April 26, 2010
What a shock it must have been for the employees of Concord Bookshop to be
blind-sighted by their owners on that fateful day when they were informed of the changes
to come that would rock their world. The small size of the cozy shop and the long term
length of worker employment fostered a family environment, a mutual comfort level with
the literary world, and a genuine love of promoting the readings and ideas out into the
community. The positive feedback from the surrounding area as the “go to” bookstore for
new and relevant reading reinforced the employee’s pride and commitment to doing a
good job and, as far as they were concerned, all was right with their world.
The economic pressures of maintaining a healthy business and competing with larger
companies with greater resources was bearing down on the three owner families. The
need to sustain higher profit margins required the owners to make some hard and fast
changes. As painstaking as it may have been to come up with a new plan and as viable as
the plan looked on paper, the owners made some regrettable mistakes they did not foresee.
Their actions caused internal harm to the company and damaged the years of goodwill
established within the community.
Organizational change is no easy feat. It is imperative that certain processes be in
place and guidelines followed to make it a success. The organization must be united behind
the common goal of “why” changes are necessary to be made in the first place. Employee
behaviors, attitudes, and resistance must be managed and dealt with so each individual can
move forward with the change process...