In every organization there comes a point where change becomes inevitable due to the various dynamics characteristic of the contemporary business world. One of the major factors that prompt change is the need to remain competitive in the market that is already full of players offering the same products and services.
Another factor is the need to meet the requirements of clients that seems to change from time to time. Furthermore every organization needs to evaluate the objectives of the organization putting into consideration aspects such as the practicality and relevance of the objectives to the organization. However much compulsory change can be it is also important that it is conducted in a constructive way to avoid unnecessary redundancy or recycling of problems. Various methodologies like conducting a SWOT analysis are important to the organization. This paper will outline on how the change initiative as developed by John Kotter can be used to save an organization in the verge of collapse.
The contemporary business world always requires that an organization changes from time to time that for competitive organizations change has become a normal business. Organizations employ both small scale changes and large scale one to avoid being left behind by technological developments. However, one main challenge that may face an organization that is moving towards changes is the how to go about the change itself. There are many theories that have been stipulated to act as guidance towards positive and constructive change but very few have been clearly outlined and clarified such as change initiative by Kotter. The Kotter initiative takes business administrators through an easy to follow eight steps by which change can be implemented in his book “Leading Change.
“The living Center (LC) has been a profitable organization offering various care based services since June 1968. The organization underwent various developments over the years and advanced to a nursing home where it generally cared for senior citizens who were incapable of looking after themselves and either did not have any family to care for them or their families were too busy. Later on the organization developed to a multifaceted business with the capacity to offer long term care (LTC) as well as long term and short term therapeutic services and rehabilitation services. However come July 2009 analyses indicated that the organization profits were falling drastically and the number of patients had also significantly reduced. Consequently the business was old to another organization that owned assisted living centers across the nation. The buyout has been made worse by the fact that the director of nursing’s job was terminated and has therefore caused major turmoil in the organization.
The LC is therefore facing major operational and organizational changes. This paper will detail, using Kotter’s (1996) eight step process to detail a major change initiative that will resolve the decreasing patient population while simultaneously increasing profits. Change Initiative For decades, nursing homes and skilled nursing facilities operated utilizing a hospital or institutional model of care. This model, whether intentionally or not, prevented clients from maintaining individuality, freedom of choice, and a sense of being at home which often resulted in loss of hope and emotional despair (Johnson, 2010).The LC has not been a true nursing home for years but the corporate culture of an institutionalized nursing home still exists. The buyout is forcing a much needed developmental as well as transformational change (Jick & Peiperl, 2003) in the corporate culture.
This is increasingly evident as the number of clients leaving against medical advice and requesting transfers to other facilities has increased as well as the number of physician referrals, patient population, and profits have decreased. Replacing the executive business director and the director of nursing has been helpful but the business must urgently begin the transformation from a family owned business to an organization with a global perspective. More importantly, the LC must implement a model of care that embraces individualized care, allows for client autonomy, and in respect to LTC, allows the clients to have a true sense of being at home. The cultural change required is related to patients’ right to “safe, considerate and respectful care, provided in a manner consistent with patient beliefs” (NIH, 2010, p. 1).
It is neither acceptable nor ethical for health care providers, licensed nursing assistants, or support staff to force LC residents to adapt to the old, institutional rules. Instead, it is the LC’s employees’ job to provide care in a professional manner, help the residents feels comfortable; continue performing as many activities of daily living (ADLs) as the client’s health permits, and for the LTC clients, help promote a home like environment. A home environment can be established by assisting the resident in hanging pictures, providing appropriate menu choices for the resident to select for each meal, and ensuring family members are welcomed as well as encouraged to visit. By promoting individuality combined with professional care, the LC can improve its reputation, increase the number of patients in each category of care treated per month, and give local citizens an inviting facility to recover after injuries or surgeries or a nice place to call home that also has physicians and nurses on site, providing preventative or tertiary care. The first step in Kotter’s (1996) Model is to establish a sense of urgency among all leaders. The termination of the director of nursing and executive business director has already created a sense of urgency in some employees.
However, each department manager and unit supervisor must in agreement with the impending change to be able to persuade subordinates to support the initiative. All have agreed a change in the model of care is necessary.Vision for the Change InitiativeIt is imperative that change is implemented and nurtured in a visionary and a constructive way. The first problem that is facing the company is the change in ownership which has particularly not gone well with most employees and perhaps patients. As stipulated by Kotter the first step to achieving positive and constructive change is to create a sense of urgency without any undue pressure. The organization’s business perspective is under threat because it is not getting enough patients and this is being reflected in the profits.
Therefore the administration can first begin by informing all the employees that the company needs to be rescued from apparent collapse in something is not done immediately. This initial step will draw the attention of employees and therefore create a platform for the discussion of various issues. At this point dialogue, diplomacy and honesty can be the strongest weapons for the organization. It is about spreading the wind of change so that it can have an effect on every employee and clients and would be clients. The organization will then inform the employees of the dangers of losing their jobs in case the company is not rescued. The organization will also come up with a plan to tackle the potential threats and seek for opinions from both employees and clients.
Consequently an honest forum will be created from which every stakeholder will be given the chance to contribute towards the improvement of the organization. After the sense of belonging and urgency has been created implementing the other aspects of change will be much easier and support can be obtained from other stakeholders and players in the industry including professionals. The vision for the change can be: “Care Towards Comfortable and Quality Life.” The major goal of the organization is the provision of care and ensuring that all the residents experience a life full of value within the organization. The vision in one glance will be able to inform all the stakeholders within the organization that all the services offered by the organization are towards the attainment of this objective. The vision is also brief and concise and can be understood easily since it is self explanatory.
The vision for the change initiative should be directed towards the improvement of customer care for the patients, improvement of working conditions for the employees, improvements on the profits and eventually business success. Most companies that collapse, as it has been observed implement change without realizing the importance of harmonizing all the mentioned factors in the process. Customer care can be improved by seeking the opinion of various residents via questionnaires and opinion boxes to establish the areas that need adjustments. Furthermore the company can seek the services of a professional organization to look into ways that services to the residents can be improved. Employee satisfaction is also important since the employees act as representatives of the principles held by the company both within and outside of the company. Finally it is important that the organization generates profits to ensure continuity and so that the company can meet its business objectives.
All these areas should be addressed in modulation to avoid over concentration in one area and sidelining the other.There will be no need to change the group since knowledge of company’s goals and objectives is a very important aspect in ensuring that the changes are achieved. The group has immense knowledge concerning the company and it is important to move forward with the group. Change is a movement that cannot be achieved alone or with a few people. In an organization, employees in a particular group show some common behavioral characteristics and patterns defined by the virtue that they belong to that particular group.
The importance of establishing groups cannot be overemphasized because the major aim in the formation of groups is so that the members can work interdependently to arrive at a particular objective or goal. There are many variations that can be observed not in just groups of different organization but also in different groups of the same organization. However there are some common natures and patterns that are characteristics of most groups. There are some characteristics that all groups should conform to; groups should have a particular goal that should be understood by all the members, members of the group should have the capacity to communicate and interact with each other, members should be able to understand that the group is a collective to which each one of them belongs to, all groups should have norms and rules to which all the members are ready to conform to, members should have a positive impact on one another and finally an individual should be able to benefit from being a member of the group. Change requires strong backing from most if not all of the parties concerned.
The ownership should ensure that the managerial is strong enough not only to manage but to stand the challenges that come with change. The managerial should therefore identify key figures in the organization, among the patients and other key players in the industry who are influential enough to direct the changes in the organization. One of the changes required in the organization is that residents should be able to feel comfortable within the environment and it is important that they are involved in coming up with ways to improve in this area. Within the company the managerial can also identify key leadership figures to steer the process of change. All these groups of people need to be organized in a team that will form a formidable force to foster change. The aspect of urgency building should also be the mandate of this team and building a continuous momentum.
The major essence of building a team is identifying the true leaders within an organization who can be used to drive the process. Loyalty should be one of the guiding principles in choosing for these team and they should also have commitment. This will ensure that some members do not quit the team midway. This team will further build other teams within various areas and eventually under the team leaders the whole organization will be working as a team towards a common goal. The team should also be evaluated from time to time to ensure that any areas of weaknesses are addressed as soon as possible.
The team should be as diverse as possible to address and reflect the diversity within the organization so that every individual feels represented. It is therefore important than when choosing a team care should be taken because the team should be able to reflect the company’s goals in achieving the change to avoid conflicts or misinterpretation. Furthermore the vision should be straightforward and concise so that it can be easily placed in a notice board or brochures.The LC is an organization that still has immense potential and the attainment of these objectives will be the determinant of whether the company will steer forward or wallow slowly in oblivion. Most companies that collapse, as it has been observed implement change without realizing the importance of harmonizing all the mentioned factors in the process.
Customer care can be improved by seeking the opinion of various residents via questionnaires and opinion boxes to establish the areas that need adjustments. Furthermore the company can seek the services of a professional organization to look into ways that services to the residents can be improved. Employee satisfaction is also important since the employees act as representatives of the principles held by the company both within and outside of the company. Finally it is important that the organization generates profits to ensure continuity and so that the company can meet its business objectives. All these areas should be addressed in modulation to avoid over concentration in one area and sidelining the other.
Executive StatementIn view of the current challenges facing LC it is important that each stakeholder understands that the greatest advantage that the organization has is that it has a big room for change. The change should be viewed from a positive perspective so that it can be done continuously without risking monotony. The change should rather be an interesting undertaking because it is geared towards the development or all areas within the organization.