Applying the Kotter Eight Step Change Model to New England Wire and Cable
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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 mov...
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...e way we do things around here,” …seep[ing] into the very bloodstream of the [organization].”7 Meaning that the change vision that Jorgenson and his team worked so diligently to in place at NWC has begun to become normalized within the culture and there is a sense of shared values throughout the organization. This step is designed to provide the leadership the ability to further solidify the change vision into the organizations fabric. The leadership of NWC must make the connections for the organization on how specific attitudes and behaviors have affected positive change in the organization and how those changes fit into the overall vision for change.
5John P. Kotter, Leading Change. (Harvard Business Review Press. 2012),