MAKING CHANGES OR GOING BANKRUPT

By M Suyanto

Companies must make changes in order to customize competitive environments. Technology, competitions, economic shocks, social changes, labor forces, and world politics are aspects that stimulate changes. Sophisticated information technology can change the way to enhance competitive advantage. The CEO of Unilever, Floris A. Maljers, said “The biggest challenge that companies face in globalization is the problem of limited human resources not capital”

According to Mark Ingebretsen in his book, Why Companies Fail, companies have to predict future trends by detecting trends that should they face if they want to continue to generate profits. In addition, the company must also design a way to adopt products and services for reaching the consumer group that has not been identified. The most important thing is that a company should be aware of the fact that large-scale change is a norm while the change that shakes the world is a new norm. Therefore, companies must direct the strategies for dealing with changes. Successful leaders act flexibly to cope with changes, and even the leaders should be pleased with the changes concerning themselves.

Most companies are going bankrupt because employees must always follow their employers who have never changed. According to Alfred D. Chandler, Jr., the historian, in his book, Strategy and Structure, the American companies that have got ahead made changes, especially in their management systems. Chandler examined four large American companies, namely General Electric, Du-Pont, Standard Oil company, and Exxon. The willingness to change from the CEOs of the four-companies has made them survive up to now.

Managerial styles cannot be separated from employees. According to Jack Welch, the CEO of General Electric, we’re risking something to our people, therefore we need to empower them, give them resources, and get them out of trouble by using their ways. Jack Welch spent half his time with his employees, trying to know them better, talking with them about the company’s problems, praising their best performance, and chiding their worst performance. He knows about 1000 employees who have good ideas and who have the responsibility for their work. Jack Welch’s personal approach to his employees has provided outstanding results for performance improvement. “When you win, we all win,” said Welch. Therefore, 27 000 employees of General Electric own shares. In 2001, General Electric was selected as “The Most Admired Company in the World” according to Fortune magazine.

“The two greatest corporate leaders of this century are Alfred Sloan from General Motors, and Jack Welch from General Electric. Welch could be bigger than both of them because he’s planning a new paradigm for the corporation, the model of which is used in 21st century”, said Noel Tichy from the University Michigan, the analyst of Welch’s managerial style. Then, will you make changes or become bankrupt?