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Diagnosing Organizational Change

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Diagnosing Organizational Change


In planning changes within an organization, a manager or leader must first predict what changes need to be made by diagnosing the need for change. When an organization is not succeeding in the growth rate that was anticipated in the beginning by the Home Office or headquarters and continues to do so-so, but not increasing in sales or customers as was projected it may be said that it is experiencing "growing pains" as organizational growing pains. This symptom needs to be corrected by making transitions to whatever degree of "growing pains" that have developed. Then direct those changes but in the case of Hot Sam's Pretzel Company, change did not come soon enough and the company ended up selling to another major company. At that time changes were made to incorporate several independent companies such as Hot Sam's and other like businesses located in the local malls throughout the 48 states.

As explained in our studies, "Changes in any organization include a response to technology, legislation, consumer demand just to name a few. Changes are planned in hopes for the betterment and in attaining better benefits for its customers, employees, and the organizations investors. Economic forces such as globalization, political forces such as war, international law and even government legislation also initiate and drive these changes" (Weiss, 2012). p.5.

Changes made in an organization "in an increasingly fast moving and volatile world," the stakes involved in creating smart new strategies and strategic initiatives, and then implementing them in ways that produce sustainable results, and drive changes fast enough, are in the hundreds of millions or billions of dollars" (Kotter,2011).

Company Overview

The store known as Hot Sam's, that as a manager, successfully ran and operated this individual store for over eight years in the 80's became a part of Mrs. Fields Companies in 1995. When an organization is not succeeding in the growth rate that was anticipated in the beginning and continues to do so-so, if it is not increasing in sales or customers as was projected it may be said that it is experiencing "growing pains." This symptom could also be describes as organizational growing pains. A symptom needs to make transitions to whatever degree of "growing pains" that have developed. It shows that the company did not make the changes necessary to keep sales in proper line with how they were as a manager competing for top sales continually. Getting to meet Randy Herman, the owner, his Director of Marketing, Peggy Papale was a genuine treat as there was an open offer to work beside her when we moved to Florida in 1986. Deciding to leave the company after that offer in the home office was tempting, but we had already bought a home in Fort Meyers, a hundred and twenty miles south of Tampa. Lost track of how that company was doing over the years. It came as a surprise that it was sold to a larger organization such as Mrs. Fields Companies. The two companies were competitors across the hall from the other. Each manager ran very close in sales and both were competing for the top sales capital per square footage of their space in the mall. Hot Sam's quite often came in first making more revenue per square footage than any other store in the mall. Sales were excellent and with the team that was hired, gave all the other fast food stores a run for their money.

It has been said that leading and managing change has become a core competency for business professionals (Weiss, 2012) p.2, as we studied in class. "Organizational change is generally triggered by external and/or internal forces. Such forces could include special industry events, an unforeseen opportunity for a company to grow, industry trends, or any myriad of pressures generating inside or outside the company. Detecting signs of external change is important since failure to do so could mean missed opportunities and/or impending threats to an organization" (Weiss, 2012)p.11. This was exactly why our store stayed on the top and did very well. Managers were often empowered to run the store within the boundaries of the home office but were allowed to generate sales ideas where the end results meant increasing of our sales revenue. Promotional ideas needed to be approved by the home office, but that never seemed to be a problem as they encouraged store managers to take the initiative to try new promotional programs that would bring in additional sales. In cases where a stores promotional adventure was really successful, the manager was encouraged to share that opportunity with other store managers in their regional area. It is hard to believe that the owner of the business sold out to Mrs. Fields Corporation.


Hypothetically speaking, using the "The 8-Step Process for Leading Change" could very well have been implemented and the stores could still remained opened and running successfully.

Reasons for Randy Hermann to sell Hot Sam's and to accept a proposition to accept and offer of purchase from Mrs. Field's leaves many questions unanswered. As a young entrepreneur Randy was only 21 when he first started in the garage of his parent's home. Having a good head for business he excelled as far as marketing, finance and hiring as the business needed. Branching out first in California and steadily grew the business to have stores throughout the USA. His employees were hard working, and professional. As owner of the company he consistently allowed his managers the empowerment to create sales program fit for their store and gave them the encouragement to bring up sales and hire employees as the manager show a need for. Empowerment to his employees put all the managers into a competing mode with other managers in their particular district. What happens when a company sells out or goes under often has less to do with insufficient funds, talent within the individual crews or leadership being considered as a lack of good judgment at the very top, but it seems unlikely that this was the case with Hot Sam's.

Kotter's 8-Step Approach

Dr. Kotter offers a practical approach to an organized means of leading, not managing, change. He presents an eight-stage process of change with highly useful examples that show how to go about implementing it. Based on experience with numerous companies, his sound advice gets directly at reasons that organizations fail to change, reasons that concern primarily the leader. This is a solid, substantive work that goes beyond the clich├ęs and the consultant-of-the-month's



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