The six-images framework is a mental model that describes various roles performed by change managers as well as their perceptions of change management. According to this approach, these people can act as directors, coaches, navigators, caretakers, nurturers, and interpreters; their exact role or roles may depend upon various factors such as the structure of the company, its competitive position, the type of product, and so forth (Palmer, Dunford & Akin, 2008, p 26). To some extent, these images correspond to such activities of a change manager as the analysis of the problems faced by the company, the development of new strategies, the improvement of employee’s skills, communicating the necessity for change to the personnel, and evaluating its outcomes. The six-images framework enables these professionals to better understand their functions. Moreover, this model helps them to set the priorities for the personnel; in other words, they can see which task is the most crucial at a certain stage of reorganization.
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At this point, we must show how the IMAGEs model can be applied in a real-life situation. In particular, we need to refer to the case of Intel, one of the world’s largest IT companies. The Chief Executive Officer of this company, Craig Barnett attempted to respond to the growing crisis in the industry and the increasing competition, put up by AMB (Palmer, Dunford & Akin, 2008, p 73). In particular, he wanted Intel to depart from the philosophy which postulated that the company was the only player in the IT market. We can argue that Craig Barnett viewed himself primarily as a director, or as a person whose strategic choice has a profound effect on the outcome of change, and who does not require the agreement or cooperation of other stakeholders (Palmer, Dunford & Akin, 2008, p 27). Therefore, he was the one, who exercised full control over the situation or at least tried to do so.
In part, such an approach to change management explains why the restructuring of Intel was so time-consuming and difficult for many employees who were continuously transferred from one department to another and who had to adjust themselves to new roles. It seems that under such circumstances, Craig Barnett had to take a broader look at the role of a change manager. For example, a change manager often acts as an interpreter who helps the employees to make sense of why the organizational change is necessary, how this goal will be accomplished, and what employees should do to make their work more productive. Therefore, Craig Barnett should have explained the strategic objectives of Intel to the managers and frontline personnel. Additionally, we can speak about such an image as a navigator or a change manager who sets cross-functional teams, represented by various departments. Barnett did that by merging communications and networking operations. These divisions were merged to promote decentralized decision-making within Intel. However, we have to stress the idea that the causes of this change as well as the strategic goals of the company were not made quite clear to many participants.
This example indicates that change in the majority of cases, managers should take a wider perception of their duties and responsibilities. A practicing change manager should gather as much information as he/she can about the situation within and outside the company to determine how he/she should act. This person should look at the same problem from the perspective of a director, caretaker, interpreter, or coach. The use of such a model would allow us to see the challenges which the management would face as well as the reaction of the staff to the new policy. Therefore, the six-images framework can be viewed as a planning tool for change managers.
Vision is an important part of strategic planning since it identifies the long-term objectives of a certain organization. It shows what the company wants to become in the future. This paper will try to discuss the vision statement of such an enterprise as Mentor Graphics Corporation. This company has long struggled with the most appropriate vision statement. We can provide the following information about Mentor Graphics Corporation.
- Vision statement: to build things people will buy (Palmer, Dunford & Akin, 2008, p 280).
- Mission statement: to enable companies to develop better electronic products faster and more cost-effectively.
- Strategy: to become a world leader in electronic design automation by providing only innovative products or solutions which help engineers to overcome design challenges (Mentor Graphics Inc, 2010, unpaged).
There are several things that we can discuss in connection with the vision statement of this enterprise. First of all, it is not quite clear whether this vision entails any necessity for change. The thing is that such a goal as to “build things people will buy” is an inherent objective of any for-profit organization, and not only Mentor Graphic Corporation. It does not tell too much about the core values of this organization or its competitive strengths. Certainly, to some extent, this vision does show that the main priority of this enterprise is the ability to suit the demands of various customers. However, it does not explain how the strategy can be achieved. Thus, one cannot say that it was properly formulated. Apart from that, we should point out that the financial performance of this organization has largely deteriorated especially in comparison with that one of its major competitors like Cadence Design Systems or Synopsis. This evidence proves that a lack of well-defined strategies does diminish the productivity of any organization.
On the whole, this is one of those situations when the vision statement is too vague. We cannot see the landmark to which the effort of the personnel should be directed. It is possible to make several recommendations for the management of this enterprise. First, they need to pinpoint their key strengths and weaknesses in order so that they could know what competencies will allow them to become more successful in this market. Secondly, while creating the vision of the enterprise, the management should remember the necessity to motivate the employees. The vision must have such characteristics as “inspiration, aspiration, and perspiration” (Palmer, Dunford & Akin, 2008, p 254). In other words, the vision must give incentives to the employees and, most importantly, explain to the employees how the strategic objectives of the organization can be accomplished. The present vision statement does not say anything about it.
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At this point, it is too early to jump to any conclusions, and one cannot say for sure whether this company will succeed or fail. Yet, given the current circumstances, we can argue that it will not be able to withstand the competition of such rivals as Synopsis or Cadence Design Systems. Overall, this example has shown to me that change managers should remember that a vision statement has to be in line with the inner structure of the organization. Mentor Graphic Corporation is a company that employees over 4000 employers, who are working in various departments, and this vision does show them that their company is in any way unique or that it creates value for the workers. As regards the six-images framework, we can say that in this case, a change manager would have to act as a navigator and interpreter. He/she would have involved employees of various departments in decision-making and explain to them why the organizational structure of the company is changed and what they should do.
Mentor Graphics Inc. (2010). The Official Website. Web.
Palmer I. Dunford R. & Akin G. (2008) Managing Organizational Change: A Multiple Perspectives Approach. NY: McGraw-Hill Higher Education.