Case: The Children’s Trust Southampton: Towards a culture of partnership working
The Children’s Trust Southampton is an organization that is focused on the provision of different services for children and young people (The Children’s Trust, 2018). The aim of the organization is to minimize service failures. The organization aims to improve the service-providing mechanisms for children and young people. For this purpose, the organization employs partnership working. The organization ensures the collaboration of different agencies or organizations to address the needs of children and young people. The organization realizes the significance of partnership working to minimize the service failures and increase the efficiency of service providing mechanisms. The development of partnership working demands changes that can support the change of culture and positively influence the organizational activities.
The drivers of culture change
The increasing rate of high-profile service failure demands a change in the working culture. Although there is a range of services for children and young people, there is no mechanism that could maximize the utility of these services. The absence of a mechanism to address the needs of children often results in the deaths of children. A mechanism should be developed that reduces the rate of high-profile service failure. The collaboration of multiple agencies could constitute such a mechanism that minimizes the high-profile service failure (Jasper, et al., 2016). The culture of partnership working can address the issue of service failures.
Another key driver of the culture of partnership working is the efficiency of resources. The integration of resources could prevent duplication and optimize the utility of these resources. Collaborative working will reduce the financial burdens of the agencies involved in the arrangement. The culture of partnership working is beneficial for the service-providing agencies as well as the children and young people (Glasby & Dickinson, 2014).
Culture change activities
To implement the culture of partnership working, the organizations have to carry out certain change activities. The organizations have to redesign the organizational structure that could support the culture of partnership working. The children’s trust redeveloped its organizational structure that could facilitate the multiple-agency working. The children’s trust made organizational changes that could support the collaboration of the organization with local authorities and educational and social care organizations.
The development of values to support the change is the key activity for the implementation of the culture of partnership working. The children’s trust focused on the development of these values and explored the ways to foster the partnership by working in collaboration with its partners. The trust strived to develop the shared protocols for the working partners and held meetings to invite the recommendations. Moreover, the leaders were appointed as the agents of change. The leaders were motivated to supervise and control the process of change. It was expected the support of leadership will increase the ability of the organizations to absorb the change.
Reflection of change agents on the culture change
The change agents reflected that communication should be focused on during the implementation of change. Effective communication can improve the efficiency of the process. The change agents identified that the organization has employed only formal channels for communication. In this practice, the narrative of the organization about the change in culture is not communicated to all levels of the organization.
In the politicized context, the change agents confronted the challenges of ensuring the government and other authorities that the change will have a positive impact on the system. Moreover, the budgetary issues and other related problems forced the change agents to disrupt the existing mechanism to build a culture of partnership working.
The change agents reflected that the involvement of staff was minimum during the implementation of change. The middle managers and workforce belonging to the lower levels of hierarchy were not involved in the decision-making process. The feedback was slow and limited which hindered the evaluation of change. Now the organization is consulting the middle managers to increase the effectiveness of change.
Reflection of staff on the culture change
The staff reflected that the vision of change was not clear that minimized the effectiveness of change. The staff of all working partners was motivated to adopt the culture of partnership working that could improve the provision of services to children and young people. The management failed to communicate the significance of certain activities. The staff remained unaware of certain activities that were crucial to achieving the change. The staff did not comprehend the need for certain processes and how they contribute to the change.
During the process of change, certain staff members were uncertain about their role in the organization. They were unable to understand their position in the organization and how the change will influence their role. The changes in organizational structure caused the reconfiguration of many professional roles but these reconfigurations were not communicated clearly to the staff.
Impact of the culture change activities
It was a challenging task for the staff to absorb the change (Van der Voet, 2014). The changes in organizational structure influenced their performance. The loopholes in the change process minimize the effectiveness of change. However, the change of culture encouraged the partnership working and developed the relationship among the workers of all agencies that are involved in the collaborative arrangement. The change has increased the efficiency of all agencies and improved the provision of services for children and young people. The change of culture has accelerated the use of shared processes by the working partners.
A clear vision should be communicated to all levels of the hierarchy to achieve the objectives of change. All employees should be involved in the decision-making process and their feedback should be taken to evaluate the process (Dale, 2015). All working partners should plan the reconfiguration of professional roles and these reconfigurations should be clearly communicated to the staff before the initiation of the process.
The Children’s Trust Southampton aims to provide services for children and young people through the collaboration of different agencies. The culture of partnership working reduces the high-profile failure of services and optimizes the resources of all organizations. The challenges involved in the process of change can be addressed by communicating a clear vision to the staff of all working partners.
Case 1: Managing People and Organizations, Humanized Robots?
Helen Bowers transformed the organizational policies and introduced new strategies to improve the competitive positioning of the company in the presence of Japanese firms in the lucrative parts market. Its strategies of Helen focused on the control of the cost of production and maximization of profitability. Helen opinionated that the wages of employees were enough and the company has to terminate the profit-sharing plan. Moreover, Helen believed that she could better perform her duties without consulting her employees. However, this plan does not produce the desired output. There was a minimal increase in the profitability and the rate of turnover was quite high.
The success of Helen’s new plan
The results of Helen’s strategies were not according to her expectations. The consultant advised her to return back to the humanistic approach to achieve the organizational goals. Accounting for this approach, Helen decided that she would implement a strategy that will enforce the employees to increase their productivity by 10 percent. If they failed to achieve this goal, they will experience a cut in their salaries. The chances of the success of Helen’s new plan are low to moderate. This strategy of Helen can increase the productivity of employees but at the same time, the chances of turnover are quite high. It would be difficult for Helen to sustain this plan for a long period of time. This plan can fail if the employees showed resistance. However, the implementation of this plan will temporarily boost the profitability of the company.
Challenges for Helen
Helen is confronting the competition from Japanese competitors. It is challenging for Helen to formulate strategies to increase the productivity of the company. It is challenging for Helen to devise an appropriate plan that could minimize the cost of production and increase the profit margins. It is difficult for her to figure out a middle ground where she could maximize productivity along with maintaining employee engagement and satisfaction. The implementation of her strategies is not giving the expected results.
As a consultant for Helen, I would convince her to modify her strategies. It would be recommended to include the activities as part of her plan that could increase employee motivation. I would recommend that the employees that would increase their productivity by 20 percent would experience an increment of 30 percent in their salaries. In my opinion, this approach would boost employee motivation and positively influence employee performance. I would recommend to Helen perform the cost-benefit analysis of this action and set the figures according to the analysis.
It is crucial to employ the humanistic approach while formulating organizational strategies. Employee satisfaction is essential to achieving organizational goals. The owners should formulate a strategy that focuses on the alignment of the interest of employees with the interests of the organization. The company can achieve its goals by investing in employee motivation. Moreover, organizations should involve their employees in the decision-making process to maximize organizational performance.
Case 2: Dimensions of Organization Structure
Changing the rules at Cosmo Plastics
The formulation of rules and procedures is a crucial task for the top management. The former chief executive officer of Cosmos Plastics introduced a new set of rules and procedures that we’re quite flexible. The new chief executive officer of the company, Alice Thornton, noticed that the company was experiencing a decline in performance. She analyzed the rules and procedures and investigated the impact of these rules and procedures on the operations of different departments. She concluded that the rules and procedures are too humane and they have caused chaos in some departments. She came up with the idea that the managers or supervisors of all departments would recommend the rules and procedures for their respective departments.
The success of Alice Thornton’s proposal
The issues regarding the day-to-day operations vary from department to department. The issues faced by the research and development department are in contrast with the issues faced by the manufacturing department. The routine activities of each department highly differ. A common set of rules and procedures cannot be applied to each department. The decentralization of rules and procedures will enable the managers to devise the rules for their department according to their requirements. The managers have the ability to analyze the issues of their respective departments and they effectively devise rules and regulations to increase the productivity and efficiency of their subordinates. I think that this proposal will work effectively and minimize the loopholes in the existing rules and procedures of the company.
Rules and procedures for different departments
The managers of the research and development department would come up with more flexible rules and regulations. They would minimize the practice of punching a time clock. Instead of monthly evaluation, the managers would propose an annual evaluation of the employee’s performance. The managers of the manufacturing department would come up with rigid rules and regulations that would enforce the employees to follow the tight work schedules. The managers would employ the monthly evaluation of employees. These kinds of rules and procedures will enable the managers to maintain discipline and maintain a competent workforce.
Risks for the company
The decentralized rules and procedures would create challenges for the central management. It would be difficult for them to ensure the implementation of different rules and procedures for different departments. It could create a conflict of interests among different departments. It would be challenging for the organization to ensure the alignment of all departments with the organizational goals.
The decentralized rules and regulations can maximize the productivity of each department. Managers can formulate the rules and procedures that can maintain discipline and increase the productivity of their subordinates. Organizations should empower their managers to draft the rules and procedures for their departments that could maximize the efficiency of employees.
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