Table of Contents
Executive Summary. 3
Managing Change in Deloitte. 4
Change implementation. 5
Change Drivers & Change intervention. 5
Change Perspectives. 5
Interviewee’s underlying change assumptions. 6
Planned or Emergent change. 6
Effectiveness of the change intervention. 7
This report serves to investigate change management at Deloitte Mauritius. The research method involves conducting an interview with Phil Mathews, Chief Executive Officer of the firm. The report finds that owing to the increased work force and complexity of its operations, the firm needs to procure a new premise that is capable of housing all company staff comfortable and accommodate new technological equipment. The change management team was able to implement the intended change successfully and realize a variety of benefits that included enhanced operational efficiencies, increased and highly motivated workforce, and higher revenues. However, the firm suffered the loss of some few employees who were unable to cope with the change. The report recommends that an effective communication plan, evaluation of the new premise and equipment before relocation, and employee inclusion in the change process would serve to make the change process more efficient.
The historical adage posits that the only thing permanent in life is change. The statement lies true in that change in every circumstance ranging from individual changes, organizational changes to market, and environmental changes. Moreover, these changes are either natural or human influenced (Newton, 2010). Change management therefore serves the critical role of ensuring that the intended change is implemented effectively and that organizations are able to cope with the changes without necessarily experiencing a negative disruption in their operations. Importantly, change management acts as a tool that guides the management on how to equip, support, and prepare employees to adopt the appropriate change needed by them in enabling the organization achieve its goals and objectives. For the purposes of clearly explicating the concept of change management, it is prudent to analyze a practical corporate example where an organization experienced changes, how it dealt with the changes and propose possible recommendations on how to best deal with the change. Corporate entity under review is Deloitte Mauritius, which is a member firm of the Global leading Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu (“DTTL”). The firm is grouped as one of the ‘Big Four accounting firms,’ which are the four largest professional firms that offer assurance, audit, management consulting, and taxation services.
In order to learn about change management in Deloitte Mauritius, an interview was conducted with The Chief Executive Officer of the firm, Phil Mathews. According to Phil, the firm had to relocate its old and dilapidated headquarters to a much larger and modern venue and one that is closer to its customers and reflects the dynamic “Deloitte image”.
Description of the Project
The change implementation project at Deloitte Mauritius entailed the formation of new office premises and enabling the company’s employees to relocate into the new premises. This process was to be done in clear and organized manner so that the company’s employees would easily adopt to their new working environment. In addition, the new premises would enable the company to modernise its IT infrastructure. Finally, this premises would encourage its employees to remain in the company, which would in effect reduce the staff turnover rate.
Change drivers refer to the factors that facilitated change in the firm. For Deloitte Mauritius, the drivers for change were a significant increase in the firm’s size, the need for space to automate the firms systems, and the need for a safe and conducive working environment for its employees. One of the change drivers was that the firm had expanded its operations significantly in addition to experiencing an increase in employees from 100 to 400. Secondly, the state of technology at the old premises was outdated and could not cope with the firm’s complex operations. The internal software supporting the accounting and payroll system would breakdown regularly resulting in loss of valuable time and resources as the technicians were contracted on a regular basis. Moreover, it was not possible for the firm to acquire a new IT system as the old premises did not have the capacity to accommodate it. Thirdly, the firm was also experiencing an increasing staff turnover owing to uncomfortable working conditions such as cramped office space and inefficient computers.
Therefore, the change intervention implied that the firm had to look for a more modern and large office space capable of hosting its large workforce and accommodating the much needed complex IT system.
Change perspectives refer to the multiple ways of viewing change. For large organizations, the top level management in charge of implementing the change may hold a different view of the change from the employees questioning the change those directly impacted by the change (Fried, Östman, & Verschueren, 2010). For the firm, the management perceived the change as a necessary activity for ensuring that it was more effective in discharging its duties. The subordinate employees, on the other hand, perceived the change as a negative interruption to their routine activities such as having to travel further to and from work and possibly relocating to the estates that are near their new workplace. Additionally, the introduction of new and complex technological systems served as a threat to some employees especially those who lacked the necessary skills and expertise to operate such.
The interviewer held a variety of assumptions regarding the intended change. One assumption is that all key stakeholders would support the desired changes and play their respective roles in ensuring the successful implementation of the change, although with minimal resistance. The interviewer assumed that the investors would approve of the change and provide the required funds necessary for relocating. The second assumption was that the employees would be able to comfortably relocate to the new venue, which would possibly involve increased transportation costs and relocating to new areas of residence. The third assumption was that with the required amount of money, the firm would find and secure a larger premise that would adequately house all the employees in addition to being able to handle the new technology. The fourth assumption was that upon successful installation of the advanced technological systems, the firm would have qualified and experienced personnel to operate the new systems.
There are mainly two forms of change in an organization, which are planned and emergent change. Planned change is one that is where the management deliberately causes change in the organization in a well-structured manner (Jin, 2005). Planned change is more deliberate and foreseen. For instance, a firm may decide to automate a number of its operations that were previously done manually within a period of 2 years. In such instances, the management makes careful and deliberate plans on how the various changes are supposed to be implemented.
In accordance with the above understanding, it could be argued that the change at Deloitte Mauritius is planned change. The change is planned in that the management deliberately caused the change in the organization and executed it in a well-structured manner. Moreover, the management had foreseen the change. Relocating to a new building was essentially driven by the deliberate efforts of the management to change the working environment of its employees so that they could have an environment where they could work more efficiently (Lomax, 2009).
Theory Used in Company’s Management
In theory of management, between theory X and Y, Deloitte used theory X of management. Generally, Deloitte believed that its employees were not self-motivated in their duties and their work environment significantly influence their performance (Arslan & Staub, 2013). Therefore, the relocation to better premises would increase their output. Deloitte Mauritius used the Kurt Lewin’s three phase change model. The Kurt Lewin’s three phase change model is an important change implementation technique that shows the steps that an organization should follow when implementing change (Maria 69-72). This model informs individuals on the changes that they will find, trains them on how to adopt to the change, and later results in the implementation of the change.
According to the interviewee, the change intervention was extremely successful since there was a smooth transition when implementing the change process. Secondly, the firm has been able to experience considerable revenue growth. The firm was able to increase the number of its employees from 100 to 300, making it the leading employer and being named the employer of choice in the country. Thirdly, the firm experienced immense cost savings by shifting from rending third party locations and acquiring its own training rooms that are equipped with the latest IT equipment. Fourthly, the firm experienced savings in telecommunication costs due to relying on the latest technology that is housed at its premises. Moreover, the employee morale improved significantly. Consequently, there was a decrease in staff turnover. However, the change intervention was on overall effective as far as retaining all company talent within the organization as some of the employees were disgruntled with the changes and opted to leave.
To avoid this problem the management of Deloitte should have communicated properly with its employees. Communication is critical for effective change management. Moreover, communication should be made on all levels. For instance, the management should explain that moving to the new building would render the working environment more comfortable while the new technology would serve to simplify their work: the sales software would serve to make it easier for the sales team to meet their targets easily and earn more commission, the auditing and accounting clerks would be able to execute their duties faster and not have to work for protracted durations and therefore able to get off work on time, while the managers would be able to access reports faster, which would further facilitate their decision making process.
The proper timing for executing the change, especially when all stakeholders have been informed on the forthcoming changes, is critical in ensuring that this process is successful. Individuals tend to resist change when it occurs abruptly and there is not enough time to adjust. Change information should be communicated to all concerned stakeholders as soon as possible while the change should be implemented in incremental phases. According to Gray (2010), change should be implemented in an organization when it is not busy and also at a time when it is not experiencing a lot of exceptional pressure.
The testing of the effectiveness of the systems to be implemented before the change occurs and after it occurs are important in ensuring that this process is successful. The testing of the new system by Deloitte’s management as well as making a prototype office for the new premises would have been essential in convincing its employees that the new building would be adequate to meet both its current and future demands. Additionally, the new system should be tested rigorously before its acquisition and implementation. (Anderson & Anderson, 2010)
In conclusion, the interview and change management exercise was highly informative and insightful. The interview revealed that although change may be planned, the underlying reasons for change are generally emergent in nature. The firm’s management had failed to foresee the growth in its operations and therefore plan accordingly for a larger premise. Proper planning and change management was critical in ensuring that the firm was successful at shifting to the new premise and realizing the intended benefits. One of the critical activities that significantly impacted on the success of the change intervention was including a comprehensive communication plan. Effective communication ensured that all stakeholders were in timely and regularly informed on the intended change, its goals and objectives, their expected duties and roles in the change process, and other critical information. Nevertheless, the change management team faced the issue of resistance to change by some employees. The use of the Kurt Lewin’s model, made the process successful since Deloitte easily communicated the change process with its stakeholders and as a result, it faced little resistance in the implementation of the change.
Although the firm was able to implement the desired changes, there are various strategies that would serve to make the change more effective and successful. The first recommended strategy is to choose the right change agents. The process of implementing change is normally very challenging and unpredictable, especially during the initial stages. It is therefore critical to identify and select the appropriate change agents responsible for supporting the change process and ensuring that the activity is executed in smooth manner (Conference Board, Inc., 2010).
The second recommendation is to make the change desirable. The management should communicate to all stakeholders and help them understand that the objective of the change is not merely to increase sales and profits but attuned to the well being of all stakeholders. The management should clearly explicate to all stakeholders the problems with the current system and seek advice from the stakeholders on how to make the change successful.
Thirdly, the management should strive to ensure that the change is relevant. In this case, the management should clearly state the overall objective of the change to its stakeholders and direct its efforts on change management towards achieving them. The big picture should be presented to all stakeholders by delineating the objectives and goals of the organization and outlining how the change will serve to enable the organization achieve them.
It is also recommended that the management assesses the new premises first and tests the new system before implementation. The management should ensure that the new premises are adequate to meet both the current and future demands. Additionally, the new system should be tested rigorously before its acquisition and implementation.
Regular appraisal of the change process is equally important. The change management team should meet regularly to assess the progress of the change process, identify existing challenges and make the necessary corrections. The evaluation process serves as a steering aid to ensure that the project progresses as planned. The team should also strive to motivate the employees to provide feedback on the how the new system is functioning for the purposes of quickly identifying possible flaws (Morrison, 2008).
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