Not all changes are positive nor well received. Change agents need to explore how various factors can impact the change initiative and must recognize the impact that certain changes have on individuals, teams, and organizations as a whole. Due to economic turbulence, and the impact of external factors, many organizations have needed to make tough decisions throughout the past two years. Globally, we have seen companies make changes that are positive, in order to remain afloat, and also changes that have resulted in scrutiny, loss of productivity, etc.
Consider the following scenario:
Throughout 2019, until the onset of the pandemic, a large national clothing brand was performing the best it had in 20 years. Unfortunately, when COVID-19 hit, many consumers were unwilling to visit local shopping malls, which resulted in massive profit losses. The large clothing brand was no exception to this phenomenon. The majority of individuals who shop at this retailer are 45 years of age and older and have no desire to frequent the mall anytime soon.
As an external change agent for this organization, you have been asked to sit with members of the C-suite (i.e., the Chief Executive Officer, the Chief Financial Officer, the Chief Human Resource Officer, the Chief Operating Officer, and the Chief Technological Officer) and discuss the proposed change initiative. Specifically, leadership is proposing that 25% of all retail locations are closed within the next six months and that the retail organization focuses on enhancing its ePlatform, thereby resulting in increased online sales.
After meeting with members of the C-suite, you were asked to meet with 10 senior-level employees. These employees expressed their concerns and frustration about the rumors that the company was shutting down select retail locations.
Using Table 6.3, explain the consequences that might occur if the decision to shut down 25% of stores occurs. Specifically, explain likely concerns that employees will express. Then, justify the impact associated with closing 25% of stores in terms of the organization’s reputation. Finally, given the fact that the organization may experience pushback from the workforce, when shutting down 25% of stores, is it possible to please C-Suite leaders and senior employees? If so, how? If not, why? Explain and justify your rationale.