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Working at Heights - Sunvale Homes

Autor:   •  December 11, 2015  •  Essay  •  651 Words (3 Pages)  •  517 Views

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Sunvale Homes is a small, simple subdivision home builder with ~ 12 employees total (5 of which are trades workers) and many contractors. Sunvale just finished transformation that was successfully implemented without using a model, but could fit Kotter’s Model if it were used. The reason that Sunvale Homes was able to manage by un-modeled, on-the-fly management was because of its small size. Looking back it is satisfying to know that Kotter’s steps came about naturally and all the right moves were taken instinctively.  We have 5 key office staff and some part-timers and had a need for change. The change started by replacing our only production manager and with myself joining in a management role.

The change needed was simply to innovate and catch up with or out preform the competition; Sunvale had a comfortable 5 years where it focused on production and costs, rather than marketing and quality. Then by the time it became a noticeable issue there were large deficiencies to overcome.

Step one of Kotter’s model came about visibly and all staff established a sense of urgency for needed change based on warranty issue and a drop in sales. Step two was the first move of action; I joined the company and replaced our ineffective production manager. Before this I had spent months with our new production manager as a learning process for myself to understand the building process, little did he know that I was vetting him the whole time. This lead to a very tight coalition with unlimited authority.  Steps 3 and 4 soon followed with two meetings that consisted of hired professionals coming in to speak to our entire staff about the best building practices and new marketing requirements. At the end of these meeting the entire staff would discuss what we would want to focus on, it would be clearly summarized and then implemented shortly after, and in some cases immediately.

We had decided to 1) to switch to a companywide software system designed for builders to track administrative items and communicate with the customer 2) update many of our building practices and materials 3) outsource marketing design work to allow our two sales staff to spend more time with customers.

Step 5 of empowering others came naturally to me and I strongly communicated it. The production manager had been on-site, building homes for 35, He had the job of designing and building better homes that will make the business sustainably profitable. I felt that any restrictions or approval policies that he had to fight would “hamstring” him, and if he failed then he could later blame it on management’s restrictions or his limited authority. Similar case with the sales manager, she was allowed to bill however many hours she needed on a given week to spend with customers, and also had no budget when ordering marketing products from our contracted marketing firm.


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