Managing Culture And Changes
Managing organizational changes is not as an easy task. Multiple factors and various internal and external forces influence the task. Nevertheless, managers never give in when facing such complexities because they are aware of the benefits that can be gain from organizational changes. In the modern and global world we live in today, we are all victims of the faster and ever-flowing movement of societal changes. Technological discoveries and cultural collaborations trigger new trends and new social tendencies whether they are individual or organizational tendencies.
In facing such a rapid rate of change, organizations are demanded to constantly monitoring their environment and identifying internal changes that must be done in order to cope with environmental changes. This is where the science of change management becomes important. In both public and private organizations, culture has been identified as one of the most important factors that influence organizational changes. In this paper, I am discussing on a managerial issue of a publicly financed museum and how it struggles to meet the challenges of the changing environment and thus, gaining significant attention of its local authorities.
I am analyzing the organizational structure and aims to discover cultural issues that hamper the successful application of an
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Managing Culture and Changes in The City Museum II. 1. Managing/ Culture As a living organization, a company faces a challenging task to keep their customers happy to save the company’s future revenue. We have heard a simple argument that a happy customer is the result of a happy employee. It means that employee who is happy tends to serve customers happily. For this reason, more organizations are increasingly improving their compensation packages as a means to create a living and happy employees. Other way is reengineering the organization that ensures the steady growth of the companies’ business.
M. Hammer and J. Champy, in their book titled Reengineering the Corporation, says that there is no blueprint for how a company should be structured. Each firm must develop its own organization framework that fits its personality and situation1. In this case, members of an organization must design the structure that fits their characteristics and vision. More importantly, the company should consider where their employees head for and how to prevent them from leaving. Furthermore, most of the companies these days are faced with a challenge to develop a positive growth culture.
A bigger challenge than developing a positive growth culture is to maintain this growth. This requires a lot of planning on the part of employers. A positive growth is when the company does not have to face losses to maintain happy employees; and when the employees feel they have a bigger role to play in the company’s growth than just getting a good salary. According to Ellen Neuborne, to develop this kind of a positive atmosphere it is important to keep in mind a few points as follows: 1. Hire right 2. Make time for ideas 3. Get outside help 4. Walk the talk (Mailliard, 1997) II. 2 Role of Museums in Society
In most discussions, the object discussed is generally a profit-motivated organization. Our discussions nevertheless, focused on public museums, and therefore, all factors discussed must be aligned to non-profit motives discussions. In discussions of museums as public facilities, the first issue is generally regarding the benefits brought by the museum to the surrounding society. This particular discussion is more important in public organizations rather then private organizations because of their non-profit objectives. In private organization, such a question is irrelevant if the organization is profitable.
On the other hand, in pubic organization, the question is vital to determine whether the museum’s operations is worthy for receiving further funding. Recent social researches revealed the growing threat of social inclusion in most societies. Social exclusion is described as the process of social disintegration, characterized by erosion of the bonds between individual, between society and the state. In the light of these findings, I believe museums can play the role as an agent of social reform. Museums and other cultural organizations are empowerments for individuals and communities in fighting the risk of social exclusion.
It is argued that in the individual level, engagement with museums would lead to enhancement of creativity, confidence and self-esteem. Furthermore, at the community level, museums are catalysts of social regenerations, by which communities are empowered toward self determination, generating the confidence required to improve their lives and neighborhoods. Museums possess the potential to promote inter-community respect, tolerance and the will to challenges stereotypes. Indirectly, museums have contributed to combating issues such as poor health, low educational attainment and crime.
(Department for Culture, 2000. Sandell, 1998). II. 3. Possible Challenges in Developing Service Quality The case on Museum shows that it requires process improvement to develop service quality. While it is obvious that process improvement helps to increase quality, Gilbert Wong defines process improvement (Reengineering) as “the fundamental rethinking and radical redesign of business processes (with the aid of IT) to achieve dramatic improvement in critical contemporary measures of performance, such as cost, quality, service, & speed” (2001).
In order to reach the achievements, Wong suggests four criteria that support the process improvement as following: a. Redesign jobs for flexibility and adaptability b. Redesign performance measurement system – using the balanced scorecard c. Integrate process improvement and job re-design in your performance management system d. Provide management support for process/organizational change The four points share one thing in common that process analysis becomes the spirit behind the creation of four criteria. In addition, the three gurus of management – Juran, Philip M.
Crosby, and W Edwards Deming – reveal the importance of having process improvement especially related to the good internal communications. This is because many low qualities are the results of miscommunication between divisions in organizations. In Juran’s words, he says that to obtain quality management, there should be goals setting for improvement, communications of improvement results, and maintenance of momentum by considering improvement as a part of the regular systems and processes of a company (“Influence”).
In addition, Crosby says in his 14 Steps to quality improvement that internal communication plays significant part in obtaining quality management. Some elements of the communication might exist in the form of commitment of entire organization to quality, raising the quality awareness/concern of employees, and encourage people to establish improvement goals for themselves and their teams (“Influence”). In similar tone, Deming also put emphasis on the importance of management in providing quality management through better internal communications.
Out of fourteen point of Deming’s improvement plan, there are at least two points concerning the internal communication: breaking down barriers between departments and creating structure in top management that will push on the thirteen improvement plans (“Influence”). Based on the facts above, we witness that all the three gurus in quality management have similarity in providing good internal communication to encourage the implementation of quality management. Despite these findings, researchers have also discovered several factors that hamper the maximal development of museums’ potential within our modern communities.
Those issues are: • The lack of optimism and confidence toward a better future In the midst of live challenges and problems, especially after enhanced by terrorist attacks and wars, people becomes increasingly skeptical to positive sentiments toward most endeavors. This is also true regarding how people perceived museums. Today, the lack of optimism and the rising skepticisms have delayed people from progress, including within the development of the City Museum. • Strained relations between the board and museum management
People who make funding decisions are generally the most skeptical type. The second challenge in improving the quality of modern museum is in getting museum management and the board of directors to see eye-to-eye on things • The lack of creativity and experimentation The third and a significant obstacle in developing the service quality of public museums is the lack of managerial ability to motivate staff and managers of the museum to generate progress. (Scottish Museum Council, 2000) II. 3. Challenges in Change Management Changes are crucial for business survival.
Nevertheless, the problems exits within the change process could sometimes ‘swallow’ the benefits that should be gained from the process. Often, the good intention to change toward betterments is not enough to counter the challenges exist within the process of change. Managers and employees must have the skills and knowledge to deal with the issues exists within the process of change. This generates the need for change management (Bethune, 2000). Change management can be viewed from two perspectives, from the point of view of the people who implement the change and from the point of view of people who receives the change.
From the point of view of the people implementing the change (the managers), the core attention is the benefits gained from the change. The questions asked by these people are: how much improvement will the change bring? , how will the change influence financial performance? How much is the required investment? , etc. If the answers to these questions generate a favorable answer, then managers will most likely pursue such benefits by implementing the change. On the other hand, change management are also viewed from the perspective of people accepting the change.
The questions asked by these people can be concluded into s ingle sentence: how will this change affect me? Change management is the discipline that sets the bridge over these two different perspectives. The goals of change management are: • Reducing the negative impact brought by the process of change toward productivity • Minimize turnover loss of the loss of human resources in the process of change • Minimize the negative impact brought by the change process toward customers • Support the achievement of the desired business outcome (Bridges,, 2000)
In facing the challenges identified above, many have identified the need for strategic changes as well as cultural changes. The changes are expected to generate new atmosphere that will inspire quality enhancement in managing museum’s operations. Nevertheless, researches have identified several common obstacles that must be paid attention to while developing and enacting change programs. Those obstacles include managerial failure to embrace new values; the vision of the change is not effectively communicated; the lack of commitment from senior managers; excluding employees of the lowest level; inadequate training, etc (Warren, 1998).
III. Conclusions Guided by previous researches elaborated above, I discovered at last two important issues that require solutions. The first is regarding the increasing complexity of managing modern museum combined with the decreasing interest from authorities toward investing for the development of the city museum. As elaborated in the case study, it is very much impossible for the curator to understand all subjects displayed in the museum by heart. Therefore, he/she would require assistance from a group of experts in different segments of the museum.
This would enhance not only the public services offered by the museum, but also the security and preservation of collections, etc. Such a structure would require a sufficiently advanced information system that will ensure all information are safely stored and put into the best interest of managing the museum and serving the public. Such information system is hard to obtain, especially with the lack of optimism displayed by existing authorities. The second issue is regarding the presence of an important service segment called the Enquiry Service.
For several identified reasons, management of the museum witnessed an apparent increase in interest particularly for this service. Nevertheless, management seemed to be overwhelmed by such a rapid demand increase in the enquiry service segment. First, there is no expert staff assigned specially to manage the segment, on the other hand, there are many experts donating their services into the segment whenever required. Management will soon discover that this structure is insufficient to deal with more demand increase.
Second, the system of serving customers in that segment is not yet diligently established. There are still many staff member who do not understand their role and why that particular role is needed. Such a system will obviously crumble once the pressure of increasing demands arrived. IV. Recommendations There are several suggestions of solutions to deal with the issues. First, the staffs suggested that the enquiry service is concentrated to several days of work in a week, leaving experts in peace while doing their jobs on the rest of the week.
This suggestion on the other hand, is rejected by the museum’s director under the argument that the enquiry service is the museum’s top weapon in maintaining its reputation, and therefore, should remain open. There is a sound logic in staff’s suggestion, but the director also has truth in his argument. Therefore, there are several alternatives of solutions available: 1. Operating with available staff but reducing service time to several days within the week. 2. Remain open for all working days with additional staff and new information system installed 3.
Remain open for all working days but without the requirement to meet face-to-face with customers. From these alternatives, we can conclude that the best choice would be alternative 3. Alternative 1 is rejected by the museum director and alternative 2 is hard to implement because of the limited funding from authorities. Alternative 3 on the other hand, allows experts to concentrate on their work while customers post a written question that will be answered in the determined time. Implementing this service structure, managers need to find support from all parts of the organization.
In order to be successful in managing the organization through the change, managers need to remind themselves of these realities: 1. All people have fundamental needs that have to be met 2. Managers need to manage expectations realistically 3. Different people generally react to change differently 4. Manager need to address and overcome organizational fears (Anderson, 1997) Bibliography Bethune, G. , and M. K. Ash. 2000. ’ Time for Change’. Workforce. Sept 2000 v79 i9 p100. Bridges, W. , and S. Mitchell. 2000. ‘Leading Transition: A New Model for Change’.
In Leader to Leader. 2000. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, Inc. Publishers Department for Culture, Media and Sport. 2000. ‘Centres for Social Change: Museums, Galleries and Archives for All’. London: DCMS. Hammer, M. , and J. Champy. Reengineering the Corporation. New York: HarperBusiness. Karen Mailliard, HR Focus. New York: Jun 1997. Vol. 74, Iss. 6; pg. 17, 2 pgs Sandell, R. 1998. ‘Museums as Agents of Social Inclusion’, Museum Management and Curatorship, 17 (4). Scottish Museums Council. 2000. ‘Scottish Social Inclusion group’.
Minutes of meeting held on 6th April 2000. Warren G. Bennis, Kenneth D. Benne, and Robert Chin (Eds. ). 1969. ’ The Planning of Change’ (2nd Edition). Holt, Rinehart and Winston, New York: 1969. Wong, Gilbert. (2001). Bringing People & Organization Back in Process Improvement. Retrieved August 11, 2007 from http://66. 102. 7. 104/search Worren, N. A. M. ; Ruddle, K. ; and K. Moore. 1999. “From Organizational Development to Change Management: The Emergence of a New Profession,” The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science. 35 (3): 273-286