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This essay discusses persuasive message delivery through a study of a real-case scenario of GB Financial Corporation and further goes on to analyze the effectiveness of the delivery of the intended message through rhetoric analysis as a means of influencing change.
Having successfully been appointed the director, Data Management Department, the duty to steer this department forward to a more technologically savvy situation in the management, distribution, capture and storage of data has been chiefly bestowed on me. Our recent research findings suggest that we should break away from the traditional form of data management associated with Lotus Notes to the new technology offered by Microsoft Exchange. It is therefore imperative that we implement this. Having evaluated the current software platform, applications and database system, I have found it to be in the best interests of the company to shift to this new technology in order to comfortably realize our organization’s goals and objectives.
However, Microsoft Exchange is not any different in its mode of operation and you will find it easy to adapt in your work environment. My experience in consultancy, a span of 10 years, should provide a good basis and inspire confidence in implementing this application. The chief aim of introducing this new technology is to create a new, dynamic database which Lotus Notes software does not provide. This database shall ensure the organisation easily accesses over-the-web data which is published via web technology developed from a MS-Database view point. This new kind of platform shall act as a data agent and a data-publishing service for central, shared and enterprise database deployed herein.
However, there are changes that will come about from the use of Microsoft Exchange databases. After consulting with S&P manager, Mary Han, about critical business problems; sound data management measures and security maintenance will be employed as a solution to any work around problem that might be met in the near future before this technology is fully implemented and ready for full-capacity application. To this effect, I have brought on board a data architect who shall help in implementing this technology. We ought to see positive changes soon over and above our current system.
The initialization processes will involve a series of steps. First and foremost, a customized, home-grown Internet application program shall be designed by the Information Technology department. This is since, Interpush, our Internet applications service provider is under imminent sale. Senior management has therefore decided that we develop our own version rather than outsourcing in order to uphold data integrity. This leaves the burden of developing the application internally, as proposed by Tom Bradley, squarely in our hands. These changes may lead to reassignment of duties previously carried out by some employees. This, however, should not be demoralizing since your new positions will be far more exciting and easier to handle under Ms Exchange applications. I further propose bringing on board four full-time experts from Microsoft Exchange application development to aid in the initialization and implementation program. This is in the best interest of the company, its employees inclusive, and should not be viewed as if we are laying off employees or imminently intending to fire anyone.
I look forward to all weekly staff meetings and in-between-the-week feedback so as to provide an insight to opinions, challenges, suggestions and complaints that you would like to raise for the overall smooth transition from Lotus Notes to the more technology compliant Ms Exchange.
Any comments, views, suggestion or clarification can be in the meanwhile be forwarded to my email address and I will get back to you soonest possible.
Thank you for your cooperation.
For most massive changes be it in enterprises, organizations or companies or even simple situations such as GB’s case, managers respond predictably through organization strategy, shifting around staff and also rooting out inefficiencies. Change, therefore, becomes hard as people often express unwillingness to change their ways and habits (David A Garvin). Rhetoric analysis looks at how communication occurs and to what extent the message communicated achieves its intended objective. It also endeavors to show how the message incorporates principles of effective change management.
In ensuring that the message conveyed is sufficiently persuasive, there are various necessary steps. First, the source should ensure that the audience is convinced that change is important. Secondly, there is a need to gather enough information by encouraging feed back through such means as weekly staff meeting and consulting with the audience either face-to-face or by correspondence such as email whereby the audience can discuss their fears, views and even suggestions without the fear of being victimized. This provides a means through which there is constant communication with the audience in order to gauge their mood. The audience’s mood is very important as it shows whether the change is taking place effectively or not and can be quantified by the amount of feedback. Behavioural guidelines should however not be ignored in this correspondence especially through email because hierarchy, in particular, in association with vertical communication, is attained. Email details that it has been sent to all members of staff should not be left out such as Information Services Department and other members concerned such as Mike Campbell, Senior vice president, Information System. This ensures it is able to capture power within it by mentioning high ranking people in the organization. It is after implementing these phases is the change ably implemented.
Rhetoric analysis dictates that proof of impending change exemplified by the filling of the position of Data Management Director that had been vacant for a year will encounter resistance. This is human nature since people prefer to work with what they are most conversant with. This change commences by introduction of regular weekly meetings between the corporation’s Vice President and the newly appointed Director of Data Management, Jeff Butler. The change is further on indicated by the email conveyed to the staff on a shift from Lotus Notes to Microsoft Exchange. This change is listed with explanations of what this change will achieve and the consequences associated with failure to implement these changes. It therefore captures the feelings of the source and the intended emotions such as the director’s urge to come up with an entire system overhaul.
The rhetoric analysis used was through a thorough understanding of the company’s employees in order to relate to the changes that are about to arise. The purpose of carrying out a rhetoric analysis is to get background information on the kind of changes that are to be implemented, what the audience feels about the changes and any possible objections arising from this implementation. Managers are less likely to exercise powers over subordinates that they hardly know (Miller, 1982). This therefore necessitates holding meetings that act as interaction forums. With the case of Jeff, he did not attempt to get to know the employees during their meetings as he put off their reasoning as just excuses instead of trying to see their point of view. This, however, can be countered by the open approach applied in order to entice fellow staff to give feedbacks. These personality traits affect the strategies that might be deployed by more coercive type A managers (Lamude & Scudder, 1993).
In communication, there is the need to ensure that goals and objectives are clear as this goes a long way in changing employee’s negative attitudes and believes that could otherwise impact negatively on a project. This has been the case achieved by the e-mail which endeavors to remind other fellow workers what the objectives of the company are. Major changes usually involve reassignment of daily chores or laying off workers. It therefore becomes necessary to invoke a shared understanding of the company’s needs in order to effect change (David & Baker, 2006). In our case scenario, this has been accomplished in the email through bringing on board the four experienced programmers as they can be of invaluable use in implementing this change in technology. Features of any organization culture strongly influence behavior, beliefs and values held by its members (Schein, 1985).
Believes can be monitored by studying a section of staff and whether a common belief is propagated and prevalent in this group, which is held as a fact, such that it invokes a chain reaction in its spread. Communicating with the audience about the impending changes helps to overcome anxiety as facts and relevant information are easily available for clarification. This form of response, in which the writer is open to any questions and views, ensures that change is easily managed and the benefits are well-identified and received.
To effectively deal with emotions, it calls for viewing them as a way of connecting with employees rather than viewing it as a burden. This can be achieved by delivering the information about impending changes in a positive tone and establishing trust worthy communications which are built upon an existing working environment. I was implemented in this case scenario via email to all employees. The emotions of the audience are captured through the rational and emotional arguments. In this case the audience is informed that it might be left behind by technological advancements in the corporate world which enable the ease of doing business. Hence, it will ensure that communication brings about positive feelings and optimism towards the intended change. Acting as part of a change agent, Jeff Butler informs the staff with utmost honesty and goes further to establish a forum in which objections or views can be addressed.
In as far as being fair and honest is concerned, Jeff Butler clearly states his preference for Interpush but clarifies that its services shall have to be terminated for the greater good to the firm. Jeff Butler also recognises senior staff whom he has discussed the matter at length with in order to come up with the new changes desired and incorporates them in his e-mail. This is bound to boost audience input and consequently, the output since the new director will be viewed as a team player. When managers do not violate any moral procedures and treat their employees honestly and courteously, the employees develop positive emotions towards change and the resistance is minimized (Fox andAmichai-Hamburger, page 91).
There is always the need to sound clear, natural and sincere without intending to impress but to communicate (Wong, 2006). This, in reference to the email, is achieved through use of simple language that is easily understood and therefore can be acted upon with minimal hitches. The message remains simple, clear and sincere throughout as it touches on the changes that will take place including the steps that are to be implemented along the way. This helps in ensuring that the audience understands that the change will not be done overnight but it shall occur in a series of steps that build on top of one another. For turn-around leaders, they aim at showing how the change they bring into the firm is different from that of their predecessor and what it aims to attain (David & Garvin, 2005). In this scenario, the change is detailed to show what the previous software was, which Lotus Notes is, and that it failed to capture what the new technology, Microsoft Exchange, hopes to achieve in terms of company objectives.
There is therefore the need to set the stage for success whereby the leader must gain trust through word and deed to the audience. In this case, the experience of the new director which amounts to ten years is a positive way to instill confidence in the audience. The fact that Jeff Butler has brought on board another expert who has been approved by the management should be proof enough that he has the best interest at heart for the company. In ensuring that change management can be conducted on an open platform through which discussions can be attained, it creates the all important mind frame which will enables a smooth transition. It is therefore imperative that a persuasive message should underscore all the above or it shall be deemed to have failed in meeting its objective.
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