Change Management



Andersen, from the days of the founder, has thought of people as our most important asset. This focus on individuals with different needs, goals and aspirations to be considered as human beings first and employees second is a major strength of the culture. Our Company was founded on three basic principles:

• Make a product that is different and better

• Hire the best people and pay top wages

• Provide steady employment as far as humanly possible.

The employees come from about 75 small towns located around Bayport. It is a family atmosphere built on close relationships and openness. Employees are welcome in the executive offices and the top management meets with elected factory representatives monthly to air complaints and ideas.

In a people company known for innovation, it is only natural that the corporation has been a pioneer in progressive personnel policies and employee benefits. Company-wide profit sharing. employee ownership, and incentive systems are examples of the policies that promote teamwork and productivity at Andersen.

Andersen experienced tremendous success in the 80s. From 1982-1988 the company tripled in size. The result was an entrenched attitude of "if it ain't broke, why fix it?" The major challenge of declaring war was to get the support of the stakeholders, our army, to rally for a change. We started building a , .next tactic or action rather than backward at rivals on the defensive ground swell of support by identifying paradigms. Futurist Joe Barker defined paradigms as a model or pattern of rules and regulations that define boundaries and tell us what is needed to be successful within those boundaries. The existing paradigms that had helped produce the success were brought into sharp contrast with the new and evolving business environment that the company was facing. In addition, a champion for the new paradigms was selected. The stature and visibility of this champion is critical to success of such a massive effort just as an inspirational general who moves armies in battle.

Every worthwhile program, like a war, needs a statement of mission. A statement to focus the attention; something that matters and something that people can stand behind. At Andersen, the rallying theme was an adaptation of John F. Kennedy's mission statement that took the United States to the moon. We established a cross-functional steering committee that met weekly to discuss issues and tactics and remove organizational or physical roadblocks. This process was critical to building trust across the functional areas to bring up weaknesses and expose inadequacies. The steering committee managed multiple cross-functional teams with common goals and objectives. These teams relied on each others' strengths and filled in for each other's weaknesses until a synergy developed. This core group became the trainers of additional improvement teams.

The fundamental trigger for the change process was the significant growth of the company in the 80s and the size of the production operation increasing dramatically. Initially, the growth produced some economies of scale. At some point, however, size led to diseconomies. The negative impact stemmed from the confusion and the complexity of a larger plant with complex material flows that were miles long and full of work-in-process inventories. Maintaining control over the large number of processes, technologies, and production workers also added to the potential diseconomies of scale. Information systems, designed to maintain these controls, were themselves complex and expensive to create and maintain.


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