Change Management Plan for Potter’s Peanuts

Change Management Plan for Potter’s Peanuts

HRM 560 – Managing Organizational Change


Organizational change occurs when a company makes a transition from its current state to some desired future state. Managing organizational change is the process of planning and implementing change in organizations in such a way as to minimize employee resistance and cost to the organization while simultaneously maximizing the effectiveness of the change effort.

1)Describe the organization in terms of industry, size, and history.

The organization is Potter’s Peanuts. It is a family-owned business that has been operating nationally for 5 years. The company is in the food industry and has over 280, 000 employees nationwide. Headquartered in the United States, the company has recently acquired two smaller processing and manufacturing facilities in Europe. Potter’s Peanuts is becoming increasingly aware of the rise in international competition, and is looking to maintain its market share domestically, while building in globally.

2)Analyze in detail the current HR practice, policy, process, or procedure that you believe should be changed.

Leadership, with major input from HR staff, is aware that attracting and retaining the best and brightest in the agricultural and food processing arena is crucial to maintaining national and international competitive market share advantage. With that vision in mind, the leadership knows that it will have to be strategic in ensuring that all its HR initiatives are equitable, consistent, continuous, and mainstream.

Potter’s Peanuts has been noted for its success in the market place, its values and vision, its diversity and inclusion efforts, but more publicly for its notable efforts in the training and development arena. The company believes strongly in training and development, as illustrated by the continuous and consistent launch of said efforts to affect successful learning so the employees can learn and develop to their full capabilities. Benchmarking and employees surveys have shown that Potter’s training and development efforts were indeed the overarching indicators as to why employees have remained loyal.

3)Formulate three (3) valid reasons for the proposed change based on current change management theories.

Three reasons for why the changes are important to make are: to ensure that Potter’s Peanuts remain relevant and successful in today’s market; that global expansion does not detract from its previous success in the marketplace; and, that all new training and development efforts continue to be as consistent and as successful as in the past. Because the company is part of the food industry; there are not only rules, regulations, and standards that have to be followed, there are training and developmental issues that the company needs to address to stay competitive in the food industry.

According to Chinda (2012), productivity is uppermost in the measurement of a company’s competitiveness. It is considered one of the basis variables governing economic production activities. As many large companies find the cost of implementing training and developments to be fairly expensive costs; these efforts must be ongoing and consistent to maximize the result of change in diverse and expanding environments.

Describe the recommended change.

Three major training and development efforts that Potter’s Peanuts need to launch to ensure success and continue to attract and retain the best and brightest would include: diversity training; team building and communication; and, creativity and ingenuity in product development. With over 280, 000 employees and expansion into the global marketplace, diversity training is one that stands in the forefront. Diversity training introduces employees to different culture and different thought mechanisms. It affords opportunities for employees to develop the job-specific skills, experience, and knowledge employees need to do their jobs and improve performance utilizing the diversity of thought others bring to the table. A needs assessment should be conducted to identify performance deficiencies, listen to customer complaints, survey employees and managers, and/or formally testing employees’ skills and knowledge are crucial for formulating a successful plan.

Creativity and ingenuity insofar as product development in concerned should also be part and parcel of the training implementation launched at Potter’s Peanuts. With nutrition based campaigns being run by various companies, it is in the interest of the company to stay abreast of new market trends in the food industry. In seeking this phase of change, some emerging characteristics immediately apparent from successful and consistent training would be: vision-directed; value-focused; improved quality of products; innovation; and, customer-driven focus. The leadership at Potter’s Peanut wants to ensure growth, build market share, and maintain job security for all its employees.

The third change consists of team building and communications. When implementing changes at Potter’s Peanut, the goal is to insure that all involved are on one accord. Jung (2005) states that, “team building, theoretically, is a concerted response to keep team conflicts down and performance up” (p.76). Collaboration between management and employees illustrates that staff are being valued and affirmed and that, in turn, is a positive component of developing the team. Teamwork has many positive rewards and a team building process can be a useful tool to promote productively in an organization. Learning to listen and understand diverse viewpoints and work toward viable outcomes are an essential foundation for success in today’s market. Good and open communications is one of the basic functions of success in any organization and its importance can hardly be overemphasized.

Develop a strategy that illustrates how you would address each of the eight (8) Stages of Change (Establishing a sense of urgency; creating coalition; developing vision and strategy; communicating the vision; empowering broad-based action; generating short term wins; consolidating gains and producing more change; anchoring new approaches into the culture).

To address each of the eight stages of change, Potter’s develops the following strategy.

Identify potential resistance to change and describe how the resistance would be managed.

  • Establish a sense of urgency by communicating the business rationale and job security issues involved for gaining and maintaining competitive advantage in the marketplace.
  • Once urgency for change is established, the leaders must have a coalition of employees to support the change. They will gather employees who deeply believe in the company’s mission.
  • Potter’s Peanuts created a vision that answers the question of where the company was heading. Also, it helps employees to understand why change is needed, and sets the stage for increasing individual roles to accomplish the change.
  • Once vision is developed, it must be communicated to the employees to mobilize the company. Managers should explain how to attain the vision, show confidence in their employees, and lead by example by articulating a clear and appealing vision.
  • After creating a plan, employees need to know their part in the plan. Potter’s Peanuts starts assigning responsibilities which empowers its employees.
  • Short-term wins rarely happen. Managers at Potter’s Peanuts will assure that the need to create shirt-wins can increase the sense of urgency, and actually help in accomplishing the goals and reinforce the change initiative.
  • In order to consolidate gains and produce more change, managers must take time to ensure that all new practices are firmly grounded in the company culture.
  • Potter’s peanuts will keep change in place by creating a new, supportive and sufficiently strong company’s culture.

Discomfort with uncertainly, employees don’t want to leave their comfort zone because lack of faith that the company’s new vision may require skills that go beyond their capacity.

Lack of conviction that change is needed, employees can resist if they do not understand the need for change. Especially those who strongly believe that the current way of doing things that work well.

Lack of trust or past resentments toward that lead change and what to expect: employees have different judgments of the situation and convictions that change is needed. They perceived that it might hurt them more than what they already have gained.

Fear of the unknown and fear of losing something they value: people want to understand how the change will affect their live at the work place. Also, they resist to changes if they will lose what they value as the result of changing.

In order to manage resistance, Potter’s Peanuts managers must know the important concepts originated from the resistance to change before implementing any approached. Potter’s Peanuts management team plans use Kotter’s model for managing resistance.

Education and communication – educating employees about change effort

Participation and involvement – employees are likely to buy into change rather than resist if they are involved in the change effort.

Facilitation and Support – managerial support helps employees dealing with fear and anxiety during a transition period.

Negotiation and Agreement – managers can fight resistance by offering incentives to employees that resist changing

Manipulation and Cooperation – often involves selecting leaders of the resisters to participate in the change efforts by giving a symbolic role in decision making, without threatening the change effort.

Explicit and Implicit Coercion – managers can openly or implicitly force employees to accept. This happens by making clear that resisting change can lead to loss of promotion and even termination.

Outline at least three (3) communications strategies you would use.

There are several communications strategies that we could use to implement the change management plan for Potter’s Peanuts. The three that are best suitable for this organization are the following: Not overemphasizing the change getting the word out and getting buy-in from staff. All of these include listening as a communication skill, selling change upward and aligning your language with the desired change.

While the first two communication skills highlight engaging others in the change process; the latter favors changing conversation skills. Listening is an essential communication skill that requires learning within an organization. This requires five different modes of listening: discriminative listening; comprehensive listening; therapeutic listening; critical listening; and, appreciative listening. These different modes allow individuals to determine the significance of auditory/visual message, striving to understand message for future reference, helping others and evaluating the message; explicitly include discriminative and comprehensive listening.

The organization should not give staff too much information about the change(s) to avoid information overload, however, change needs to be kept transparent so that everyone is on the same page, which is also part of getting the word out. Theorists believe that by practicing these types of listening modes, dialogue will emerge and create an environment that breeds change. Selling upward change is just as important when engaging others. Sometimes change can start from the bottom and work its way up: staff can push and persuade management with new ideas for change. It encourages getting the entire organization to buy-in to the idea of change thus soliciting participation from staff. This opens the door for staff to practice open door communication, which fosters a healthy subordinate/superior relationship.

Last, but not least, is the alignment of language with the desired change, which falls under changing conversation skills within an organization. Often times change fails within an organization because the imagery and metaphors that managers are using are not aligned with the purposed change, consequently leaving employees uncertain about what is required of them.

Marshak identifies four images of change: machine imagery of change where the change is designed to fix the problem; developmental imagery of change where the organization enhances and develop its performance; transitional imagery of change where it changes how the organization operates; and, transformational imagery of change, which is based on changing the nature of the business. These images are crucial and help managers not to give mixed signals to their staff when it comes to change.

Propose two (2) diagnostic tools to identify the changes that need to be made in organization.

There are many diagnostic tools that we could propose to use in order to identify changes that need to be made in the organization; however, we will discuss two specifically. The first tool would be the Six-Box organizational model (1976), which was one of the earliest diagnostic models created. This model was proposed by Marvin Weisbord and is centered on six variables that would cause the organization to ask itself six questions in regards to its purposes, structure, rewards, helpful mechanisms, relationships and leadership. This model is very employee focused and allows staff to have a voice that can be heard, Hamid, Siadat, Reza, Arash, Ali, and Azizollah (2011) found that.

The most important concern of human resource management is absorbing, keeping promoting human fore so that if managers can employ experts, keep them for the organization using different motivational and legal rights and promote their position and ranking, they have actually created the best and the most desirable environment for the staff. (p.85)

This creates a calm and efficient working atmosphere and change is more receptive with the organization. The second diagnostic tool that we would propose using is the Star-model. Like the Six-Box model, the Star-model is also employee focused and looks at strategy, structure, processes and lateral capability, reward systems and people practices.

An important reason why this would an even better diagnostic tool for Potter’s Peanuts is because it outlines the effects of misalignments with an organization and illustrates how it is cascading in its structure. Palmer, Dunford and Akin (2009) found that “Misalignment of any of these five factors is considered to produce suboptimal performance” (p.126). The Star-model potentially shows how the manager the upper hand to control employees behavior, which can affect the organizations’ performance overall.

Recommend two (2) strategies for sustaining the change.

To affectively achieve growth we have decided that it is pertinent that proper recommendations for increasing the probability of success are established in our company. To sustain our change and secure future growth and maximum profitability, we have decided on two primary strategies for sustaining that change and growth at Potter’s Peanuts for years to come.

Strengthen the execution infrastructure by investing in ‘safe bets’.

Regardless of which change and/or growth strategy is selected, a firm’s infrastructure must be up to a standard that supports successful executive. An ongoing commitment to creating such an infrastructure is a ‘safe bet’. Achieving this requires eliminating departmental or regional depots, utilizing leading indicators and performance driver that align with the strategy and growing leaders at all levels: managerial and non-managerial. The bottom line in all business is to make profit, because without profit your vision will surely die.

To do this we will initiate three customer change/growth strategies as presented below: we will grow the core business, we will grow by sub-segmenting customers and we will grow additional adjacent training and development opportunities. It will be recommended that our senior leaders begin the process by considering the growth potential within the creating innovative value propositions for underserved customers group.

In summary it is our business practice and visions to proclaim, remain and sustain with prosperity that is unmeasured. This is the way ahead for our company! If we live, sleep, eat and breathe these strategies for sustaining the change then the company will survive and we will provide quality peanuts to the world for a very long time!


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Hamid, R., Siadat, S., Reza, H., Arash, A., Ali, N., & Azizollah, A. (2011). The analysis of organizational diagnosis based on six box in Universities. Higher Education Studies, 1 (1) 84-92 DOI: 10.539/hes.v1n1p84. Retrieved September 7, 2015.

Kotter, J.P. (1996). Leading change. Boston, MA: Harvard Business Review Press.

Palmer, I., Dunford, R., &Akin, G. (2009). Managing Organizational Change: A multiple perspective

Approach 2nd Edition. New York: McGraw-Hill

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