Opportunities of change: case study

We have got rid of the hierarchical structures. From now on, people will work directly with their colleagues from Czech Republic and Romania. – Just like that? – I asked. Just like that. – Now, they can surely expect some shock when they learn about these changes. We want the least resistance and to maximize performance. What can you do about it? – this sounded like one of those magic charms “Could you Consultants please do some magic so that things are in place”.

This traditionally structured and managed organization, operating in a traditional industry, with the average age of employees being 47, joined the unavoidable process of internationalization. It was already some time ago that the company was bought by foreign investors and its board was now completely international. Changes took place, but the steep hierarchical structures remained, and one could think they were considered to be a solid part of the company organizational culture. What an illusion! It was just a matter of time for departments to start their international operations. This was simply more EFFICIENT.

But in all this designed efficiency, the people sometimes got lost, and there was a lot of resistance to the new system. This specifically made any work undoable and the restructuring might have turned to be a wrong choice. This is what they wanted to prevent for all people from the Procurement department.

What a horrible shock, such an announcement! What stress. What fear! This required careful work with emotions and feelings. Our coaches worked in three parallel small groups. Reactions to the announcement which had taken place half an hour before included Grief – what do you lose with this change? Hope – what opportunities could this change bring for you? Gathering – what can you do make them happen? Facilitated carefully. Personal action plan – acting in the change.

What was achieved was the possibility to let go of emotions – instead of keeping them running high for the coming long weeks and months. To get depressed for a while, in every group there was a moment when the spirit was low. But the session was a catalyzer for energetic revival – noticing opportunities, and taking control to make them come true.