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Leadership 531

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Week Five Failure Analysis/Change Strategy
Deirdre Martin-Banks, Claudia K. Elizondo, Hana Habbal, Aisha Lawson, Elizabeth Walton, and Erika Williams
August 9th, 2015
Dr. Arny Bereson

Introduction Analyzing and comparing the organizational strategies of different businesses operating under the same circumstances can help in understanding the factors that affect the success or failure of a business. Team A indentified as an organization that managed to succeed, and Borders Books as a business that failed during the past few years. This paper examines each company by analyzing each of their structure, culture, strategies, and behavioral theories, and creates a change strategy for Borders Book to save the company assuming the failure did not take place yet.
Part One A- Southwest Airlines
Objective, Mission, and Vision Southwest Airlines was founded in March 15, 1967 by Rollin King and Herb Kelleher, ("About Southwest"). They wanted to start a different airline that advocated for the people. Their objectives were to get passengers to their destinations when they wanted to be there and for the lowest fare possible. From these objectives grew a successful company that passengers and employees alike will agree, advocates for them. The mission to customers then aligned with these objectives and became, “dedication to the highest quality of customer service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and company spirit, ("About Southwest"). To their employees Southwest’s mission is, “to provide a stable work environment with equal opportunity for learning and personal growth. Creativity and innovation are encouraged for improving the effectiveness of Southwest Airlines, ("About Southwest").” To Southwest these missions are simple, to be caring and treat every employee and customer with respect. After establishing the mission the vision then fell into place, “To become the world's most loved, most flown and most profitable airline,” ("About Southwest"). The real work came after laying down these initiatives which was, how does Southwest measure their success.
Business Success Companies measure their success on different indicators depending on their mission and vision statements. Most companies value economic standing as a gauge for customer involvement and interest. Others may use the success of their strategic initiatives of growth and change to measure success. For Southwest then it is no surprise that because they hold customer and employee satisfaction to the upmost importance that they measure their success not only on financial standing, but on employee and customer satisfaction. Within the office Southwest makes many initiatives to protect and nurture its employee growth and development in order to enrich their employee’s lives. Within the airline Southwest continues to provide free baggage claims and free in flight television as a way to keep their customers happy. It is then no surprise why or how Southwest Airlines is thriving even in these tough economic times.
Predicting Success Every business owner wishes there was one simple recipe for success to follow. Every business spends time and money attempt to strategic plan and predict their financial standing and which initiatives to align their company with. With Southwest Airlines their success did not come easy but their recipe was as good as gold. Treat your employees and customers with respect and continue to grow and develop initiatives to make both groups happy. I truly believe by fostering and enriching employee’s lives Southwest Airlines is able to retain more talent and grow together as a company. By focusing on initiatives that make customers happy versus how to cut costs more and more customers align their loyalities with the airline. “Southwest Airlines is a fine example of a company that is committed to its core competencies – efficient operations to drive its low cost structure, outstanding delivery of customer service and innovative HR management practices,” ("Southwest Airlines Operations – A Strategic Perspective").

B- Borders Books

As the CEO of Borders Book Stores there are a few decisions I would implement to ensure the organizations success. The first item would be a consistent SWOT analysis, focusing on threats like the newly emerging internet company Amazon. This company has presented themselves as the new way for customers to buy books with ease and at relatively low costs. In order to match effots with this organization, a team will be created to monitor the competitions process in order to maximize our opportunities in the arena of internet sales. Another area I would work is making certain our organization did not over expand with too many locations. The opening of too many stores would be a costly endeavor. Additionally, multiple locations are unnecessary because the company is increasing efforts in internet sales. In fact, with the advancement of technology, other teams will be established to make certain our organization stays on top of the digital technology and how it will continue to earn Border’s top sales and customer satisfaction awards.

Objective, Mission, and Vision The Borders Group mission statement is divided into two parts; vision and values. Border’s vision is "to create richer, more satisfying lives through knowledge and entertainment." Border’s values are summarized into four simple objectives; individuality, community, discovery, and familiarity. Borders business objective was to be the best loved provider of books, movies, and music, and to provide its customers with a comfortable place to explore and to be themselves (Farfan, 2015). Key Indicators Key indicators of Borders failed business was when it became obvious that they were not adjusting to an ever changing environment; instead they chose to continue to operate under their original objectives. Such example of this was their decision to increase CD’s and DVD’s in the store during a time when everything was going digital. Or when their competitors were developing electronic readers, they decided to outsource their electronic sales to Amazon whom they should have viewed as their competitor (Noguchi, 2011). Business Failure Borders Bookstore is a company that had strong and admirable values and objectives. They believed so much in their values and objectives that they opted to stand true to them versus evolving with a changing world. Without a company’s willingness to change to adapt to how culture changes unfortunately can lead a business to failure. Borders’ only interest was to have brick and mortar businesses so that people had a place to visit to explore, to be themselves, and to enjoy learning. Failing to invest in more on-line and electronic resources is an easy prediction for what their fate as a company would be. Border’s did not keep in mind that as impressive as their mission statement was, every vision and mission has to also encompass professional and financial growth. Failing to make business decisions that promote such growth can often be detrimental to the health of a business (Noguchi, 2011).

Part Two: Leading Organization Change

Areas for Change

Potential Barriers

The potential barriers that the organization may face during the change process are planning, lack of consensus, communication, and employee resistance. It would be good to have some feedforward control, but in this case concurrent controls will have to be used. By first identifying the issues we can then address them by implementing change. The company has not made profit in 5 years, the company continues to hire people who have little interest or knowledge about books, there are CEO's with no bookselling experience, and it is falling behind on technology and e-commerce. We have to start with a plan, a step by step plan with short term and attainable goals. An example would be staff restructuring. The type of employees that is needed for the survival and success of the business has to be identified. It is pertinent to have employees that fit the organizational brand and managers with sales experience. According to Frost (2015), roles have to be assigned to individuals who are responsible for the change so all duties are covered, the time line for change is also a key component. Being clear and straightforward about the changes is crucial. There will be barriers in the process if everyone is not on board with the changes. The changes need to be understood and accepted from Top management and it has to be communicated to all employees to avoid any rumors, uncertainty, and negativity. This can be avoided by having staff meetings and encouraging participation. Another way of supporting employees would be by providing trainings for any new responsibilities to help ease the transit.

Political Issues

John Kotter’s 8-Step Plan for Implementing Change

Applying John Kotter’s 8-step plan for implementing change would be beneficial to save Borders Books. The first step is to create a sense of urgency by examining competitors and identifying potential threats in the market, examining opportunities that could be exploited, and sharing and discussing the findings with customers in a transparent way. Then we must form a team of powerful members from the company that can influence the rest and convince them that change is necessary. Once the change coalition is formed, a vision for change must be created along with a strategy to execute this change, and then frequently and strongly communicated to all levels of the organization by teaching them new behaviors favored by the coalition. During this process, people who are resisting the change and any barriers forming an obstacle must be identified, and action must quickly be taken to remove such obstacles. This can be done by creating new structures, encouraging risk taking, and encouraging non-traditional activities and ideas. The next step is to create short-term wins by creating short-term achievable targets and recognizing and rewarding people who meet those targets. This feeling of success will motivate employees in Borders to keep working for change and improvement. The company must then continue building on the change by analyzing the success after each win and finding areas for improvement, setting goals for continuous improvement, and recruiting new ideas, structures, and employees who can implement the vision of change. Lastly, this change should be anchored in the company’s culture, and leaders in this company must continue to support it. This can be achieved by frequently telling success stories about the change process, including change values when recruiting and training new members to the company, and recognizing and remembering the contributions of the change coalition (Thompson, 2015).
“Strategic level changes are required, when companies have to react to new competitive situations, or when taking the initiative to reposition the competitive edge of a firm” (Kallio, Saarinen, and Tinnila, 2002, para 14). A failure analysis change strategy can be created to provide a better vision to the company, a clear strategy for success, and new ways to attract potential customers and regain the trust of previous customers. Many internal factors can affect the success or failure of a business such as leadership styles, structure, communication, and departmentalization. Identifying indicators of business failure or success help create a change strategy that prevents failure of the company.
About Southwest. (n.d.). Retrieved August 9, 2015, from
Farfan, B. (2015). Company Mission Statements - Complete List of World’s Largest Retail Missions. Retrieved from
Frost, S., (2015);Small Business by Demand Media: Barriers & Challenges To Change Implementation. Retrieved from: www.
Kallio, J., Saarinen, T., & Tinnila, M. (2002). Efficient change strategies. Business Process Management Journal, 8(1), 80-92. Retrieved from origsite=summon&
Noguchi, Y. (2011). Why Borders Failed While Barnes & Noble Survived. Retrieved from survived
Southwest Airlines Operations – A Strategic Perspective. (n.d.). Retrieved August 9, 2015, from
Thompson, R. (2015). Kotter's 8-Step Change Model Implementing Change Powerfully and Successfully. Retrieved from

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