Christina Gold Leading Change in Western Union Challa Fletcher March 13, 2012 GM504-01N: Organizational Excellence & Change Professor Rogerson Unit 1 Case Analysis Christian Gold is met with some opposition as she works to define Western Union’s global placement. The new president of Western Union points out that Western Union International, a single entity responsible for all of Western Union’s international organizational operations, was not sufficient enough to meet the global clientele.
Fully versed in geography and varying cultures, Gold understands that each region must be treated uniquely based on its regional needs and culture (Gosling & Mintzberg, 2003? ). By 2003, Gold proposes that Western Union International be divided into three divisions: the Americas; Europe, Middle East, Africa, and South Asia; and Asia-Pacific. Each region will be led by a division head. Gold’s theory is that each leader head can better manage the cultural needs of the individual regions, helping Western Union better target its consumers in different cultural markets.
The fear of lost revenue and product control is causing pause in the parent company, First Data Corporation. Gold also faces opposition of her peers who agree with her strategic plan to grown Western Union International but differ on other aspects such as profit and loss responsibility and decentralization. Major Issues Expanding globally requires putting trust in the hands of people who may not be familiar with the standards of operations. Western Union is U. S. entric and despite being in 195 different countries, they have not relinquished any control over marketing or their product lines. Giving up control of long U. S. managed projects is not well received amongst the current four senior vice presidents (Konrad & Mitchell, 2005, p. 6). There is a combination of interactive management and inactive management making decisions for Western Union . Western Union has steadily grown; gaining eighteen percent of increased revenues in 2002 (Konrad & Mitchell, 2005, p. 4).
This growth took place under the current Western Union and Western Union International. It is because of this steady growth, due to nothing more than regular marketing, First Data Corporation is satisfied with the current make-up of the organization. Inactive management only responds to change when it is absolutely necessary to avoid an impending crisis (Ackoff, 1999, p. 50). Where First Data is inactive, Christina Gold is interactive. Gold is looking at future development of the Western Union and not just at where it has been or where it is now (Ackoff, 1999, p. 5). Alternate Course of Action Compromise and start small; one region at a time. Change can be big and quickly become over powering. Jana Johnson, vice president of executive development for First Data, admits that the size of both Western Union and First Data is knowingly large, and knowing which direction to grow is a challenge (Konrad & Mitchell, 2005, p. 12). The implementations of all three international divisions do not have to take place at the same time. Rapid growth can cause issues to spring up all at once, overbearing the new system.
Such difficulties could include product introduction timing and new foreign policy implantation. Addressing these issues with three different divisions simultaneously can be too much for the organization to bear at once and still remain operating effectively; without causing profit loses (the sole concern of Christina Gold). To test the international division, Western Union can begin with opening the largest of the three divisions. In the beginning the division leader will take charge of marketing for the region and slowly begin to obtain the profit and loss responsibility.
The remaining two divisions will remain under the umbrella of Western Union International until the test trial of the largest division is complete. A new division can roll out based on a developed schedule. Change is not permanent. If any division is no longer feasible and begin to lose profit it can be readjusted, or disassembled with each of its parts being restructured to other divisions. Management style of organization should be changed to be more future focused. Christina Gold and her supporters are operating interactively.
The new design of Western Union’s international business is being expanded before a crises need is looming over the organization. Gold proposes a beginning process for where the company should be aiming for in the future (Ackoff, 1999, p. 58). Restructuring Improvements Restructuring is a part of growth. Western Union cannot go into the international market with the same management. Western Union needs management that mirrors the culture they are to represent. The environment will better relate to this type of leaders. Marketing and new product lines will be strengthened by the change in management restructuring.
The division head will better be able to assess what marketing techniques will be better suited to the environment. These divisions will also be able to design new products an aggressively market those that their cultural environment could better utilize. Division heads will be able to asses which products to work as well as see how those products fair in the environment. They will closely adjust marketing tools, knowing what works better for their regions. This knowledge of culture can also clear up language and communication barriers.
Divisional heads will understand the nuances of what is appropriate and what is not in a region (Konrad & Mitchell, 2005, p. 5). The new restructuring and international growth will optimize the six core strategies of Western Union. Two of the six core strategies, develop a global brand and enhance global network distributions, applies directly to growth in international markets. Western Union is US centric in its management and production (Konrad & Mitchell, 2005, p. 1; 6). In order to expand globally they must restrict their management style and those they use to manage the various divisions.
By adding the additional foreign markets, increasing their purchasing ability and awareness, Western Union will be developing the core strategies of increasing productivity. More availability of services to a larger market will also increase awareness and improve service excellence. Finally, Christina Gold placed Make Yerington as senior vice president of business development. Mike Yerington has been with Western Union for 30 years (Konrad & Mitchell, 2005 p. 11). The position of Western Union Americas was also given to a Western Union veteran. The final strategic core strategy is to develop leaders from within the organization.
This is an important strategy for Christina Gold after her own organization growth was taken from her causing the end of her career with Avon (Konrad & Mitchell, 2005, p. 2-3). Western Union can continue on this inner organizational growth by assigning the vacant Asian-Pacific divisional leader position to some one of the region who has shown great leadership abilities throughout their time with Western Union. Recommendation Trust the individual that was placed over the company. Christian Gold was chosen as president of Western Union because she has impeccable experience in management and global operations.
Her degree in geography and experience gives her a clear vision of processing needed change. Gold exemplifies strong leaderships skills demonstrated in her vision of Western Union beyond its current market placement. An innovative leader begins the change process and takes risk (Kouzes & Posner, 2009, p. 3). Gold is aware of the challenges that will be faced by Western Unions International Divisions, but she sees beyond the organizational development process and sees the vision of the organization. She shares this vision with others (Kouzes & Posner, 2009, p. 3).
She gives others the power necessary to make decisions, and achieve organizational goals (Konrad & Mitchell, 2005, p. 13). Gold wants to give the three division leaders the responsibility of profit and loss; believing they can handle the additional task. A true leader gives control and in return they receive loyalty and support from their followers (Bryant, 2010, p. 35). Gold has this loyalty of the already placed vice president and divisional leaders. Failure to allow change in Western Union could cost First Data Corporations market growth internationally but also the resource they have in Christian Gold.
Failure to trust Gold’s judgment and to look over the potential she possesses may cause her to leave the organization. In the past when an opportunity that was earned fairly by Gold was given to another she left the organization (Konrad & Mitchell, 2005, p. 3). The growth of Western Union will not continue to be “just because,” Western Union must be able to penetrate deeper into the money market and Christina Gold is beginning this process in the international market. To continue effectiveness growth, Western Union will have to see the asset they have in Christina Gold (Lawler III, 2003, p. 87). Conclusion * Western Union has experienced continual growth throughout both its domestic and international markets, however Christina Gold see the need for international change. Christina Gold, president of Western Union, proposes a plan that will not only grow the international Western Union but also develop the six core strategies of Western Union. The major issues stem around the changes to the product line control and debates of the need for management change is necessary to advance international markets. All of the challenges are not negative.
Those who agree with Christina Gold’s international development, differ on the need for decentralization. Despite the opposition for change, Christian Gold still strives to be a vision focused leader, encouraging her team and creating leaders from within the organization. First Data Corporation must see the asset in Christina Gold and trust her assessment of the needs of Western Union. References Ackoff, R. (1999). Re-Creating the Corporation: A Design of Organizations for the 21st Century, Oxford University Press. Bryant, J. H. (2010).
Leading with love in a fear-based world. Leader to Leader, 2010(56), 32-38. Konrad, A. & Mitchell, J. (2005). Christina Gold Leading Change at Western Union. Harvard Business Publishing. Product #906M07-PDF-ENG. Kouzes, J. , & Posner, B. (2009). Five best practices. Leadership Excellence, 26(7), 3-4. Lawler III, E. (2003). Why treating people right pays off. Treat People Right. In J. S. Osland, M. E. Turner, D. A. Kolb & I. M. Rubin (Eds. ) (2006). The organizational behavior reader (8th ed. ) (pp. 581-593). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
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