Hello Dr. Agler and Classmates,
This week, I will provide an example from my own experience at GE Healthcare. The change initiative was started by the GM of our Services organization, a $2.5B continuous revenue generator, and the most profitable P&L within the global portfolio,. The GM created an initiative focused on fixing pain points the Sales team had shared within the first month of his new position. He had the right intentions of improving the workplace for the Sales team and generate more revenue, however, the Sales team took little accountability for some of the issues raised. While many of the high-level actions were in need of change, only teams other than Sales were responsible for the corrections. Being a seasoned GE employee, he started with the Work-Out process (JWMI, 1). The start of the change was fast-paced with frequent (almost too frequent) pulse meetings. The leader did a great job of communicating early and often (Malik, 2). He forgot to empower the teams outside of Sales and ensure his peers were supportive of this new “priority” for their teams (2).
After approximately six months, this manager moved to a new role and the entire rigor and frequent meetings stopped. The new leader wanted to attack the problems in a different way and placed some of the blame for broken processes and culture issues on the Sales team and years of programs that didn’t get to the root cause (Barsade, 3). In the end, he utilized the previous leader’s work-out initiatives, selected a few of the dozen that he felt would impact his team effectively, and collaborated with the leaders of the teams that could assist with improving the culture for the organization as a whole (Johnson, 4).
The first GM referenced simply didn’t take the time to really understand the root cause and take some accountability for the Sales team’s issues. He wanted to make change for change’s sake and after only 6 months, all of the teams involved didn’t want the “flavor of the month” from the new GM (Welch, 5). There was no carrot the teams would listen to until he went back to the beginning of the process and considered the emotional culture of his own team and those involved in the solution.
1. JWMI. 2021. JWMI555 Organizational Change and Culture. Week 8 Lecture Notes
2. Malik, L. 2021. Thought Ensemble. “Six Factors for Making Change Stick – Thought Ensemble.” Online: Six Factors for Making Change Stick – Thought Ensemble
3. Barsade, S. & O’Niell, O. 2016. Harvard Business Review. Manage Your Emotional Culture. Online: https://services.hbsp.harvard.edu/lti/links/R1601C…
4. Johnson, J. 2021. GE Employee Reference of Services Work Out and Ongoing Services Change Initiative
5. Welch, J. 2021. JWMI555 Organizational Change & Culture. Experts On Practice Video