Change management entails a methodical advance in dealing with adjustment both within the viewpoint of an individual, company or at organizational level. Change may involve aspects such as adapting, controlling or upsetting it. This paper researches about Alltel and Verizon Wireless merger and associated change management it has embraced so far.
The paper gives a brief Executive Summary about Alltel and Verizon merger and points out issues which compelled a change in the merger. A need to have “Verizon Enhanced Communities” (VEC) to improve sales within residential places was a motivation towards building a change in the merger. Besides, the paper describes the intended aim for the change and help to expound on the implementation strategy that Alltel/Verizon’s Merger used to ensure that implementation process was successful and worthwhile to the company.
Consequently, the paper describes how change was structured and sequenced and the political contribution to its success. Also, the paper discusses how change leaders in the company displayed leadership strategies to reduce resistance whereas speeding up the change process in the company. Further, the paper analyzes the result that was achieved because of change in the merger, and assesses the impact of how it helped increase wider market penetration residential areas. Lastly the paper points out how my assessment of “managing Organizational Change” has been valuable towards this analysis.
In conclusion, effective application of change management methods to achieve the needed change has helped Alltel and Verizon to give a competitive advantage to other service providers in communication business.
Verizon Company is a leading global provider of communication services. Verizon wireless is associated with provision of data and voice services among other communication products in the United States. These are achieved because of the presence of the companies’ broad and reliable wireless network spread across the United States. Verizon customers include; businesses, individuals and government organizations (Nashville Business Journal, 2008).
Verizon wire line commerce delivers communication products and services such as network entrance, voice, broadband, and video, long-distance and its connected products and services and Internet protocol networks. It embraces multiplicity and duty to the surroundings in which it delivers its business goals. Verizon employees are diverse and have an estimate of about 210,800 employees as by June 2010 (Nashville Business Journal, 2008). To expand its customer coverage across the United States, Verizon acquired Alltel in January 2009 and Verizon Wireless began to embark in upgrading and integrating Alltel networks to be tandem with Verizon strategic objectives. Upgrade was supreme to simplify provision of quality wireless services to Alltel customers (Chatham journal weekly, 2009).
Issues leading to Change
Verizon Wireless experienced many challenges that encouraged it to find solutions on how it can effectively handle the challenges and increase efficiency and customer contentment at the same time aiding the business to gain its strategic objectives. One of the challenges that Verizon was facing was starting the “Verizon Enhanced Communities” (VEC). This was the latest business dissection which was aimed at delivering data, voice and video services to multidwelling and residential places. The Verizon business dissection, also called “Verizon Avenue” needed Verizon sales division to belligerently examine the services and marketing arrangement with designers of; new apartments, single-homes facilities, condo, student housing and military systems (Chatham journal weekly, 2009).
Environmental reasons which pressed Verizon to embrace Verizon Enhanced Communities included its competitors. Every business entity has outer forces that perform similar roles within their skillful discipline. These entities are asserted as competitors and they rival producers of much needed services. A competitor underwrites general business by their ability to offer high-end services at a competitive rate. Verizon competitors compelled it to be familiar with change to successfully meet its organizational goals (Chatham journal weekly, 2009).
Secondly, customers contributed to Verizon embracing “Verizon Enhanced Community” Customers are important feature of any business, without them, business will not exist. Despite of the service provided, business should strive to persuade their products appeal to customer’s satisfaction.
Verizon wireless goals have been varied and far-reaching. Some of the main goals includes; profit improvement. The merger aims at increasing operational income and precincts. Sturdy wireless and FiOS income progress continue to confidently control operational effects. Besides the salvage of the economy, mainly in the business markets gives a positive intuition to the merger’s performance towards future goals. The merger strives to focus on directing spending with the aim of harmonizing business aptitude regressions as it forestalls the thickness of cutback to stay throughout 2010 (Hinman, 2008).
Secondly, Verizon merger aims at improving operational effectiveness (Cartwright, et al, 1996, p.87). Whereas focusing on market slice and income growth as the eventual goal, the merger is determinedly invigorating the administration team to decrease overheads particularly through technology aided competence. In upgrading this comprises self-service reward. Also, information technology, call center piloting, property merging, shared consolidated services in the company, and elaborate marketing has lead to reduced costs therefore paving way for merger to realize wider market penetration therefore encouraging the company to uphold the goal of upholding and refining income limits. By installing FiOS network, the merger aims at achieving much needed saving in the continuing running expenses because of effectiveness accrued from its fiber optic services.
Thirdly, the merger entails to be a leader in customer care service for its wider customer base. They view their larger products contributions and customer care service experiences as a competitive advantage and a reagent to rising profits and gaining market slice effectiveness (Cartwright et al, 1996.p.98). Besides, the merger is dedicated to providing worth customer service and persistently assesses customer perfection in all faces of its business operations.
Lastly, the merger aims at improving its performance built culture. The merger embraces the tradition of accountability that is built on distinct and team goals that are performance based and tied to Verizon’s strategic domineering. Important objectives of Verizon’s compensation programs are for performance and to configure the directors and shareholders long-term benefits. Also, Verizon employs diverse and highly experienced workforce. Respect, understanding and shared vision is integral part of Verizon’s culture and prime constituent for its competitive advantage effectiveness (Cartwright et al, 1996.p.105).
Evaluation of Change efforts
Building a strong VEC didn’t involve training alone, it entailed long-term outcome that impacted on the company’s culture and support system. VEC succeeded to select Performance Management Methods, as a skillful way of performing tasks. Aiding this was PMI’s outstanding performance in 2006 sales training seller guide. PMI had displayed a strong strategic and displayed ability to built tailored solutions. This was a sure pointer that it would involuntarily fit into Verizon’s precise operational needs, management needs and sales goals.
Plan Analysis before change
Carrying out change in any given organization is complex and a dire task. It has been the trend and strategy is getting more with the enlarged degree of change in organizations and companies. Whether the change is being bound by outward concerns or being brought about within by an organization or company leadership.
Before implementing change, Verizon Wireless made an appraisal of the best practice that was being accessible by other competitive businesses in the market. After cautiously assessing them, they realize that PMI superseded all by understanding better their goals and aims. PMI used much time trying to acquaint with VEC, exact needs, strength and challenges. To realize this, a series of meeting and discussions were held by executives and top performing team members within the company.
Secondly, a repeatable, conventional process was formed. It was based on input that was received from decision-making organ, Team members and top sales performers. The PMI then developed a sales process that was based on good practice from multiple constituents.
Thirdly, Verizon engaged management training to set the tempo for VEC success. The PMI trained VEC sales managers to become internal best “practice experts” this equipped and increased their training understanding and responsibilities. The duties of managers were to strengthen the representative’s new behaviors and processes. The new culture and processes were adopted across Verizon’s executive team to ensure that understanding of the process and simplify management support to the representative as needed. The result of the program lead to increase number of growing units with premise access agreement ranging over 591% during the first year of the program alone with the same staff in place. The executive reporting dropped from 7 to 1 whereas providing strong leadership team with essential forward-looking view of the business.
Fourthly, Verizon had to build trust in its leadership. Trust is basically the conviction that an individual won’t be affected when susceptible. Obviously, the point of communal conviction among labor and administration or among superiors and juniors shakes the dynamism of business and organization. But conviction of leaders by juniors is doubly significant in periods of transformation because employees feel only susceptible. Jobs, society standing, self-worth, and economic steadfastness may be in the equilibrium.
Verizon leadership displayed complete uprightness, consistency, sincerity, and fairness–always acting in morally and communally accountable ways. Equally, they communicated they care about its employees and the company. These characteristics translated to trust; that leaders must obey.
Lastly, Verizon team leadership clearly explained the vision for change to all employees. This was to enable employees understand accurately direction where the company was heading this ensured that everyone in the organization understood the purpose of change and the result the company desired to achieve. However, the Verizon wireless guaranteed the workers to witness a clear picture how change will alter performing of duties across the entire organization.
Analysis of Change strategy
Change implementation Strategy
Effective change management entails implementing strategies which provide an enabling environment for achieving success. Verizon wireless fused Kottas principles of implementing change in the company. Incorporating Kottas principles, creating urgency in change implementation was a priority that Verizon had to institute. For any change to happen in an organization, a sense of urgency is vital. Honest and open practical discussion on the probable change helps people to understand and therefore help to strengthen firmness needed for change to be delivered (Denison, 2001, p.87).Open communication about change involves; Identifying suppressed fear, and developing situations showing what could happen in the future, subdued, embarking on honest discussions, and giving active and substantial reasons to get people involved talking, thinking and pursuing support from customers, outside stakeholders and industry to strengthen an organization or company argument.
Secondly, Kotta outlines that for an effective change to be realized forming a powerful alliance is equally significant. People should be convinced that change is necessary. This often takes resilient leadership and observable support from key people and decision makers within an organization. Strong and effective change leaders can be found throughout an organization. They don’t need to follow the traditional company order (Denison, 2001, p.93).
To ensure organization goals are harmonized with change, an organization has to constitute a coalition of persuasive and influential personnel who hold management decision within an organization.in choosing a coalition team, reputation, authority, political power and job title should be factored to ensure that success s achieved. Once molded, “change coalition” needs to work as a team, enduring to build urgency and impetus around the need for change.
Fourthly, communication of the vision, what the companies does with the vision after it has been shaped will fix its success. The vision of the company will help to foster and stress the importance of change in the organization by stressing day-to-day communication in the company, therefore a team entrusted with change management should strive to communicate the company vision often and strongly, and reinforce their change strategies in the communications. Communication about change will involve; talking often about company change vision, open and honest addressing peoples’ concerns and anxieties, applying company vision to all aspects of operations right from training to performance appraisals, binding everything back to the vision and leading by example.
Fifthly, removing impediments reinforces active model for change implementation. Put in place the arrangement for change, and persistently check for obstacles to it. Removing impediments can allow people the company needs to achieve its vision, and it can help the change to advance (Denison, 2001, p.106). Tools such as; Identifying or hiring, changing leaders whose main roles are to deliver the change, looking in the company or organizational structure, job descriptions, and performance and compensation systems to ensure they’re in line with organizations or company vision, recognizing and rewarding people for making change happen, Identifying people who are resisting the change, and help them see what’s needed, taking action to quickly remove barriers.
Lastly, creating short-term wins, nothing motivates more than success. Change management team can devise strategies of ensuring the company is given a feel of triumph as early as the change occurs. Therefore, change management team should have a plan of creating goals which are achievable with a short time; they should not plan for a single long-term goal which can be carried out over a long period of time. This will ensure fewer risks are achieved ensuring eventual delivery of the goals envisaged in the change implementation. Every individual “win” at every stage of change implantation gives inspiration to employees of an organization and Change management team itself.
Verizon structured its change implementation basing on six important reasons. The first reason that Verizon considered was action planning. Verizon developed a detailed action plan and made a chronological list of action steps to be undertaken. This detailed action was added to Verizon strategies. Each action was assigned to a specific individual for accomplishment. Verizon outlined estimated time and resources for completion of the assigned tasks. This was translated to a broad statement into a notable number of specific work assignments to be completed.
Secondly, Verizon considered its organization structure and how change can effectively fit into it. Besides, they change team analyzed if the company’s current structure was suitable for the intended change (The Lincoln Journal Star, 2009).
Thirdly, Verizon considered its human resources as a major successful reason in influencing change.to be effective, Verizon view human reasons into two perspective situation; first, it considered human resource as a management link that fosters communication needs in the company. Human resource distinct strategies so those charged with developing the matching actions steps are fully aware that they understand the change needed to be implemented. Secondly, top management and managers successfully understood the effects of how the change will have an impact on its human resources. Because of this, they decided to give employees time to grow and learn by experience, introduced training and hired extra employees
Fourthly, Verizon considered the budget plan set aside for simplifying change in the company. Companies are successful at realizing change if enough funds and resources are factored. Verizon considered the financial implication that will be associated with the change process early before the actual change was to begin. The financial strategies began when the strategy was created and as the process continued, a firm financial committed was grounded (The Lincoln Journal Star, 2009).
Fifthly, Verizon embraced overseeing and control to ensure the change process is delivered according to the organizations objectives. Overseeing and control involved periodic audits to ensure that all was sailing smoothly. It also entailed aligning strategy in tandem with the company aims once it got out of intended track. This processed involved; changing action plans, schedule, changing objectives, and strategy as well.
Lastly, Verizon encompassed the above reasons by linking them to other activities within the company. This was to ensure that all activities in the company move in a similar direction. The linking was done both vertically and horizontally. Vertical linking ensured that good coordination and support among its other corporate departmental and divisional plans are realized. Horizontal linkage ensured that a link is fixed across its regional offices and departments (The Lincoln Journal Star, 2009).
Political Support for Change Implementation
For an effective change implementation, political goodwill is important within an organization. Power is equally important among members of an organization when striving for the resources and influence needed to successfully perform their job roles and responsibilities. Power like conflict exists in all human interactions and is asserted to be bad. How power and conflicts are used and managed controls how power and conflicts should be realized (Leban et al, 2005, p.87). Verizon ensured that a strong mechanism exists in aligning power with change efforts within the company. A network of power players across the management echelon in an organization such as senior management and other staffs who posses’ strong expertise and integrity to drive the change needed in the organization were integrated in change leadership team (Leban et al, 2005, p.77). This ensured that all the players onboard received support in recognizing the change the organization needed.
Minimizing Resistance to Change
Change entails altering the organization structure and the way people perform their duties. Besides, when change is introduced in an organization, it can bring issues which can affect the organization and employee performance. Verizon like any other company introducing change in its mode of operations was met by resistance.
The first issue that was a major concern for sales and other employees was that, they feared that a new change will translate into more work. Employees expected the proposed change will alter their job description and incorporate more responsibilities. So, this instilled fear in them because they never understood what new tasks will be created, whether training support will be given and the effects of pay.
The second issue was rebellion from employees. People do not necessary resist change, but they resist the implications that are being planted on them. People don’t mind change, but they don’t want to be changed. At Verizon, employees wanted to feel that they are in control of their lives and when change was introduced they view it as a threat to strengthen their control in the company.
To effectively make reduce resistance and make change process as smooth as possible, Verizon employed major strategies to dispel issues that would derail change process in the company. One of the processes that were incorporated to ensure change was achieved was creating a clear, compelling vision that shows how people and organization can gain progress. The management and entire organization at large presented a vision to its employees grounded on reality; the vision was clear and was to be fulfilled (Schermerhorn and Hunt, 2003, p.68). Besides, the company management had a strong support for the vision which ensured that less resistance is noticed.
Secondly, the company had built a strong, committed and a leadership team that included top management in the company. An effective way to spread information is to institute change coalitions that presents diverse representation from every level of an organization. Verizon ensured that every group is represented and this allowed the executive to learn first fears of employees and at the same helped employees understand the vision of the company (Schermerhorn and Hunt, 2003, p.87).
Lastly, Verizon aspired for true performance goals and created early wins. Verizon employed benchmark tools to oversee change progress. It recognized and rewarded kidnapping those benchmarks instead of waiting to complete the change program.
Momentum for Change
The momentum for change implementation was spread within a moderate duration of time. The sale team was asked to work on methods which would help an organization meets its target within the given timescale. The role encompassed strategic as well as communicating major issues to the change team leaders. This enabled senior managers to be updated and make necessary recommendation proposing the way forward for change implementation. This also helped build relationship and propelled the sales team to work actively therefore this ensured the assigned duties were completed on time.
Overseeing mechanism for Change
Effective change implementation involves efficient plans that involve overseeing and controlling. Besides, overseeing simplifies the processes which are performed to ensure that change execution takes place and that potential problems are identified early to aid in setting up corrective measures. Verizon employed various overseeing tools to ensure that change was a success. This ensured that change performance is viewed and measured regularly to identify variances arising. Verizon ensured that measuring of the continuing activities was embraced; further, costs, time and efforts against change implementation were factored. Besides, identification of corrective action to mitigate the risks was also considered and they influenced the reasons that would thwart integrated change control to limit only approved changes needed to be implemented.
Results of Change
Outcome of Change
The PMI fulfilled a sales operations method which provided necessary sales forecasting. This was a defined process for salespeople and visibility into that process by managers and top administration in the company. The result of the change helped the company to have a forecasting tool. The PMI helped Verizon Enhanced Communities develop an executive dashboard that provided a division wide transparency into current issues as well as providing a forecast with a weekly reporting process summarizing results and information more efficiently.
Secondly, Verizon could achieve standardize process in its sales department. PMI came up with a simple, one page sales tool that stipulated the success reasons for sales representatives to achieve throughout sales process. Besides, VEC employees benefited greatly by gaining valuable structure and consistency during the sale process, this resulted in more efficient reporting of progress.
Thirdly, management training was increased and strengthened. The PMI trained VEC employees and managers this helped them get prepared for the company goals. The new culture and processes was raised across the company bringing about growth and development.
However, though change provided a positive impact for Verizon merger to effectively align its business objectives, but it did streamline maximum efficiency in the operation of Verizon Economic Community. Much resources with money, time and administration was attach on overseeing the change therefore other aspects of the business was neglected. Further, VEC did penetrate much in areas where Verizon competitors had already fixed their stronghold.
Evaluation of Change Efforts
Verizon merger effectively knew what they wanted and employed effective strategies to realize the objectives and vision they had earlier outlined to achieve. Essential change methods such as specifying strategies to deal with risks associated with change were effectively applied. Besides, to counter resistance within and outside the company was also factored.
To simplify effective understanding of change among the department affected i.e. sales departments and employees was created (Leban et al, 2005, p.123). Methods such has open and honest communication, training and strong leadership among the top management and change leadership team ensured that less resistance is witnessed among the employees by lowering the risks associated with change. Further, the change was speeded up; this was mainly to reduce overheads such as time, money and administration making the merger to improve performance and concentrate on other broad issues of the company.
However, Verizon would have benefited much if the change leadership team would have incorporated contingency plans in the change program to counter confusions if the expected plans wouldn’t have achieved much needed results (Leban et al, 2005, p.134). Contingency strategies such as having an alternative strategy to depend on would be a
What I have learned about Managing organizations Change
Managing change in an organization can be a complex task if improper change management strategies are not understood and applied effectively. Improper application of change management tools and methods can yield disastrous effects and risks. To effectively influence change implementation in an organization one needs to understand several reasons which includes; the organization culture and politics, the intended purpose of change, vision of the organization or business and constraints that is associated with the expected change among other important change tools (Leban et al, 2005, p.136).
Besides, the issue of dealing with resistance that can emanate from employees should also be a reason. People are threatened by change because of many reasons such as loss of control and job, altered job roles, retrenchment among other reasons. Therefore change management in an organization should be exercised in such a way that all concerned people ranging from junior employees to senior staff understand the need for change and how it will influence the organization at large. Strategies to counter resistance to change such as setting up training programs, open communication, inclusion of employees in change implementation among other reasons should be embraced and developed to ensure that success is achieved wholly in the organization and no one is excluded or threatened by introducing change (Leban et al, 2005, p.147).
By effectively embracing change strategies, Verizon merger could create a Verizon Economic Community. Strategies such as understanding the need for change and framing change management team ensured that every aspect centered towards company objectives was achieved. Besides, change management when delivered successfully in a given organization ensures that less resistance is experienced and gives a competitive advantage to organization to strengthen efficiency in today’s competitive business environment.
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