There are several things that Kamarck did well while implementing the changes. First, he understood the important role leadership played in change and made efforts to align all the leaders. Instead of lecturing and imposing the decision of cutting cost by 25 percent on them, he allowed the leaders to experience the realities that made this goal realistic. This approach was more likely to get “buy-ins” from the leaders. Secondly, he showed the whole organization how important the changes were to the company by providing resources to support the change, including expert advisors, training, and etc. He also allowed site leaders and quality head to delegate their normal role to someone else and lead the transformation full-time. Employees in the company could feel the seriousness and were less likely to see the change as a “flavor to the mouth”. Kamarck also did well to exemplify the behaviors he wanted the employees to demonstrate. He was willing to communicate and help the shop floor operators understand the new requirements. The “do as I do” way is more effective than a “do as I say” when implementing changes.
The first thing that Kamarck failed to do is that he did not clearly align the change with the business strategy. By changing the management infrastructure and how people think and act, he was actually changing the organizational culture. However, there was not clear definition of what kind of organization the company needed to become. What vision the company had for its future, what the company valued most now and how much the culture needs to change to support the accomplishment of that vision were not stated. As a result, it would be difficult to align the change with the strategic direction of the business. For example, the company was building a learning culture, but how much would the learning culture help reinforce the strategic direction of the business? What kind of training programs should be offered to employees? These questions could not be accurately answered without looking at the company’s business strategy.
Another thing that Kamarck failed to do was to communicate the necessity of the change to the leadership. Although he did a pretty good job letting the leaders learn the feasibility of the changes by allowing them to experience the realities, there were differences between knowing “we could change” and “we need to change”. Not all of the leaders had realized the external and internal challenges the company was facing, which was why some of the leaders thought they were doing good and did not understand the necessity of the change. Without a sense of urgency, the directors and managers’ commitment to change would be limited. It took longer than necessary for the directors and mangers to realize that they needed to take actions for the company to survive.
Another thing that Kamarck missed is to align HR practices with his goals. He made a lot of effort to ensure the transformation happened, but to be able to sustain and support the results of the transformation, corresponding changes to the HR systems would need to be implemented. Without appropriate motivation and guidance, employees would soon go back to their comfortable ways of doing things and be reluctant to change their…