Which of the super trends are driving H-P to change?
A company like H-P, that offers such a large range of technological products, is facing growing pressures from other competitors that offer more specific solutions; such as companies that prefer producing tablets and phones, those that only manufacture and provide laptops such as Dell or those that have monopolized the software and operating industry such as Windows and Apple; and based on these pressures, H-P is being highly motivated to change by several acquisitions in many other fields and products; such as those focused on software security, cloud computing, analytics software as well as tablets, phones and laptops in order to beat such companies faster to market strategies. Additionally, H-P is also facing the impact of intense technological change from companies such as Google, Facebook and Dropbox that have completely flipped the script on the sharing of information electronically as probably almost all documents and pictures are now shared instead of being printed; that brings down the sales of H-P printers as the market for printers has decreased drastically and H-P was very healthy in that market. In order to keep up, H-P had to move into new markets like the tablet market.
Which of the forces for change are causing H-P to undertake major organizational change? Explain.
The outside forces causing H-P to undertake major organizational change are technological advances, alongside with customer and market changes. Since the technology has moved on from printing and hard copy shares to electronic sharing of documents and pictures through social media as well as sharing websites like Drop Box, customers preferences have gone from printed copies of such items to electronic sharing and with that the market for printers has substantially gone down; which is a market that H-P is heavily involved in but now has to make major changes to adapt to the new customer preferences and state of technology; for example by putting in more resources into software making and tablet markets. The internal forces include human resource concerns and manager behavior. Human resource concerns have shown a greater sense of insecurity between workers due to increased turnovers; as a result, the manager’s behavior, in this case being Whitman, is focused on not having any barriers between the employees and higher ranked workers or officers and that is supposed to bring down a sense of unease or work tension.
How might Meg Whitman have used Lewin and Kotter’s models of change to increase the probability of achieving positive organizational change? Provide specific recommendations.
According to Kotter’s model of change; Whitman should have put her employees on alert with a presentation that shows the declining performance of H-P and maybe show how other technological giants moving in such a negative revenue trend are no longer (has-beens) while also including the efforts of H-P’s competitors to spark motivation and innovation by showing how far behind they are in their field. Whitman should have also specifically picked new members to run a change project based on the evaluation of their experience and if they were able to do something for other companies facing a rough period in growth and sales, just like Steve Jobs did when he brought in Michael Scully, the advertising head of Coca-Cola to boost sales of Apple products by giving it a new and different image that appeals more to customers. Whitman should have also developed a vision to take H-P in; a new image or direction for it to take, perhaps focusing on a particular aspect of the technological field or trends and picking a market to dominate. Also, she should encourage risk taking in the technological field by branching into fields that are not so competitive but rather is in major need of supply. Furthermore, to motivate and make employees take the first step towards innovation, Whitman should have created short-term goals that could be easily measured such as sales in a particular division like the tablet market and reward employees contributing to such short-term change through bonuses. In relation to Lewin’s model; she should have used the unfreezing method to encourage H-P to move away from declining markets such as the printer product market and move on to adapting to technological advances such as sharing software through the changing strategy
- To what extent is H-P following the four steps for fostering innovation? Explain.
H-P is extensively following the four steps for fostering innovation process. It followed the first step by recognizing the problem through evaluating annual revenues and discovering the problem that H-P’s revenues have been consistently decreasing since 2011. It also saw devised a solution to this problem by deciding lay off several workers in order to increase investment in new technologies and skill to grow further. Then, H-P decided that changing the organizational structure into two distinct branches would help it grow and beat competitors. Further information about growing and declining markets, evaluation of several customers and stakeholders worldwide by Whitman allowed for H-P to decide how to approach this problem and what changes would help it improve its revenue; such as discovering that the software development sector is barely breaking even and thus needs to be given less prominence too as is the printer production division as it is a dying market, whereas emerging markets such as the tablets market should be given more attention and resources as it is a growing market with great potential for revenue for the company. The third step, which is empowering employees, came through changes made exclusively by the CEO’s decisions to the work environment. This was crucial as job insecurities were high and although it helped boost productivity, stress levels were increased too. Whitman decided to remove barriers in parking lots and other divisions separating ranks within the office to suppress internal conflict and devote energy towards productivity and commercial gains. She also achieved this by choosing to work in a cubical and not having lavish stays abroad. Finally, the fourth step, which is to execute well, was not explicitly stated in the article, as the improvements and revenue analysis for the year 2015 are not mentioned. Also there is an execution issue here that was not addressed by H-P which is that of its poor sales tools and inefficient preparations of sales quotes that give competitors an advantage to put their products out to the market before H-P that could harm its performance.
- What advice would you give Whitman based on what you learned in this chapter? Be specific.
I would advice her to focus on Kotter’s very specific model where she would focus on devising a vision statement, and developing small steps and rewards that would eventually lead to a greater change that should thoroughly be analyzed and measured.