Final Installment: Change written by Ryan Schulke & Ana Rodriguez
As stated in chapter 12, in Organizational Communication for Survival: Making Work, Work change is one of the most difficult things to achieve in organizations. In order to establish a better system of communication for Schick-Wilkinson, there must be a set plan to inform and demonstrate to employees the benefit that will be gained by implementing new communication technologies. This can be done in by providing on hand workshops educating and training employees how to use wikis, weblogs and aggregators. This is essential for employees. If employees are not used to these types of communication systems, they must be learned and fully understood. By doing so, we improve the chances for successful change immensely. We must also inform all personnel of how these changes will affect their status, workload, and salary in the company. If no changes are to occur, we must still notify all employees of how they will be affected. Contributors of Projekt Love talk about Karl Weick comments of information systems. He states " Simply pushing harder within the old boundaries will not do." In order to make changes happen we must motivate and almost campaign these new ideas so that they are accepted and hopefully successful with the organization. The authors of our textbook, Virginia P. Richmond and James C. McCroskey, state the five stages for implementing change are as follows:
Richmond and McCroskey state that adoption or rejection occur during the decision stage. They also emphasize that there must be there are six conditions necessary for successful change. These six conditions are crucial to make changes possible with the organization and make then permanent as well. The six conditions are as follows:
1. The system must have, or create, slack sources. Slack sources are resources that are made available by the company but not allocated. These resources can be finances, personnel time, space, etc.
2. The new idea must be supported by both the formal and the informal leaders in the organization. The CEOs, presidents, vice presidents, and various head of departments must support the idea of change and help motivate workers to accept new ideals.
3. Persons implementing the change should be involved in the change process. For example, those supporting the change should be the ones to educate, inform, and train other employees.
4. The change must be adapted to each specific organization. Every company works differently and so does each department. Therefore, the new plan must be adapted differently for each department and their needs.
5. The change must show obvious and positive results quickly. Soon after the change or new plan has been implementing, the results must be visible to employees and the benefits should be clearly understood and appreciated.
6. The change must be implemented in a carefully organized and gradual manner. Steps must be taken to ensure a smooth and easy transition from the old system to the new system.
Schick-Wilkinson, works on a very simple hierarchy of employees. For example, at the top of the list for North America Sales and leadership is:
• President and CEO
• Chief Marketing officer and vice president of North America
• Vice president of Sales for North America
Following the chain are a series of executives and directors, who share the same authority and power for each individual department. However, report directly to the top three.
• Executive director
• customer team director for new business, and customer team director for national grocery
• customer team director for drug channel, and director of customer development
• customer team director of mass & club channel, director demand management
• customer team director regional grocery channel, director of customer planning & promotion
The directors and executives of Schick-Wilkinson, manage and coordinate the work of several other employees. However, no one single department is isolated from the other in its effect. They must all share information and knowledge to make work possible for each department. One way of helping communicate the daily activities of each department is to have the executive or director of each department post daily or weekly notices in a weblog created for this particular department of the company. Each weblog will allow users to link to other weblog, one for each branch of the company, and to access the main general website of the company. This set up with an aggregator system will help both executives, directors, and employees are aware of the daily or weekly progress of each individual department of the company. This type of information can be very helpful when developing strategies for improvement and advancement. This will also help employees move away from the use of voice mail and email systems that can lead to redundancy and noise in the network.
There are approximately nine major departments of the company.
• North America Sales and Leadership
• North America Customer Development
• North America Customer Planning & Promotion
• North America sales Demand Management
• North America Sales Mass/Club Channel
• North America Sales Drug Channel
• North America Sales National Grocery Channel
• North America Sales Regional Grocery Channel
• North America Sales Emerging Channels
As of now, all these departments communicate only through email and voice mail. This type of communication system for such an elaborate company only limits the possibilities for growth and the understanding of all employees of how the company functions. Each department has a hierarchy of employees similar to the one described above. The main purpose of creating a network of weblogs for each department is to create a link, department to department, employee to employee. This expands the network and reduces the workload for employees by allowing them to communicate with specific individual employees rather then going through the hierarchy. It can help motivate movement and make access to essential information quicker and easier to access. Another suggestion is to set up an online catalog of the products and services that Schick-Wilkinson carries. This online catalog should be part of the website and weblogs. It can be a great sales tool for employees and help clients manage their accounts more effectively.
There are many ways to accelerate growth through advanced communication methods. Differsifying Schick's techniques help to expand our reach in the market. As Bianca states in her project, there is a problem of information being distributed to individuals, which could be better off serving the organization as a whole. With one common board to post information that is useful for everyone, we simplify the communication process and quicken progress.
The use of text messaging will help groups working more intimately (smart mobs) to correlate their plans in an instant. Again, we are simplifying and in doing so, becoming more efficient. As the Hudak Project suggested "for smart mobs, using text messaging or instant messages can be for rescheduling or verifying a meeting."
We hope the changes initiated by this new system of communications will help to spark energy and new thought in the workplace. Being a stagnant and silent number 2 competitor to Gillette has finally changed thanks to our new innovations (see Intuition & Quattro), now we must capitalize on this opportunity by continuing to emphasize progress. New efficient forms of communicating in the workplace can lead to exciting new prospects for our organization. We hope to spark this momentum quickly as possible.