Organization Change - Case Study
Trying to combine two organizations is sometimes one of the biggest challenges facing a manager.
No matter how similar the functions, the two organizations are likely to have different financial systems, operating methods and human resource cultures. ESCOT recently assisted in accomplishing such a combination. The Center for Alternative Dispute Resolution (CADR) was considering absorbing a program operated by another local organization and they asked ESCOT to advise them on portions of the change.
In this case, both groups were effectively delivering the promised services but because of their size, it was thought a combined group would reduce overhead costs; the savings could be spent on increasing the types and extent of program services. ESCOT produced three products to assist CADR in making its choice. First, we provided a checklist of items to be considered. Once assured that program services would not suffer, the Board of Directors was principally concerned with the financial impact of the combination. ESCOT consultants prepared an annual budget for the combined group which showed there was sufficient money available to fund the new organization. Finally, ESCOT produced a cash flow analysis that showed the combination could take place without needing to borrow money or to use up significant amounts of cash on hand. This was an important finding as most new initiatives raise ongoing costs long before they raise revenues. With these assurances, the Board of Directors moved ahead with the combined organization.
Now having a new, larger and different organization, the Executive Director, Peter Glassman asked ESCOT to propose an organization structure to integrate the two organizations. The ESCOT consultants reviewed all available policy guidelines, interviewed the principal staff members of CADR and proposed a structure and assignment of duties to maximize the effectiveness of the new group. As part of this effort, we also designed an employee performance appraisal system; every staff member was being asked to perform new duties and some would be in a strange environment. An appraisal system would help in the transition, insuring that communications were open and expectations clearly understood by both employee and supervisor. ESCOT consultants have many years of experience in developing these systems in all types of organizations. The consultants were able to deliver a customized appraisal system to the new CADR organization quickly and inexpensively. Mr. Glassman was enthusiastic about the resulting system: "This system will be an important management element in our new organization", he said.
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