The case of the Lakeland Wonders is the classical example of the conservative outlook of the business world. Cheryl Hailstorm, CEO of Lakeland Wonders, proposes progressive modifications of the company’s development strategies, while the senior management resists them stressing the possibility of failure in international markets resulting in the decline of the 90-year old company. Thus, to avoid conflicts with the union, assure peaceful development of the company, and pursue her goals, Cheryl could turn her opponents into supporters by implementing a certain bonus system for them. Accordingly, the overseas expansion viewed as the major threat to the domestic employees could be turned into their major motivation. Simply put, if people can benefit from an idea, they will undoubtedly support it.
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The central issue of this case is the attempt of the progressive and energetic CEO of the nationwide toy producing company to break the conservative culture of the Lakeland Wonders. Her idea of the overseas expansion of the company is the obvious step towards the demands of the future. Modern companies willing to lead the market can not be limited by a single country in their development. Globalization of all the economical processes leads to the competition appearance throughout the world, and it is impossible to withstand this competition by having simply fewer resources and launching products to a fewer number of markets. It is also evident that the position of the senior management of Lakeland Wonders is rather destructive taking into consideration the company’s future perspectives.
Thus, to overcome the resistance of colleagues and preserve friendly relations with the staff and the union, Cheryl could appeal to their major interests. The motivation of both management and ordinary workers representing the union would be of crucial importance here. Moreover, certain educational programs could be implemented to clearly demonstrate the positive sides of the offered changes to the employees and the Board of Directors.
However, several alternatives could be proposed as the ways out from the situation for the CEO. These alternatives can be reduced to the three major points including defending Cheryl’s idea irrespective of the senior management position, giving up admitting the reasonability of the point of view of her opponents, and finally resigning from the CEO position realizing the impossibility of promoting her ideas and of agreeing to the proposals of the Lakeland Wonders senior management. Each of the alternatives has its pros and cons which can be presented as follows.
First of all, the way of defending Cheryl’s position against all odds is a rather aggressive and risky alternative. On the one hand, it is a bold and confident way to reach the prosperity of the company. Moreover, the ability to promote her own viewpoint will add to the respect among the staff that Cheryl could receive in the future. On the other hand, it is an extreme step that might ruin the company’s organizational culture and make employees strike against the strict and aggressive policies of the CEO. Giving up in favor of the opponents can be viewed as a positive step from the viewpoint of preserving the corporate culture and encouraging the colleagues to launch their proposals in the future. However, the negative effect of this alternative might be the loss of discipline and subordination in the company, which could result in the Lakeland Wonders’ staying behind its competitors in the market. Finally, the resignation alternative might benefit the company by eliminating the unit disturbing the peace, and trying to modify the 90-year old organizational culture. But, the negative impact of this measure might be the loss of a progressive CEO and the personal failure of Cheryl Hailstorm.
So, to conclude, the offered solution to the problem seems to be the most effective and painless one. The method of motivating the opponents and showing them their own benefits from the company’s new policies allows preserving the peace within the company and promotes its interests in the permanently changing business world. The first argument to support this way out is the obvious superiority of diplomacy over aggressive reactive measures. Using her power as the CEO, Cheryl could simply impose her idea upon her subordinates leaving them all frustrated and wishing her failure. However, explaining to them their own benefit from this idea leads to their being involved and interested in its success. Such motivation can be reached by presenting the domestic union workers with bonuses obtained from the reduction of products prices manufactured overseas. The difference between the domestic and offshore production costs can be used to stimulate the workers ready to strike and resign from Lakeland Wonders in case of the increased competition at the workplace.
Moreover, this measure implementation might bring new supporters to Cheryl in her further initiatives and add to her credibility as the progressive modern CEO. On the contrary, in case of giving up, Cheryl could lose the rest of the support her colleagues and subordinates demonstrate and be finally dismissed from the CEO’s office. Finally, to resign would mean complete failure and retreat which is impossible to imagine for such a motivated CEO as Cheryl.
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Thus, it is necessary to introduce the plan of the practical implementation of the suggested policy. Needless to say, it is only a variant of the possible development of the events but it is viewed as the most adequate one by the author of this paper. First of all, it is necessary to carry out motivational and educational work simultaneously. For example, special lectures can be delivered to the union members and the senior management explaining the reality of today’s globalized markets and the need for international expansion and offshore outsourcing of the Lakeland Wonders. At the same time, the clear bonus program principles can be distributed among the staff demonstrating the actual benefit they could obtain from supporting the CEO initiative. The possibility of the offered measures’ success is rather high while their failure will not damage the CEO and her policies.
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