Applying The Kotter Eight Step Change Model To New England Wire And Cable

2283 words - 9 pages

Companies are not unlike species, they must both change with the current environment or risk becoming extinct. Charles Darwin succinctly states this idea, “It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent but the one most responsive to change.”1 In the case study, “Other People’s Money,” in the scene presented there is a proxy vote going to take place by the shareholders of the New England Wire and Cable (NWC) Company. But, before the votes are casted both the Chairman of the Board and patriarch Andrew "Jorgy" Jorgenson and the potential majority shareholder Lawrence "Larry the Liquidator" Garfield are afforded the opportunity to deliver speeches to the body of the shareholders. While Jorgenson’s speech is nothing more than as Garfield puts it a prayer that appeals to nothing more than the emotions of the shareholders, more focused on blaming the environmental factors that the company’s leadership was unable to navigate than laying out a plan for the future. Garfield is quick to counter Jorgenson’s speech appealing to the logic of the shareholders. According to Garfield the company is dead because it failed to adapt and technology changed making wire obsolete. He tells them that they need to have the decency to sign the “death certificate” for the company and get out while there is something in the company that is worth something. The scene ends as the proxy vote is about to take place.
Jorgenson being the Chairman of the Board must be the leader of change in this organization prior to the proxy vote taking place. He then will be able to talk about the progress they have made and the way ahead for the future of the company. One of the most important changes that Jorgenson must make is moving away from the paternalistic framework that his father established in the company upon its founding in the early 20th Century. He must lead the company to be framed around the market based business framework. The market based framework brings the company into balance through the use of the “tri-balance” model. The tri-balance model is the key to this framework bringing into focus the three essential components of the company: employee, customer, and investors.2 Bringing these three components into focus allows the actions of the company’s leadership to meet the needs of the marketplace; which inherently will enable a company to gain and sustain a competitive advantage. In contrast, the current paternalistic framework that the company is operating under does nothing to focus leadership’s actions toward the marketplace but rather shifts the actions of the company to meet the needs of the owner. 3 As Jorgenson begins to make the monumental shift toward a market based business framework, he must also consider Porter’s Five Forces. Porter’s Five Forces are: industry competitors, pressure from substitute products, bargaining power of suppliers, bargaining power of buyers, and potential entrants.4 Jorgenson must...

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