In every organisation, senior leaders and executives are required to lead from the front in order to direct and control the operations or functions of the firm. The leadership is necessity for every firm for making decisions regarding internal as well as external matter, such as resource planning, customer preference, current market trends & Challenges, organisational culture, etc. Many research works have proved that organisational leadership is the backbone of a firm and it needs to be strong and effective. In this report, a discussion on MeatPack, an Australia-based firm which deals in fresh soups, meals, and meat products is done. Here, the current leadership changes and cultural & performance changes in the organisation are elucidated. At last, certain barriers to the cultural changes are outlined in the essay.
As per the case analysis, it is suggested Bison should go for more hands-off approaches instead of more hands-on approaches. This means he should make certain tough decisions for the betterment of the business entity. The foremost of them is that he should take a step back, surrender his authority and powers and try to make himself less influential or less involved. In fact, he should trust his subordinates and leave them for carrying out their duties and play their role for the betterment of MeatPack. It was determined in the case that even though Bison was a promoter of an open face to face in personal or team meeting, there are some members in the senior strategy team that are reluctant to counter his advices or question decisions he makes. Bison’s hands-on approach has resulted in many consequences and damages to the firm. For instance, some of the senior leaders have resigned within past few years. This occurred due to the fact that members had to report directly to Bison and the latter used to involve in their area of expertise that put their personalities into much conflicts. Bison’s actions had faded the relationship with the customers and suppliers that caused them to shift to the rival brand.
Concerned about the organisational goal to become a billion dollar firm by the end of 2020, Bison is micromanaging which brought two sets of changes in MeatPack. These are cultural & Performance changes and senior leadership changes (Takken and Wong 2015). This has affected not only the operations but also the leadership competencies of senior leaders and managers. He started providing coaching for leadership development and transforming the mindset& behaviour of senior management (Avenell 2014). This made the organisation’s environment aggressive/defensive and changing the company’s hierarchical structure has created enough confusion about who would report to whom. This can be resolved if Bison takes hands-off approach. This is because it is effective in compartmentalisation of job roles. This would make all the senior strategy team member understand their duties and what they are expected to do (Kempster et.al. 2014). It focuses on empowering the team leaders and they can carry out their work effectively with the leader keeping a check on the work’s progress through reports.
Stepping back from the role is beneficial not only for Bison as a leaders but also for MeatPack. The current environment of the firm is result-oriented that means managers are concerned about making works completed anyhow (Takken and Wong 2015). Managers are more involved in meeting deadlines and targets without understanding the requirement of the job and why they are not working. Due to this, the company opted a top-down environment. Hands-off approach is quite beneficial in dissolving the current hierarchical structure and make it a flatter one. Also, Bison should emphasise on building peer relationship rather than focusing on management. Earlier, the meetings were concluding without any positive result, thereby frustrating the members as their issues were not resolved in the meeting (Avenell 2014). With the flatter structure, the strategy team can set a purpose with all the meeting and focus on particular aspect. Bison can focuses on other macro level aspects of the firm as the senior strategy team is responsible and empowered enough to manage the micro-level and guiding the employees what they are expected to do. This would also improve the decision-making of the firm as the decisions are made after weighing inputs from all the employees (Kempster et.al. 2014).
It was also mentioned in the case that Bison’s decision regarding the flat hierarchical structure across the company was based on the certain facts. First, it would bring more clarity of division of powers among the senior management. This would also promote a culture in which people are trained for leading from the front rather than just managing operations (Stayer 1990). In other words, hands-off approach promotes autonomy among employees to take decisions regarding the assigned work. It may result in a better and effective innovative approach for carrying out work. MeatPack can be able to get more out of their employees if Bison make use of this approach. Also the senior strategic team would be able to assess the performance of the employees and the firm (Takken and Wong 2015).
It is highlighted that Bison is envisioning at becoming the chairman of MeatPack within next 5 to 10 years. Bison should take a role of non-executive and should not bypass the line of powers while managing through the senior managers and executives. In other words, he should take hands-off approach while encouraging the line managers to go for more hands-on approach for recruiting and performance appraisal.
Ultimately, the hands-off approach of management is best suited for Bison. This would help Bison to become a risk-taker as he knows that the lower level subordinates and the senior executives are competent enough to handle any discrepancies in the business. In order to avoid such an authoritative environment, Bison should hold the team more accountable. However, this approach has some setbacks. The first is that Bison would require to make some extra efforts to implement this approach across the firm. In case, Bison starts focussing on only macro aspects of the business than he might be able to spot the lacunas in the systems due to missing out tiny details. However, this can be taken care by the new CEO of the firm.
As highlighted in the case, the senior strategy team brought some structural changes by bringing new CEOs for the two divisions of MeatPack. However, the major problem that was determined in this change of senior leadership, the problem is lack of clarity in distribution of powers, roles, and responsibilities. It was outlined that there were some heated discussion in the meeting regarding the new structure as it lacks the clarity of who would report to whom. In addition to this, the concerns and agendas were different for different members of the senior strategic team. For instance, the Head of Business Development could not understand the difference between the older and newer version of organisational structure. In addition to this, the CFO looked concerned about the benefits that MeatPack would have with the decentralisation of the support team, such as IT and Finance. The final outcome was that the members got frustrated as their issues and queries remained unresolved.
In order to bring major changes in the current organisational structure, the senior management can make use of certain leadership theories. Bison can make use of transactional leadershiptheoryfor establishing a well-formed structure for the firm to carry out normal functioning of the firm (Kim2014). Also, a transformational leadership can help in building trust and confidence among the senior strategic team to form plans and policies for the firm. It is very important for the senior management the type of changes that are to be implemented within the firm and assess their likely impacts on the firm. According to Gatling (2014), changing the organisational structure is not a cakewalk as the employees and managers may show some sort of resistance or reluctance. Therefore, the first step is to get executive endorsement and build a vision to enable the structural change. Once the vision and change activities are clearly defined and articulated, the senior management is required to communicate the associated people who would be affected by the organisational change (Gatling 2014). Leaders are required to explain the purpose of changing the already established system and how the new system would match the organisational values or explained the likely benefits of the change. In addition to this, the senior management of MeatPack to bring people on the same page and execute change. Bison should emphasis or encourage the COO, CFO, and other managers to break their silos and work for making the flatter structure effective. This also includes improving the decision-making skills and strengthening the team’s commitment towards leadership change (Grant 2014).
There would be two aspects of the suggested leadership structural change. These are leading the process and leading the people. The senior leadership of MeatPack can focus influence change effectively in the coming days. If Bison wants to become an effective leaders, then he is required to focus on the process of changing the structural leadership from start to finish. This can be done with the help of three competencies (Grant 2014):-
Coming on to leading people, this would require engaging each and every member of the team or organisation. Bison has encouraged a culture of training and development for the new employees to make them insider from outsider. This would require a complete strategic plan. However, there are three crucial aspects of leading people in the changing environment (Avenell 2014):-
In this research essay, a thorough discussion was done on different aspects of leadership and organisational culture change. A thorough discussion was done hands-on and hands-off approach of a CEO. It was determined that hands-off approach is good when the organisation is shifting from hierarchical structure to a more flat structure. Also, CEO should not indulge himself in the micromanaging but rather encourages hands-on approach to the lower managers to keep a keen eye on every aspect of the organisation. Also, hands-off approach of management is best suited for Bison. This would help Bison to become a risk-taker as he knows that the lower level subordinates and the senior executives are competent enough to handle any discrepancies in the business. Coming on to leading the change, it was determined that Bison should make use of transformational leadership style. This would ensure building trust and confidence among the senior strategic team. It was also discussed that the management should focus on leading the processes and leading people. At last, a discussion on how flatter structure can help in creating cultural and performance change in MeatPack was done. The role of training, making new cultural norms, making employees feel insider from outsider, and merging culture are elaborated.
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