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Sector: Oil and Gas
After the 2004 oil crisis, Shell’s share price decreased and it was evident that change was needed. Jeroen Van Der Veer, the new Chairman of the company identified that structural improvements in particular were necessary, thus Change Management was introduced. The Change Management program was vast in scale as it involved the entire company, hence tremendous preparation was significant. A change team was created, consisting of external Change Experts, Senior Managers, and Implementation Advisors, who were essential in motivating the rest of the workforce. Shell’s Change Management system was hugely successful as it essentially saved the company.
Santander used Change Management effectively in 2008 when they wished to become a bigger contender in the UK banking sector. To achieve their goal, they bought some financial organisations that had been long-established in the UK and planned to integrate them into the Santander brand. This was a substantial task and involved many risks, but their extensive preparation and understanding of what needed to change worked very much in their favour. Santander had to rid of the traditional principles from within the institutions they had bought, and communicate that new approaches needed to be adopted in order to progress in the banking world. The old would no longer suffice as the banking industry was expanding. Santander certainly prepared effectively as everyone knew what to expect and what they were accountable for, thus change was received with very little resistance.
In 1892, the globally renowned clothing company Abercrombie & Fitch was founded. 100 years later, Michael Jeffries (the CEO) led a Change Management reorganisaton to stimulate brand development. The sales associates received a ‘Look Book’ that was created by Jefferies, which stated women could not wear bright nail varnish, makeup, or most jewellery. Tattoos were also forbidden and their hair needed to be natural and long. Similar measures were created for men, as all types of facial hair were prohibited. Recruitment was based on finding employees who looked good enough to represent Abercrombie & Fitch. Managers even visited college campus’ to select students with the right image, and their photographs were sent to head office for discussion. They targeted sports teams, sororities, and fraternities, where the ‘cool kids’ stereotypically were located. Whilst Jeffries’ ideas encountered much criticism, elements of Change Management are visible as such ‘looks’ were achieved widespread, and still exist today in Abercrombie & Fitch and sister stores like Hollister.