strategy” followed by sharing information across the organisation with “Competitive” as a catalyst call for action. – We followed this up by “Departmental Q&A” sessions to allow the organisation to internalise the strategy before we executed the “Teams Training” tactic, solidifying our desired changes. References: Benningson & Swartz (1987). Jick (1989).
  5. 5. BS 5009 – Leading Change and Transformation – Simulation Group Coursework Key themes 5 Firing a key employee Choosing to fire Scott Bell (VP R&D) was a pivotal moment and this garnered high buy in from GT. We learned leaders play a role in shielding teams from negativity. Firing Scott was a pivotal moment In the weeks leading up to firing Scott we saw a lot of resistance from him • Once we had gained that political grassroots support through Jennifer’s visioning, we ran the “Team training” tactic. • We then thought that a reminder of the wider strategy would have increased buy-in and increased the GT team’s motivation. However we later found out that the organisation suffered from a bit of “change fatigue”. Our learning from this was that leaders need to plan for early successes and commend that early effort. The root problem of a bad Commercial product was next on our agenda • We then launched pilot teams to let GT get a feel for a Team-based organisation and to achieve early success. • At this point that we started to note a resistance to change from the R&D team, with Scott Bell as the “ring leader”. Our overall sense was that Scott Bell (VP R*&D) was blocking R&D’s ability to contribute • Beer et. al. (1993) describe a “velvet glove”, i.e. support and empowerment to those for the change but an “iron fist” to those who didn’t support the change. We fired Scott when his insubordination and belligerence became detrimental to GT. • We felt that this garnered strong buy in when teams saw that we were and protecting them from negativity. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 0 1 1 1 2 1 3 1 4 1 5 1 6 1 7 1 8 1 9 2 0 A Team training B Repeat vision C Product improvement team D New product team E Fire! F Mentor G Visits H ! References: Beer (1993)
  6. 6. BS 5009 – Leading Change and Transformation – Simulation Group Coursework Our suggestion for a new organisational structure Conclusion Executives Military R&D Sales Commercial R&D Sales New business R&D Sales Central functions Manufacturing HR & Finance Innovation Council 6 Disruptive innovation Although we successfully delivered the project, we finished with more questions than answers Commercial segment potentially may disrupt the Military segment • At the end of the project we learned that the “Genesis” product developed by Ganesh Seth (Technology Manager) was commercialised as a high tech tricorder device. • GT is currently aligned to serve a sensor market that is made up of two key segments – Military and Commercial. In the theory of Disruptive Innovation. • There is a risk that an upstart market segment appears which eventually overtakes the incumbent businesses. • In the same way that GT was caught unawares of the Commercial market segment, we can foresee a future where this misalignment may occur again. One way to prevent this is to proactively seek strategic realignment before the environment fit changes. • We suggest – Creating an Innovation Council to help GT sense environment shifts at the fringe of the market; and – Organising along a matrix organisation to help GT rapidly experiment with new emerging market segments. Although the shift to a teaming culture solved the imbalance between Military and Commercial, we question whether this new structure is able to sense future fit conserving changes and new disruptive innovations. We suggest creating an Innovation Council. Time Features/performance Reference: Christensen & Raynor (2003) Disruptive innovation Current trajectory Today References: Christensen & Raynor (2003)
  7. 7. BS 5009 – Leading Change and Transformation – Simulation Group Coursework Appendix Images used without change • BoiledFrog.png – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:BoiledFrog.png – Licensed under CC-by-sa • Profile photos – Extracted from the player’s guide 7 Note: Appendix excluded from wordcount This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, 444 Castro Street, Suite 900, Mountain View, California, 94041, USA. Citations and image credits Cases and articles cited Cases • Barsoux, J-L., & Anand, N. (2012) Restoring the British Museum , IMD. • Beer, M., & Weber, J. (1997) ASDA, Harvard Business School Publishing. Articles and books referred • Beer, M., Eisenstat, R. A., & Spector, B. (1993). Why change programs don’t produce change. • Bennigson, L. A., & Swartz, H. (1987). The CEO's change agenda. Strategy & Leadership, 15(3), 12-19. • Christensen, C. M., & Raynor, M. E. (2003). The innovator's solution: Creating and sustaining successful growth. Harvard Business Press. • Cialdini, R. B. (2001). Harnessing the science of persuasion. Harvard Business Review, 79(9), 72-81. • French Jr, J. R., & Raven, B. (1959). The bases of social power. • Jick, T. D. (1989). The vision thing. Harvard Business School Case, 1-7. • Kotter, J. P. (2001). What leaders really do. Harvard Business Review, 79(11), 85-98. • Nadler, D. A., & Tushman, M. L. (1989). Organizational frame bending: principles for managing reorientation. The Academy of Management Executive, 3(3), 194-204.. • Siggelkow, N. (2001). Change in the presence of fit: The rise, the fall, and the renaissance of Liz Claiborne. Academy of Management Journal, 44(4), 838- 857.

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