Woolworths Holding Ltd in its efforts of building sustainability, it was faced several challenges. One of the most prevalent challenges was a mixed reaction of its stakeholders where some of them were of the opposing view to the entire issue.
The reason for the resistance of some of the stakeholders was that the program would have far reaching effects to the organization and which in the long run will be a challenge for Woolworths to achieve (Luiz et. 10).The above resistance clearly indicated impeding threat from certain quarters of the organization in the implementation process of the program.
Moreover, given the fact that Woolworths is a profit making organization and for the fact that there were other competitors in the operating environment, the opposing faction to the sustainability program were using total capitalism while negating touching issues in the business environment.
It was an established fact that sustainability program was to consume a lot of capital of which the supporting stakeholders were willing to provide since the program was pertinent to the entire well being of the human race since a lot of long time benefits were ascribed to it.
In addition, the opposing faction to the sustainability program turned to be a threat in the entire process since they were viable resisters of change associated with sustainability process. For that matter Woolworths had to spend more capital on training programs to ensure that the program receives wider support in the organization. The training would not have been warranted if the program could have received blanket acknowledgement and acceptance in the organization.
Nonetheless, another reason for opposing this sustainability program was the uncertainty associated with the program itself. Some sections of stakeholders were concerned with the profit and competition issues on the market. Therefore, any effort that was seen as a deterrent in amassing huge profit indexes and large market share was seen as unhealthy for business operations.
However, for long term strategic management of Woolworths Holding Ltd, it was imperative to have a long term sustainability programme (Luiz et. 13). As a matter of fact, future business operations are heavily depended on the current strategies and plans.
Therefore, the four pillars which were concerned with social development, economic growth, environmental responsibility and business transformation were well suited to be implemented through sustainability programme to guarantee survival of the organization in future. Therefore, it is prudent to note that any visionary organization must have plans in place that seems unattainable as long as they are in line with organization’s goals and objectives. Therefore, all efforts must be geared towards their accomplishment.
Potential Solutions and Decision Criteria: Approach to Solving the Problem
Challenges always present themselves in the organization. Nonetheless, every challenge needs to be swiftly addressed in order to achieve the desired outcomes in the organization. With respect to Woolworths Holdings Ltd, the challenge concerning resistance of sustainability implementation from some quarters of the organization was a serious issue that needs to be effectively tackled to ensure successful implementation of the programme.
The opposition challenge presents in the implementation process of sustainability could only be solved through proper problem solving criteria that could be blended well with proper decision making process. For that matter, problem solving and decision making must be interlinked.
Therefore, for any issue at hand to effectively tackled, it is relatively important that an analysis of the situation must be carried out to establish extend of the problem and the best available options. For that matter, in order to solve the impeding opposition from some of the stakeholders, it is prudent that every stakeholder be brought on board in the analysis exercise to ensure that they have some inputs in selection of the options.
Moreover, since this sustainable implementation is intended to be implemented in the entire Woolworths Holdings Ltd, it is relatively important to solve the resistance problem in a group based manner to ensure that consensus is achieved among all the stakeholders. For that matter, organization of workshops, seminars, and training will help to cultivate the sustainability pillars in the organization.
This is important since some stakeholders might be resisting implementation of the sustainability from meager ignorance or the fear of the unknown. Therefore, education on the desired approach of sustainability can effectively and efficiently lead to its successful implementation.
Subsequently, after instituting programs in place that are intended to convince all stakeholders to embrace the desired sustainability, the problem that will need to be solved is the implementation of these sustainability pillars.
Therefore, as a person responsible for instituting solutions to the problem, I will utilize a morphological approach. In respect to this approach, I will divide sustainability pillars into several sub units in terms of their complexities and simplicities. Complex units will be grouped together while simple units will also be grouped together.
Thereafter, there will be team formation depending on their technical capabilities and expertise in the field. Complex units will be assigned to more technical and skilled groups while simple units will be handled with moderate groups.
Nonetheless, in the implementation process, priorities will be established where those units that have higher priorities will be implemented first before other less urgent units. Moreover, in the implementation approach, regular assessment and review of these pillars will be done to ensure that the process is within the required timeframe.
Nonetheless, there are several considerations to remember when implementing sustainability programme. For instance, due to some resistance to certain faction of the stakeholders in the organization, it is relatively importance to put into consideration some aspect of change resistance in the implementation exercise. Therefore, it is prudent that change management measure be considered and applied to curb problems associated with resistance to change (Pryor 4).
Nevertheless, it is important to choose change management approach that best fits the operating environment of the organization. Since there was resistance of implementation of sustainability in the organization from its onset, it is important that incremental approach be used in managing change in Woolworths Holding Ltd. The incremental approach is best suited since it is able to blend the company’s goals and objectives with the sustainability pillars being implemented in the organization.
Challenges to be considered in Implementation
Organizational leaders are always advised to prepare for the uncertainty. Since Woolworth is not operating in a vacuum; there are several external factors that are likely to affect its sustainability program.
For instance, in the implementation process of these pillars, Woolworths planned its desired strategies based on current technological, political, economical and environmental considerations at the time. For that matter, it is therefore an implementation challenge that these factors are destined to change from time to time since the environment is dynamic in nature.
Consequently, since most of these factors are external to the organization, Woolworths will have little control over them. Therefore, it will be required to adopt a dynamic management of the implementation process. For that reason, it is important to keep aligning to changes as they occur in order to continue with the process of implementations.
Moreover, since implementation process of sustainability is a long term exercise that is designed to take considerable amount of time before it bears some fruits, there is impending problem of staff turnover in the process. As a result, the organization must be prepared for shocks associated with loss of some of the technocrats. For that matter, the Woolworths Holding Ltd must continue to train more people in the organization to have them as buffers against shocks that may result from loss of some of their expertise.
Nonetheless, since implementation of sustainability in the organization relates to some core pillars, there is an impending challenge of culture shock that is likely to be encountered in the implementation process. For that reason, a lot of caution needs to be instituted in the organization to ensure that shocks resulting from implementation process of sustainability do not affect the organization negatively (Pryor 6).
It is therefore important to have good structure of communication in the organization to ensure that stakeholders in the organization are mentally prepared for any change. To this end, it is relatively important to acknowledge that some challenges can be foreseen and relevant measures taken to curb them but there are some challenges that will present themselves unexpectedly. Therefore, it is advisable to have both reactive and proactive measures in place to be able to deal with these challenges more effectively.
Luiz, John et al. “Woolworths South Africa: Maiking Sustainability Sustainable”. Emirald Emerging Markets case Studies. 1.1(2011): 1-21. Print.
Pryor, Mildred et al. “Challenges Facing Change management Theories and Research”. Delhi Business review. 9.1(2008): Print.