Implementing Change

Change is very important for the future growth of a successful business. Leaders of organizations must analyze whether are not their organization will be able to change with the times, due to the organizational demands, society, and economic shifts. Former Chief Executive Officer of Gene One, the late Don Ruiz, was developing an effective plan to implement positive organizational change. Mr. Ruiz wanted to establish the company as a strong competitor. Therefore, Ruiz decided to go public by turning Gene one into an Initial Public Offering (IPO) in 3 years. Due to Mr. Ruiz’s untimely death, the plan was never introduced or implemented throughout the organization. As one Of Don‘s siblings, my family and I have come up with a strategy so that Don’s dream could come a reality. The purpose of this body of work is to introduce strategies that may be used to bring effective change to the structure of leadership so Gene One can experience change successfully. A seven step proposal will be introduced so that change can be initiated. My family has illustrated our plan below in Table 1:
Table 1: 7-Steps Used to Initiate the Change Strategy:

The Present state or condition of Gene One

The change strategy will discuss the current state or condition of Gene One as well as provide a brief synopsis of the company and the challenges it faces in the first step. Gene Created in 1996, Gene One, became the first biotech company of its kind to eliminate disease in tomatoes and potatoes through gene technology. Gene One’s development eradicated the use of pesticides that are used when growing these plants. In eight years Gene One grew to a $400 million dollar company. Recently, biotechnology has seen significant growth on Wall Street. Therefore Gene One, is considering beginning an IPO under the direction of the Board and Don Ruiz. Under the IPO Gene One is hoping the company will grown 40% annually. Ruiz wanted to initiate his plan in 3 years. Gene One must evaluate the structure of the leadership so that it may succeed as a public entity. An IPO must adhere to the requirements of the federal mandated Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOA). There must be one member of the board that has financial experience according to SOA. The board must be comprised of three committees: compensation, auditing and nominating. Gene One must also shift from equity to cash.

The company currently lacks the leadership experience with IPO which calls for a need to hire someone with the necessary knowledge and experience. The company is currently not in compliance with the SOA requirements. Due to the untimely death of Don Ruiz, the company is without a Chief Executive Officer. As the plan is implemented it is also critical to consider those individuals resistance to change. All of the aforementioned factors beg for a change in leadership.

Explanation of Gene One’s Proposed Process Change
Step 2 of our plan will discuss the proposed process and organizational structure change that will be implemented throughout Gene One. The current contract of each board member will undergo a revision. The new contracts will indicate that the board’s compensation will transition to cash. The Executive Board will consists of 7 seven members. At least one of the members must be a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), with IPO experience and a Certified Auditor with experience in the bio-technology industry. Additionally, the board will establish the auditing, compensation, and nomination committee. Each potential board member and member of the executive team will be subjected to a thorough nationwide educational, employment, credit, and criminal background check prior to acceptance of the position. In addition all individuals in a leadership role throughout the company will undergo intense IPO training. Moreover, the current leadership will began a nationwide search for change agents that may replace current leaders or add to the organization. The vision of Gene One will be broadened to include the IPO. Furthermore, the leadership team will develop new process that provide for more accountability and transparency throughout the company.

Competencies of Gene One’s Leadership
Gene One is grateful to the current leaders for their dedication and hard work that has brought the company to where it is today. However, it is imperative that the competencies of the leaders be addressed and evaluated in this change strategy. Due to the overwhelming successful leadership of one of Gene One’s founders, Michelle Houghton, it has been decided that Mrs. Houghton will be named acting Chief Executive Officer. Mrs. Houghton will bring to the executive team her task oriented leadership style and her proven success rate in securing funding from government and private investors. It is further decided that Charles Jones will no longer serve the organization in his current role as Marketing Officer. Mr. Jones succeeded in branding Gene One but failed to design and implement a marketing structure. It is imperative that Mr. Jones be transferred to a non-supervisory position whereas he can focus on branding Gene One as an IPO utilizing hisgreat ideas, smart risk taking, and biotechnology connections. He will be replaced by a marketing officer with a proven track record of initiating a successful IPO marketing campaign. Teri Robertson will remain in her current role as Chief Technology Officer. She has effectively mastered her position and it is the nation’s leader in the industry. Greg Thoman, the current Chief Human Resources Officer, will remain in his position; however, his job description will be reevaluated. Mr. Thoman’s responsibility will focus on staffing, recruiting, and Employee relations issues. Because he lacks the necessary experience to provide cultural change, we will immediately begin the search for a change agent. The change agent’s responsibility will be to effectively carry out the change strategy, and to ensure that the attitudes and behavior of all personnel remain beneficial to the company’s success. After the plan is effectively implemented, the change
agent will be responsible for continually evaluating the change and preparing for future cultural growth.

Capacity for Change within Gene One
Step 4 calls for a discussion of the capacity for change within Gene One. According to Judge& Robbins (2007), “Initial Public Option usually means when a company issues common stock or shares to the public for the first time.” Therefore one can assume that Wall Street may begin to drive the way Gene One does business. This is a dramatic change for the organization and will require a positive message being sent throughout the organization that lessens the fears that an individual may feel that their creativity and research ability will become controlled by investors. For eight years, Gene One has been conducting business as usual with a good level of success. In order to go form good to great the capacity for change is essential to the future growth of Gene One. The key in this step is to remain positive and create positive messaging. There is a strong capacity for change however, the leadership team must be on the same page and elicit support/buy-in from stakeholders, customers and employees.

Capacity for Leadership Structure
Teri Robertson as CTO, is one of Gene One’s most influential leaders. Recently she has expressed her discontentment of the change. As acting CEO, Michelle and the current board must have a one on one discussion with Ms. Robertson whereas she is reassured that the new change will not affect her autonomy to offer research in additional areas of study. Furthermore, a plan must be devised to assure that Gene One remains innovative and continues to birth the leading trends of the industry. Furthermore the change agent along with the executive team must keep all of their internal and external relationships intact. Rumors must be dispelled as soon as they are discovered and it is that a phenomenal marking plan is implemented to proactively counter negativity.
Resources Necessary to Implement Change

There are multiple resources and/or tools needed to implement the change strategy at Gene One. In order to ensure success of the IPO formation, the leadership team must conduct ample research on the types of investors Gene One seeks and secure at least 2-3 investment firms or underwriters willing to make the initial offer. Additionally, a signed certified financial statement must be developed and submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission and all SOA requirements must be met. In order to ensure success within the leadership structure, all leaders must receive IPO educational training along with literature explaining the process. Secure additional funding to introduce new products. A financial strategy must also be developed to maintain and stay within the budget restraints. In addition, new technologies will need to be ordered and a plan for marketing must be created.

Temporary Goals
The final step of this change strategy calls for setting temporary goals. The following goals must be completed within one year of this strategy: (1) Hire additional leadership personnel, (2) Create A New Business Model (3) Acquire capital needed for growth by identifying investors, (4) Provide a path to growing Profitability, (5) Significantly Improve Marketing structure, and (6) meet all state and federal mandates.

Gene one is an extraordinary company. With the indispensable talents, leadership style, dedication, and knowledge base of its leadership team, our family is more than confident that the change strategy for the Initial public offering will be implemented successfully. Don Ruiz started this company with $2 million dollars and a dream, 8 years later it’s worth $400 million. This change strategy will allow for Gene One to increase its annual growth by 40%. As a team, let’s make it happen in the memory of Don Ruiz.

References

Robbins, S. P., & Judge, T. A. (2007). Organizational behavior (12th ed.). Chapter 19: Organizational Change and Stress Management: Prentice Hall

University of Phoenix. (2009). Gene One scenario. Retrieved March 25, 2010 from University of Phoenix, Week Five, LDR/531 Organizational Leadership Course, Class Materials web site.

Yukl, G. (2006). Leadership in organizations (6th ed.). Chapter 10: Leading Change in
Organizations: Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.

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