Case background as a strategic manager. This position
Case Analysis 07 Dennis Hightower: Walt Disney Transnational Manager University of La Verne Graduate School of Business BUS 585 Strategies in Change Management CRN 2426 Professor John C. Sivie October 18, 2011 Dennis Hightower: Walt Disney’s Transnational Manager Hightower brings broad career experience for this assignment for change. He has a professional background as a strategic manager.
This position for Hightower came as a surprise. Hightower will face the challenge of being accepted as the leader to a very diverse market entrenched with managers.He cannot afford to fail in this initial stage. It will surely take away any opportunity of having any creditability. Hightower must be consistent in his actions. Hightower must examine the organization Culture.
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Culture refers to the norms of behavior and shared valued amongst a group of people. Briefly norms of behavior are common or pervasive ways of acting find in a group. Shared Values are important concerns and goals shared by most of the people in the group that tend to shape the groups behavior. (Kotter, p. 148)We are looking at a 26 market business that is very diverse. These markets are entrenched with country managers.
Hightower has three months for his action. I think the initial direction he must follow is to develop a strategy that introduces a new way of thinking more appropriate for emerging a diverse market and he must immediately take charge, this will be very critical. Hightower will really have to consider his sequencing and his pacing (how fast we go about getting things done).
In this case, it will not be as much as what Hightower does, but how he does it.Hightower will have to engage in strategic and tactical thinking. He cannot afford to let resistance build momentum. Hightower has to pull together a guiding coalition with a common vision.
A vision is an attempt to articulate what a desired future for a company would look like. A vision has two fundamental elements: The first is to provide a conceptual framework for understanding the organization purpose the vision includes a roadmap. The second is the emotional appeal: the part of the vision that has a motivational pull with which people can identify. Jick, p 114) Hightower’s coming into an environment of high uncertainty with a high risk. Hightower should meet his managers individually and then follow-up with a group meeting that would be informal an “ice-breaker”, developing a top down strategy.
Time is of essence, Hightower only has three months. Hightower will have to demonstrate that everything he is saying can actually happen. (Tichy, p.
428) Hightower needs to develop a European strategy developing a common goal. Hightower has to form a plan to bring his diverse country managers together.Any interpretation given must be provided in a matter that forms a favorable impression upon his country managers.
Pacing is the rate of action in which we put a plan into action. In accordance with Kotter who speaks to an eight step sequencing plan. The order in which your procedures are implemented is sequencing. (Kotter’s 8 step plan) Pacing and sequencing both are determined in accordance with the environment and the resources available to you. In 1987 and 1988, Hightower was incremental in both his pacing and sequencing and more radical in sequencing in 1992.Hightower took charge by combining his pacing and his sequencing. I think Hightower success was due to his pacing and intensity.
Hightower needed to make his pacing conservative to develop his plan. Hightower did take it easy at first until he got his management team and after he got his team he stepped his pace up. Hightower took 90 days to develop a European strategy plan.
I would say his planning was somewhat radical in the beginning, controlling his pacing; he took the next five years implementing his plan. The first 3 months Hightower established his leadership and developed his trategy, thereafter, building his guiding coalition taking 3 years to accomplish this. He started to centralize and integrate the back offices. Hightower moved fast in areas where he felt the resistance to be low and he changed his pacing in areas of high resistance. He incorporated some of steps of Kotter’s 8 step plan only to change the sequence of his implementation.
Hightower had to learn the landscape and establish his repetition as a leader Key challenge for building a transnational organization is the determining the appropriate role of the regional offices.Hightower needs to determine what has to be centralized and what needs to be localized. He would need to empower the local managers. Hightower needs to rethink his centralization or decentralization efforts. Kotter speaks to one cardinal rule. “Whenever you let up before the job is done, critical momentum can be lost and regression may follow” (Kotter, p.
133) References: Jick, T. D. , & Peiperl, M.
A. (2011). Managing Change: Cases and Concepts (3 ed. ). McGraw-Hill. Kotter, J.
P. (1996). Leading Change. HBS Press.