Change is essential for the success of any organization, and there are many theories that a leader can use to make the change process. Changing an organization is not something that can be done in one major step, but is a systematic process conducted in small bits. The theories of such process identify the need to tackle each step independently before moving to the next stage.
Kurt Lewis uses a three-step approach to the change process in any organization and the McDonalds can apply this theory. He focuses on unfreezing existing behavior, changing the behaviors by adopting new attitudes and freezing the new behavior. Though the theory seems simple, it is relevant to the change process in any organization. The first step of this process is to convince those with power to get ready to change their way of thinking and operating to new ways (Kinicki & Williams, 2008). The leaders need to understand that change is necessary and that they have to get ready to move from their comfort zone and adapt to new ideas. The McDonalds will analyze the technological innovations used by their competitors and the environmental challenges it is facing. This stage focuses on preparing for new modes of operations before the actual change process takes effect. A leader has to utilize the Force Field Analysis to get motivation.
The second stage is the change or transition process that concentrates on adopting new attitudes and is mostly an inner journey. It is the process where the changes needed in the organization are put into effect. The managers in the McDonalds will have to implement the use of environmentally friendly packages. It is about convincing the staff that the change is worth, and altering their attitude towards the change. The last stage is refreezing one, which is very crucial because it focuses on making people believe that the analyzed process is worth and that doing things in the new manner brings them more benefits. After introducing the new packaging system the managers will have to make sure that, its franchises stick to the new packages (Willard, 2009).
The other theory that leaders can use to affect the change process is the Kotters’ 8-step Approach. This postulate requires teamwork between the employees and management for it to be effective. The first step is establishing the sense of urgency in the business. This stage requires a lot of communication between the employees and the management in order to establish why the change is pressing. The McDonalds have been having problems with the governments and health experts on the nutritional value of their food and this one reason of the need for urgency in the business. The second step of this theory is forming a powerful guiding coalition where people have to come together to create titles, information and proficiency, reputes and good relationship (Cohen, 2005). McDonalds have to form a team with the suppliers, the customers, the employees and the management to discuss how to deal with the nutritional content of their products. Team building in this stage needs delegation of duties and getting to know what happens at the lowest units of the system. The third stage is creating a vision where the coalition formed in the second stage come up with a new direction for the organization to take by creating a new vision. The coalition comes up with a vision on the desired quality of food they will be producing. The process of transforming is complex and centralized on ethical, social and environmental issues surrounding the organization. The vision will act as a guide on how best to deal with the challenges.
The fourth step is communicating the vision to the employees. The coalition after coming up with the nutritional food content has to relay it to the other people in the organization. This step is about convincing the other employees on why it is important to serve their customers with nutritious food, and how it will make the organization better. The process requires a lot of interaction between the members of the coalition and the employees. The fifth step is empowering others to act on the vision. The ideas, knowledge, creativity of all the people in the establishment are vital for the success of the vision. Cooperation among the management and employees can be enhanced if the first one gives to another a chance to share their ideas of the new foods they can serve. This is how employees get empowerment to improve their efficiency in the organization (Allen, 2012).
Planning for and creating short-term wins is the sixth stage that addresses the time issues affecting transformation process. The coalition needs to create short-term goals, which will remind people on the long-term goals that take a lot of time to achieve. Successes experienced before the end of the transformation process helps individuals maintain focus on the long-term vision. The seventh stage is the consolidation of improvements and producing change that prevents things from going back to the way it was before the start of the change process. The achievement in the sixth step should not be the end, but should portray future accomplishments. The last step is institutionalizing new approaches by adapting to new ways of doing things. The management has to operate differently by making sure that all its franchises offer nutritious food and retain the changes experienced in the earlier stages.
The theory of Henry Mintzberg stating the four phases of change is another approach used for the indicated process. He stresses in his theory that a leader has to implement change using four phases, which are identifying the necessity for change. The McDonalds needs to come up with reasons as to why it has to alter its ways of operations. This can be because of the complaints it has been receiving criticizing it of manipulating the young minds of children and the teenagers by use of manipulative advertisements. The second stage is identifying the alternatives that can be used in the change process. The management will have to look for alternative advertisements that are not manipulative and evaluate other ways of reaching its target customers. The third stage is the evaluation of alternatives identified in the second stage. The leaders have to look critically at the various options for promoting their products and choose the best one. The last stage is the implementation stage where the McDonalds implement the use of new promotions.