Management of Change Case Study
The modifications that interfere with a company’s activity, or with the environment that influences the company in case determine the need for developing and implementing a change management strategy. Also, consumer behavior is in continuous development, forcing companies and other types of organizations to adapt to these changes. The Louvre makes no exception.
Although the notoriety of the Louvre is undisputable, this does not mean that the museum is functioning at its best capability in terms of profits. There are several issues that the museum’s top management must resolve in order to increase the number of visitors, increase the museum’s incomes, and rebrand the Louvre.
When trying to develop and implement a change management plan, the museum’s managers must take into consideration the possible reaction of people. The way customers, employees, and specialists in the field will react depends on numerous factors. In other words, their reaction depends on their ability to understand the change, their ability cope with and to adapt to change, their advantages and disadvantages of the change (Alsbridge, 2010).
Change Management Challenges
Although a change management plan is necessary to be implemented at the Louvre, there are several challenges that the manager must address in the process. These challenges include: the lack of visible sponsorship, ineffective decision-making process, organizational barriers, people issues, reluctance to change, the lack of progress measurement systems, and others (Alsbridge, 2010).
If the sponsorship that is address to the museum’s change management plan is not a visible one, the stakeholders affected by change will consider that the change process in case is not important or necessary. Their will develop an attitude towards the change in accordance with this impression.
One of the most important challenges of the change management process is represented by the decision-making process. If this process will be ineffective or unsuitable for the museum’s situation, the implementation of the change management process will encounter problems like increased costs.
Organizational barriers are another important challenge that the museum’s manager must address. If this problem persists, the implementation of the change management project can be significantly delayed, and the project can even fail at being implemented.
Change Management Framework
The framework that will be used for the Louvre’s change management process include: culture, organization, leadership, people capability, execution, continuous improvement. One cannot state that one of these components is more important than the others. Each of these segments must be addressed individually and integrated together with the other segments in order to develop and implement a successful change management plan.
Change Management Plan
When trying to develop the change management plan, the Louvre’s managers must identify the stakeholders that will be affected by the change in case. This is because the manager must assess how each of these stakeholders will be affected by the change, in order to introduce them in the change management plan and to develop strategies that will minimize the negative effects of the change management process.
In this case, the most important stakeholders that must be taken into consideration include: top management, employees, and visitors.
The museum’s top management is responsible for developing and implementing the change management plan, but is also directly affected by the change. If the change process will prove to be unsuccessful, the blame will be directed towards top managers, whose careers might be affected by such a situation.
Employees will be significantly affected by the change that the Louvre’s museum is trying to implement. Implementing change means that employees might have to learn new skills, change different aspects of their jobs, in some cases their job description may be significantly modified.
The change process that the manager is trying to implement is directed towards visitors. In the attempt of attracting more customers, the manager is trying to change the way in which the museum is perceived by most visitors. New pieces of art are added to the museum’s collection, while promoting existing art that viewers do not seem interested in, compared with other objects of art.
The next step consists in conducting a change readiness assessment. This study should be developed by the top management of the museum and then conducted on the main parties affected by the change, the employees and the visitors. Top managers should discuss the subject with all the museum’s department managers.
Each department manager must organize meetings with their subordinates. The purpose of these meetings is to find out what the museum’s employees feel towards the change that the museum’s manager is trying to implement. Department managers must explain to employees what the change means, what it will be expected from them in the new organization, and how they will be affected by the change process.
In order to assess existing visitors and potential visitors’ opinion on the Louvre’s rebranding, it is recommended to conduct a series of surveys among them. For example, when entering the museum, each visitor should be handed a questionnaire regarding this topic. The questions can be answered before or after visiting the museum, in the room destined to visitors before entering the museum. The questionnaires can then be placed in special boxes placed in the room, in order for the museum employees to analyze them.
The response of employees and visitors towards managers’ questions on change is very important. If a high percentage of the interviewed people will consider that such a change is unnecessary for the Louvre, or that the timing is not appropriate in their opinion, the manager must rethink his change strategy. It means that people are not ready for such an important change at the Louvre. Instead, the manager should opt for a slower change management process in which changes are not significant and do not take place rapidly.
If, however, the results of the survey reveal that the stakeholders are would welcome a change at the Louvre, the manager should take the following steps. The manager should identify the change network, and develop and implement change activities.
In addition to this, the manager must consider developing a plan that outlines the involvement of each stakeholder in the change management process. The most important part consists in determining the exact implication of employees in implementing the change process.
Change Management Process
Given the Louvre’s current situation and the new status that the manager wants the museum to reach, it is recommended to implement a change management process based on Kotter’s steps to successful change (Kotter, 1995).
The first step of the project consists in increasing urgency. This is because not all the stakeholders affected by the change realize that the change that the manager is trying to implement is necessary and appropriate at the discussed moment (Cellars, 2007). As a consequence, the manager must do his best at explaining stakeholders that it is necessary to rebrand the Louvre.
The manager must make sure that stakeholders understand that introducing new types of art, like Islamic and American art is not going to decrease the Louvre’s significance and prestige, but will modify its image in consumers’ minds. Once the museum’s art offer modifies and expands in order to include such types of art, the visitor profile will also change.
New segments of visitors might be attracted by the change implemented by the museum’s manager. Younger segments of customers might be attracted by the Louvre if the museum could provide the kind of art that they are interested in.
In order to find out what visitors might like managers to add to the Louvre’s art offer, the managers should include such questions in the questionnaire that visitors will complete. In addition to this, the questionnaire should be emailed to potential visitors. Also, it should be posted on the museum’s website so that interested parties can complete it and give their opinion on the subject.
A positive response from people could inspire employees to realize that change is necessary within the museum and that the specific changes that the manager intends to implement will be well-received by people. This way, employees will feel that the objectives that the manager intends to reach are feasible and necessary, and will act in accordance.
Build the team
The next step in implementing the change management plan consists in building the team that will lead the stakeholders through the change management process. This step is very important. This is because the success of the change management process relies on establishing which members will be part of this team.
The museum’s manager must be the leader of the team. This is because he is the starting point where change will begin. The manager is responsible for trying to implement the change at the Louvre and for the success of the initiative.
The manager establishes what departments will be directly affected by the change process and how they will be affected. The areas where change will take place are also established by the manager.
The team will also include the managers of all departments. This is because they must further guide their subordinates through the change process. If these managers are unfit at achieving such objectives, the change process will not be effective.
Establish the vision and the strategy
Any change management process must start by building a vision that the new organization will be based on. Same as all companies are built on a vision of their founders, so should the new organization that will after the change management process, be built on a vision.
Although the manager will create the vision of the new organization, he should make sure that all the stakeholders in included in the process. The vision should not only be directed at how the museum will look like from an , but it should also be directed towards its employees and how they will participate in the change management process and in the new organization, and towards the new image that the Louvre will present in comparison with similar institutions.
During this step, the team’s emotional and creative attributes are more important than the rational ones. This is because the vision must be a simple, general image of how the manager and the museum’s stakeholders want the new museum to be like.
The rational attribute of the team will come to action when the strategy will be established. The strategy should be a simple one, easy to put into action, and able of reaching high levels of effectiveness. This way, the stakeholders will see that the change management process is a feasible one and that it can really improve their organization.
If such a strategy will be developed, the stakeholders will not raise so many challenges to the manager’s vision, and will efficiently participate in the change management process.
Communication is very important in any change management process. The Louvre’s manager must pay specific attention to developing the communication strategy. The most important fact that must be taken into consideration when developing the communication strategy consists in involving as many people as possible in the process.
This is because communication must reach all the stakeholders affected by the change intended to be implemented at the Louvre. However, communication in this case should be kept at a simple level, in order to avoid any communication deficiencies.
It is necessary to identify stakeholders’ needs, so that communication addresses directly those needs. Technology is very important where communication is concerned, since the proper use of technology can help reduce time, costs, and increase efficiency.
It is also recommended to communicate the essential aspects, rather than charge the communication channels with various types of information that is not really necessary and that might lead to certain errors in the communication process.
The following step in Kotter’s change management model is represented by empowering action. This step basically consists in removing the obstacles that are likely to emerge during the implementation of the change process.
In the Louvre’s case, these obstacles are represented by stakeholders’ resistance to change. The manager must determine the stakeholders to overcome their resistance to change. This is connected to the previous step, regarding efficient communication.
In this case, the manager should hold public meetings on the Louvre’s rebranding. This way, change could be communicated to a greater number of people. Debating the subject on pubic TV channels and radio stations, and inviting several specialists in the field and other stakeholders to these debates might help people understand the necessity of implementing change at the Louvre.
During this step it is also important that the change management team enables constructive feedback. The change at Louvre is done with the stakeholders, for the stakeholders. And this must clearly communicated to them. Their feedback is important to the management team. Based on the feedback received from stakeholders involved in the change process, progress can be made at implementing the change.
However, leaders of the team should not be neglected. Even if they understand the necessity of change better than other stakeholders of the Louvre, they also require significant support from the top management. They must make sure that their decisions are supported by the superior management of the museum.
The motivational system of the organization should prove its efficiency during this step. In other words, any progress made by the change implementation team and by the stakeholders involved in the change management process should be rewarded appropriately.
The project should include a reward strategy established from the beginning and communicated to all the stakeholders involved. Punishments should also be included in this strategy.
This step is destined to establishing simple objectives that can be easily achieved by the team. If the team establishes objectives that are difficult to reach, not achieving them will demoralize the team members and will make the change process implementation more difficult.
But if simple goals are established, they will be easier achieved by the team members, with less effort than necessary for more important objectives. This will encourage team members, and will motivate them into fulfilling their established tasks.
Do not let up
Kotter further advises to encourage the persistence of tem members in order to reach the objectives established by the museum’s managers.
Make change stick
Once the change management process has been successfully implemented, the change management must ensure that the organizational environmental will remain favorable for the implemented change.
The issue of introducing such change at the Louvre is a very sensitive one. The museum’s image in the mind of visitors, employees, and other stakeholders is quite strong and is difficult to be changed. Therefore, it is recommended that the manager makes small changes, of less significance, because they are easier accepted by the organization’s stakeholders.
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