Organization Development and Change
Application15.2: GE financial six-sigma success story
Jack Welch’s push to have six sigma adopted in the company began in the 1980s. Welch launched the “workout program” that opened the company to meaningful exchange of ideas from every employee. For successful implementation of six-sigma, the company borrowed best practices from successful firms such as Motorola. Using Jack Welch’s methodology, implementing six-sigma in a firm should be done as follows (Cummings & Worley, 355):
i) Strong commitment from the executive; Jack Welch undertook the implementation project as his own initiative and availed the needed resources for the undertaking. Executives should spend time in the training sessions and personally answer questions from employees. The leaders should receive weekly reports on the progress of the implementation
ii) Emphasize on training; this is one to ensure that the employees adopt a data-based problem analysis. Employees at GE were required to undertake 100 hour training on six sigma
iii) Mentoring; companies should hire champions to oversee the implementation of the six-sigma projects
iv) Focused implementation; the leaders should focus on cutting costs and improving productivity and quality. Besides, all employees should be involved in the process. Firms should prioritize projects based on their contribution to the bottom line.
Application 16.1: Enriching jobs at the Hartford’s employee relations
The case of Hartford Corporation underscores the significance of a reliable, effective and efficient human resource department to serve the employees. While outsourcing the human resource function cut costs and wage bill for the company, it resulted in delays in solving complex cases that involved consultations with other departments. Feedback on employee queries was delayed as most of these required consultations with other departments. To solve these problems, firms should employ the following strategies:
i) Firms should have employee relations consulting services for each business unit or type of customer. This would result in shorter process times due to specialization. Case-closure times would be shorter and employees would be more satisfied dealing with an efficient employee relations department
ii) Firms should classify cases by their complexity and create new roles within the firm. This would lessen the burden on the junior officers in the employee relations department and enhance service delivery
iii) The employee relations consulting services division should liaise with the human resource generalists through partnerships and governance councils. The two units should offer avenues to increase task identity and skill variety.
Implementing the above measures will result in faster case-closure times, improved service delivery and better employee satisfaction.
Application 15.1: Use of AI Summit at Roadway Express
Appreciative Inquiry (AI) helps organizations to achieve transformational change by tapping the energy of all its members. The aim of the AI exercise is to define the scope and targets of performance, relive past success stories (discover), to realize what is possible (dream), to make changes to organisational structure (design) and to implement best practices to guarantee success. Roadway Express used AI summit by consulting with all its stakeholders to realize improved performance. The company raised its throughput from 47-64%, reduced the transit speed from 2.3-2.1, and increased the production efficiency by more than half. Customer satisfaction also increased as grievances declined (Cummings & Worley, 355).
In my organisation, I would begin by questioning my organizations capacity to harness and enhance its positive potential. In doing this, I would consider the strengths of its human resources as the crucial factor responsible for delivering success. I would involve all stakeholders in the inquiry in order to generate as many questions and answers as possible. This will result in discovering the hidden potential that exists in the organisation. For instance, the organisation has potential to improve quality by improving employee training and working conditions or even changing the existing organizational structure.
The next step is to make the necessary changes to the organisation to ensure that the identified constraints are removed and inspiring opportunities are captured. This would entail implementing the recommendations of stakeholders as laid down in the discovery stage. In this regard, it would include making such changes as restructuring, introducing new product lines, targeting new markets, etc. After successful design, I would move back to the first step again to determine the success (Cummings & Worley, 395)…
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