Becoming CEO of eBay, Inc. in the late 1990s, Meg Whitman contributed to the development of the company into the largest online trading corporation in the world. It is possible to analyze the aspects of Meg Whitman’s leadership in relation to Kotter’s Eight Step Process for Creating Major Change, referring to Whitman’s actions according to the process’s main steps. The growth of eBay, Inc. depends significantly on the strategy used by Meg Whitman in order to implement the necessary changes into the company’s development.
Establishing a sense of urgency, Whitman examined the competitive market and stated that a small engineering-driven company could not succeed within the industry. To start changes, Whitman began to integrate into the company’s culture.
One of the main steps is the creation of a guiding coalition or a team of employees who can work together effectively in order to implement the necessary changes into the process. Meg Whitman focused on the slow process of changing the specifics of work. Example 1: To orient the employees to cooperative and effective work, Whitman began to organize frequent and rather long meetings in order to create a strong team in which all the participants are partners. Example 2: The next stage was the focus on inviting the experienced managers in order to help the employees adapt to the new strategy and provide the necessary directions for the company’s development.
The employees can work effectively and as a team when the main vision and strategy are determined clearly. Example: Meg Whitman declared that the main vision of the company is the orientation to becoming the world’s largest online trading company. As a result, the realization of several strategies and changes in the company is necessary to achieve this goal presenting as the company’s vision.
According to Kotter, the next step is associated with communicating the change vision. Whitman continued to communicate the change vision during the team meetings. Example: To improve communication, Whitman is oriented to a unit-based organization. eBay, Inc. started as a small engineering-driven company. The growth of the company meant changes in its organizational structure. Nevertheless, to improve the communication between all the employees and to orient to the company’s senior managers as role models, it was necessary to change the structural organization of the company.
This stage is closely connected with empowering broad-based action. The improved communication and changed structures led to overcoming many obstacles with references to the effective organization. Example: All the employees can be discussed as guardians of the corporate culture, their opinion is significant. Thus, the problem with the selling of firearms and ammunition was overcome with references to avoiding unethical auctioning practices in order to meet the interests of the company and community.
Before achieving the main goal, it is important to concentrate on short-term wins. Example: Whitman proposed to focus on investment and marketing strategies first in order to strengthen the company. As a result, much attention was paid to the effective advertising on the site and cooperation with the auction house Butterfield & Butterfield.
It is possible to state that to consolidate gains and to produce more changes, Whitman chose to work only with professionals. Example 1: Whitman invited experienced managers and developing the company’s human resources in order to increase the customer’s department. Example 2: Whitman also focused on effective strategic partnerships with such companies as AOL and Butterfield & Butterfield to increase the company’s gains. These strategies led to the company’s development based on the principles of the community’s safety and customers’ needs and with references to effective managerial practices.
Anchoring new approaches in the culture, Whitman focused on responsible retailing, on increasing the number of customers, and on the expansion of the company based on hiring quality employees.