Several years ago, a new plant manager arrived at a plant which continuously shapes raw materials into finished goods. After familiarizing himself with the working of the plant, he found that the plant had more than 2000 employees; several layers of managers were arranged in functional departments like production, maintenance, engineering, research purchasing & stores etc. The plant was fairly productive and profitable. The new manager’s predecessor had been an energetic and autocratic man who made all the operational and administrative decisions at the plant. The rest of the upper and middle management executives supplied information to the plant manager and received orders from him about what to do in their departments as the plant was run on a day to day basis.
The new plant manager had a different managerial philosophy and a different leadership style. He believed in delegating as much responsibility to his subordinates as possible and allowing wide participation in the important decisions affecting the works and the workforce. He believed that better information and decisions would come from involved and committed managers. He wanted to develop subordinates to equip them for higher positions of responsibility. He told them at one of his first meetings that he wanted them to share in the work and fun. He knew that he needed to build strong individual managers, an effective management team and a new managerial culture in the plant. He knew that this change would require new skills which would require additional training inputs. The habits of ten years could not be changed just by issuing an order. He called the management students from IIPM New Delhi to help him in bringing about the necessary changes. They were asked to assist in the following areas of this Change Project:
1. To increase the abilities and skills of individual managers.
2. To build an effective top management team.
3. To build stronger division and department teams....