Change in strategic management results in changes in the organization which need to be implemented carefully. This implementation is believed to be a prerogative of leaders in the organization. Moreover, these leaders are required to form coalition teams that should oversee the implementation process. However, in the implementation process, there are several guidelines that are supposed to guide this change. These guidelines include the overall agenda for the change, the desired outcomes of the strategy and business environmental positioning. Therefore, this paper explores the Melbourne University Model 2.0 in two major parts. The first part covers strategic analysis of this model which concerns the creation and maintenance of a competitive advantage, the ways in which the strategy helps to create more value, assessment of value chain strategy and how the university has created resources and capabilities that are necessary for the implementation of this model.
Creating and Maintaining Competitive Advantage
Strategic management model for any organization must seek to establish competitive advantage in a sustained manner. However, for a continuous competitive advantage to be established, it is necessary to create a value strategy that is not being implemented by potential competitors in the environment. This approach was successfully employed by Melbourne Model 2.0 strategic plan since there is no single organization in the operating environment that had similar plans. For that matter, the strategy was desired to provide sustained competitive advantage for the university as long as another player in the environment would have formulated a similar strategy. Therefore, the sustained competitive advantage that the model established provided a continuous improvement for the university which is the desired objective of any strategic plan of any organization.
Moreover, creation and maintenance of the competitive advantage of the Melbourne Model 2.0 strategic plan was based on the theory of heterogeneity and resource immobility. Some business environments are characterized by resources that are homogenous and mobile in nature. In this kind of environment, it is difficult to establish a sustained competitive advantage for the organization since resources are commonly present within the competing players. Moreover, these resources keep on moving from one organization to the next. However, in relation to Melbourne University, the author established that the institution had heterogeneous resources in comparison to its competitors in the environment. For instance, the university had long been recognized as a leading institution of higher learning in Australia that was best placed to provide postgraduate programmes. Therefore, the goodwill that the institution had gained over the time was a heterogynous resource that it banked on to advance its Melbourne Model 2.0 strategic plan which was immobile in nature.
Capturing More Value and Assessment of the Strategy as a Value Chain Envy
Value chain envy entails creating a value, capturing this value and later protecting it for the entry and its integration into the market. According to Suchman (1995), it is believed that when the value captured share value is higher than the created share value, then the envy of the value chain will be protected. For that matter, Mol and others (2005) advanced the argument that value chain theory is pivotal in creating a strong competitive advantage in any business environment. As such, the author highlights that it is relatively important to acknowledge that any organization that seeks to establish its strong competitive advantage needs to create a value and then appropriate the value for a competitive purpose.
In relation to this value chain envy, it is evident that the Melbourne Model 2.0 Strategic Plan was based on this notion. This can be proved from a formulation of a strategic plan that was uniquely tailored in the operating environment since it disregarded the traditional value chain which naturally required progressive mobility from undergraduate programmes to masters graduate programmes and finally to doctoral programmes. Therefore, the new approach become a surprise in the operating environment as it knocked off other players in the industry since they could not instantly copy paste it in their programmes (Suchman, 1995).
Moreover, it is well understood that organizations in the same industry usually compete when they have the same value system. For this reason, Melbourne Model 2.0 was intended to create a totally different value system that would give it a completely different value system in the operating environment to ensure that it remained the market leader in the graduate programmes in the operating environment. This was guided by the principle that diversification of resources on diverse programmes was a one way that exhausted them and therefore the need to concentrate these resources on a limited programmes in order to have full concentration (Barney, 1991).
On the other hand, it is also relatively important to protect the value chain in order to prevent competitive imitation by the possible competitors. For this matter, organizations can only ward off competition imitation by adopting models that appear to be repellents to potential competitors. For example, by slashing off undergraduate programmes and narrowing down to post graduates programmes, Melbourne Model 2.0 was warding off the competition since other universities could not strongly survive without the undergraduate programmes. This was the case because such programmes formed the bulk of their syllabuses thus the core generator of resources to these institutions.
Resources and Capabilities Necessary for the Change
In terms of resources, Melbourne University required massive resources and several capabilities to be able to implement the change in the model. For example, since graduate studies was purely concerned with research work, research resources and capabilities that related to advanced research was needed to be put in place. As such, one of the most critical resources that the organization was supposed to upgrade was its library facilities and resources (Barney, 1991). It is was common knowledge that post graduate programmes required intensive research works that could only be facilitated by good library resources and facilities. Moreover, it should be understood that most science based graduate programmes also required intensive research works in the laboratories. Therefore, it was relatively important to have the best laboratory facilities in place to facilitate these programmes.
Cluster 1: Establishing a sense of urgency
Kotter provided eight steps for successfully implementation of the strategy plans. The first step entailed creating urgency. Under this step, an organization was required to cultivate a sense of urgency in order to develop a desire for change in the organization. This step helped to develop motivational desire to get things going in the organization. In this step, it was important to maintain honesty and good communication among stakeholders. This is important in creating good internal environment for implementation of the strategy. However, during this step, there is need to communicate to stakeholders on what is exactly happening in the market in respect to competition and the necessary steps that need to be instituted in order to build a vibrant organization.
Therefore, in relation to Melbourne Model 2.0, it was important for the university to create a sense of urgency for its model to ensure its successfulness. For instance, the university was supposed to identify the potential threats in the operating environment and thereafter craft mechanisms of what must take place in future to remain relevant in the business environment. Moreover, the university was supposed to develop and examine several opportunities that were supposed to be exploited to bring forth continuous improvement and sustained competitive advantages in its operating environment. In addition, leaders in the organization were supposed to come up with strategies that sought to earn support from their clients, industry people and stakeholders as a way of winning support and strengthening the adopted model (Barney, 1991).
Creating a vision
Additionally, Kotter provided another step in implementing strategic plan by averring that it is relatively important to link all concepts relating to strategic plans to a general vision that people can understand and put into practice more easily. The vision helps stakeholders to appreciate the necessity of the change in strategy and therefore contribute towards its achievement. In relation to creating a vision, the University was supposed to come up with value that was central to the desired change. Moreover, there was a need to come up with well formulated strategy on how to execute the vision.
Communicating the vision
Nonetheless, it is important to appreciate the fact that a vision without proper communication cannot results to successful implementation of the strategy. For that matter, Kotter came up with another step which relates to communication of the vision. Strategy implementation just like its formulation must therefore follow defined approach to achieve the desired result. Nevertheless, it is important to have collaboration, cooperation and coordination in the implementation process of strategic plans of any organization. According to Bryson (2011), implementation of strategies acts as a transition from their planning phase where they are incorporated in different sub systems of the organization to bring the desired value. Therefore, for these to be successfully implemented, communication of the vision must be prioritized in the implementation process.
With respect to the Melbourne Model 2.0 strategic plan, communication, collaboration, cooperation and coordination are crucial in the effort of achieving the desired outcomes as intended in the model’s strategic plans. There is need of the management and the entire stakeholders of the Melbourne University to practice these values in order to realize effectiveness and efficiency as it is desired in its strategic plan. Nevertheless, it is postulated by Koteen (1997) that communication, collaboration, cooperation and coordination in the implementation process of any organization have several roles that help to attain targets in the strategic plan.
To begin with, collaboration, cooperation and coordination in the implementation process of any strategy plan have a role of creating and sustaining a coalition that supports implementation of changes. However, for the coalition to be created there is need for all the stakeholders of the university to have good working relationships that are characterized by communication, collaboration and cooperation and where people are willing to share ideas while working in harmony. This ensures realization of the common good for the organization. Nonetheless, it is also relevant that the implementation process should be overseen by good coordination exercise so that tasks can be synchronized to avoid conflicts that that may occur as a result of poor organization.
Moreover, it is important to acknowledge communication, collaboration, cooperation and coordination in implementation process of the strategy plans since it helps to prevent likelihood of failure that may come as a result of resistance (Mol & Wijnberg, 2011). Consequently, these usually occur as a result of negative beliefs and attitude towards desired changes that strategic plans may desire to achieve. However, in respect to Melbourne Model 2.0 strategic plans, the university should carry out education of its stakeholders concerning strategic plans in effort of reducing resistance to changes in the implementation process.
Furthermore, it is relatively important to note that communication, collaboration, cooperation and coordination in the implementation phase help to create a network that may help to redesign an environment in the organization that can ensure long term changes in the university. This is possible since these elements help stakeholders in the organization to act as one team. As a result, any change in management like transfer of senior management from the university will still render it viable since the organization will have been build on pillars of communication, collaboration, cooperation and coordination.
Cluster 2: Forming powerful guiding coalitions
Furthermore, in the implementation process of the strategies, the organization is supposed to form a good and powerful coalition. This step is important since it helps to convince several stakeholders in the organization the necessity of change. However, this can easily be accomplished through strong leadership that should be supported from all key members of the organization. In connection to this, the Melbourne University was therefore required to identify good leaders who were supposed to serve as true crusaders of this change. Additionally, it was relatively important for these leaders to win emotional commitment of strategic people in the organization. In addition, it was also important to concentrate on team building efforts so as to have a strong change coalition (Barney, 1986b). By doing building strong coalition teams, it will be one way of empowering other people to manage change. However, through strong team work and coalition building, the university will be managing its culture since organization culture will be developed and spread through team work spirit.
Cluster 3: Planning for and creating short-term wins
Planning and implementation of strategic plan of Melbourne University followed certain guidelines. These guidelines were desired to lead to the expected value of strategic plans. To begin with, a strategy document for implementation was developed. This document indicated responsibility of key parties who were to be involved in the implementation process.
Moreover, action plan was also put in place as a guideline to oversee the implementation process. In this plan, it was necessary to outline expected results, roles of parties involved, schedules showing time frame of activities and the resource required for each specific activity.
Furthermore, implementation guideline of Melbourne Model 2.0 strategic plan was tailored to prioritize changes that may be introduced rapidly and easily as it progresses to more complex changes. This was desired to help implementation process by avoiding resistance in its initial stages in order to give it good momentum in the initial phase (Landskroner, 2002).
Planning for and creating short-term wins
In the strategic implementation process, there is nothing fulfilling than having success results. Therefore, Kotter came up with another step that was intended to provide early success in the implementation process of a strategy. However, the short term wins varies from one organization to another and from one environment the next. For instance, in some smaller organization, a short time wins may be after a month while in some may be after some years (Nagar, 2006). In relation to Melbourne Model 2.0 strategic plans, a short term wins my come after several academic calendars in order to determine the success of the strategy. Therefore, the success was supposed to be in form of increased numbers in enrolment which must translate to increased revenue for the university.
However, in assessing the short term wins in the context of Melbourne Model 2.0, it was necessary to consider those areas that were implemented without strong criticism. Nonetheless, to make sure that short term wins were achieved, the university was supposed to avoid expensive targets at the early stages of implementation of the plans. In addition, it was relatively important to determine pros and cons of every target. Also, to facilitate this short term wins, university was also supposed to reward people who help to meet these early targets. By doing so, the short term wins will result to consolidation of improvements which will lead to more positive change in terms of implementation of these strategies.
Besides, consolidation of improvements leads to the success in the implementation process of these strategies since quick wins is usually the onset of what needs to be done in order to achieve the long term goals of these strategic plans of the model. Therefore, to ensure that this continued improvement is maintained, there is need to analyze every win gained to identify those that needs to be improved further. Therefore, the implementation team of Melbourne Model 2.0 strategic plan needs to be setting goals on from the winning momentum to ensure that the pace of implementation and success is maintained. Moreover, this team should continue learning new ideas that relate to continued improvement to facilitate injection of new ideas in the implementation process (Kotter, 1995). This is necessary to keep implementation process fresh with new proactive and reactive ideas. Injection of the new ideas in the implementation process will ensure that there is institutionalization of new approaches that guarantees success of the model.
To wind up, it is evident from the paper that implementation process of any strategic plans needs sustained and persistent approach that is both proactive and reactive to challenges encountered. The implementation strategy therefore needs to be robust in order to effectively implement strategic plans. For that matter, it is necessary to form coalition teams that are composed of people who are inspirational leaders in order to inspire other stakeholders in contributing towards the common goal of strategic implementation.
Moreover, there is need to prioritize short term wins in the implementation process. This short term wins acts as building blocks for continued improvement of the strategic plans. However, long term wins re also determined by the short terms wins. These wins are relatively important since they help the organization to be able to determine whether strategic plans adopted are best suited to the organizational environment. The wins also helps the organization is assessing its performance in respect to the new strategies.
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