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Leadership And Change Management Mba 520 University Of Phoenix

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Leadership and Change Management

MBA 520

University of Phoenix

Leadership and Change Management

In a free market economy, it is a given that there will be change. The manner in which this change is implemented can play an enormous part in the success of an organization. Change management "describes a structured approach to transitions from a present to a desired state, in individuals, teams, organizations and societies" (Wikipedia, 2006). The organization's leadership must identify the challenges associated with implementing the changes and facilitate a smooth transition. The following paragraphs examine some of the challenges faced by major organizations and detail their responses.

Apple - Andrea Goddard

At Apple, it is the people within the organization, not the money or computers, which are innovative and keep Apple successful. As Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple says, "Innovation has nothing to do with how many R&D dollars you have. When Apple came up with the Mac, IBM was spending at least 100 times more on R&D. It's not about money. It's about the people you have, how you're led, and how much you get it." (Linzmayer, para. 6, 2007). Jobs understands the impact that employees have on an organization and has used this knowledge to guide the corporation.

This charismatic and transformational leadership has helped Apple to achieve success and remain innovative. Being opinionated and visionary has not always led to success as Apple fired Jobs in 1985 for this behavior. It is this same behavior that led to his rehire in 1997 (anon. 2002). Jobs demonstrates how a leader can change things how things are done by developing a new and appealing vision of the future. This vision and mission set the stage for change and then the teams implement necessary changes.

Boeing - Daeron Lockett

Boeing has enjoyed enormous success in the field of aviation. The 737 Jumbo Jet actually accounts for more than forty percent of worldwide commercial jet sales. The entire airline industry suffered devastating losses from the 9/11 tragedy in the United States. Along the way, Boeing had to institute a great deal of change to handle cut-throat competition. In addition, an earthquake destroyed a major building at its manufacturing facility in Washington. By account of surveys, there was a big disconnect between aircraft designers and those that actually assemble the crafts.

Part of the response came as a direct result of the earthquake tragedy that at their manufacturing site. Office space was at a premium, so many of the designers were set up offices in the manufacturing plant (Price, 2004). This was a source of resistance as many of the white-collar workers considered their office jobs a badge of distinction. During the 90 days that the designers were in the plant, they were able to analyze the processes and tools to implement the design. What emerged was a revelation to both sides that things are completely different. In fact, so many successful ideas flowed freely between designer and manufacturer that many did not want to leave the plant after alternative offices had been set up.

Like many large organization, Boeing suffered from vertical and horizontal communication problems. Some of the ideas instituted as response include:

* Open plan workspaces and common areas

* Communal cafes with mini-libraries and Whiteboard systems and lounge seating

* A wide boardwalk joining the factory and offices for impromptu meetings and discussions, emblematic of a more unified work force

Productivity increased dramatically thanks to the communications changes. Productivity increased by 50%, and the time it takes to build a 737 decreased from 24 days to 12.

A simple facilities change grew into a great deal more as some engaging ideas, which was new communication between manufacturer and designer, flowed freely for 90 days. The result was changes to the entire organization.

General Electric (GE) - Tools for change management - Sandra Welch

General Electric (GE) understands the need for flexibility, constant change and innovation to succeed. GE has adopted cultural and developmental programs to help the organization foster the cultural change process. In 1988, GE developed a Work-Out process that helped multidisciplinary teams to ensure that the each process teams were using were the most efficient and comprehensive (GE, 2007). The strategy of the Work-Out team was to start evaluating the more obvious processes ("low hanging fruit") that employees did not understand and/or did not make sense. The Work-Out program resulted in a more efficient process with many groups doing more work with fewer resources (GE, 2007).

The Change Acceleration Process (CAP) is another program that GE has implemented in order to affect change for the organization. CAP is a guide for employees to drive effective change and gives tools to the business teams that encourage dialogue. This process increases success and acceleration of organizational change efforts (GE, 2007). GE also uses other tools for employees to ensure quality process and effective change management like the Design for Six Sigma (DFSS) training. DFSS gives the framework for teams to refine and improve process so that employees and customers realize the best results (GE, 2007).

GE also has an Experience Commercial Leadership Program, (ECLP), which provides mentors for up-and-coming leaders for GE (GE, 2007). Senior leaders within GE mentor other leaders in order to share their best practices and develop their skill. This program also allows people to take their experience and training to different levels and different parts of the organization to increase their skills (GE, 2007). This also gives leaders a variety of opportunity to explore different aspects of GE.

Green Bay Packers- Vince Lombardi - Sandra Welch

It was leadership in the face of adversity helped the Green Bay Packers realize success. In 1958, the first year with the organization, Vince Lombardi's leadership transformed the team that had only won one game the previous year to success within three years (vincelombardi.com, n.d.). Lombardi "brought direction, enthusiasm, and the impetus to succeed. He has the remarkable ability to put people ahead of the organization, allowing each individual

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