Pearson Publishing is an international publishing company founded in 1991 by Samuel Pearson and whose headquarters are located in London. Pearson Publishing is considered the largest publishing company in the world with over 1000 educational titles in print and digital formats. Due to their prowess in the publishing industry, Pearson has worked with international organizations like the United Nations, Microsoft and the European Union.
In 2012, John Fallon took over as CEO of Pearson publishing from Marjorie Scardino. Instead of trying to fit in with the organizations operations in his early days, John Fallon announced a whole new organizational plan of which he gave the name “Global Education Strategy” in a bid to keep up with the emerging digital technology and to improve the lives of people in the education sector. Given these objectives, Pearson publishers was faced with challenges such as convincing employees that change was being done for the better good. Parents, teachers and students also saw Pearson under Fallon in a new dimension, as a giant who wants to control every element in the system from teacher’s qualifications to the grading of tests by expanding and developing its own learning institutions (Wang, 2015)
Faced with the above challenges, a good leader should adopt several strategies to ensure a smooth transition.
Clearly explain your vision. So as to initiate change, it is clear that the initial direction the organization was following does not appease you. It is therefore critical to explain your new vision to all employees and other beneficiaries why your vision is better than the preceding one so as to be on the same page People are generally likely to embrace change when they understand it. Transparency is key.
Short-term goals. It is easier and manageable to focus on what can be accomplished now rather than insisting on the long term goals that might be years away. In the case of Pearson, overall change was definitely not going to take one day. When change is mobilized in small proportions it becomes more achievable and manageable. Besides, taking Pearson as an example, drastic changes would have definitely caused a stir in the media especially given its size (Westover, 2010)
Work your way from the top. Employees depend on the top level management for direction. It becomes much easier to complete the transition when the top level management is on board with the new changes. From there, the employees will follow suit and not many will question the new changes.
Involve others. It is critical to talk to everyone attached to the organization directly or indirectly so as to understand how they feel and what they think. People who have worked in the organization longer and understand the operations usually have valuable insights on what needs change. As in the case of Pearson, it is critical to understand how the parents and teachers feel their services should be offered an d what are some of the challenges they had been facing before size (Westover, 2010)
Manage resistance. Even after all the efforts to make people understand the changes, chances are that there will always be some form of resistance. Change affects some people more than the others while it is harder for others to accommodate change. As a leader you should be aware of these occurrences and manage them immediately they surface (Wang, 2015)
Communication is key. Everybody is usually anxious when change is imminent. Keep your team informed so as to enable them to concentrate on their work without losing focus. Tell the customers about the new plans. Fallon of Pearson Publishers ran a blog where he could inform all interested parties of the changes taking place and what to expect (Wang, 2015)
To most people, the idea of change is frightening whether it is realistic or not. This fear often leads to disruptions and panic when change is imminent or announced. When the associated leaders do not plan or anticipate for this reactions, these disruptions may be more extensive than necessary. Agents of change accompanied by good leadership have the ability to prepare organizations for change. With good leadership skills, these disruptions and panics can become an asset by providing an opportunity for growth and progression.
Wang, D. (2015, October 14). Successful Organizational Change Examples You Need to Copy. Retrieved April 20, 2016, from https://www.tinypulse.com/blog/sk-successful-organizational-change-examples
Westover, J. H. (2010). Managing organizational change: Change agent strategies and techniques to successfully managing the dynamics of stability and change in organizations. International Journal of Management and Innovation, 2(1), 45-50. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/89071538?accountid=45049