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There has been a tremendous boost in the technology and management practices across the globe which has resulted in development of leadership related skills. There have been many changes which are initiated in different organizations to maintain their profitability and sustainability in the cutthroat intensive competition in the markets of the world. This involves imbibing changes in different sections and strategies adopted by the companies which include developing its culture, communication and technology within the organization, restructuring of the personnel and developing innovative ideas for meeting the increasing customer demands (Aguirre & Alpern, 2014).
There are many such change initiatives and innovations brought about in the Barnes and Noble Inc. Company, which is the biggest retail bookselling company in U.S. On the basis of the revenue that it generates, it is included in the Fortune 500 Company list. The Company has about 650 stores across the 50 states in U.S. It has also seen the deteriorating market of the retail book industry since the launch of the E-commerce and online libraries which are used by large number of readers all over the world. There has been a constant increase in the losses that are suffered by the company in the industry since 2011 due to the inception of online reading material and increasing awareness among the readers regarding them (Trachtenberg, 2014). Hence, there are many changes that the Barnes and Noble Company have to make to sustain itself in the book industry and stabilize the fluctuation seen in its sales. This involves identifying the changes required, evaluating their level of impact, developing means or solutions for the problems identified and then implementing it.
Identifying the change
A critical Analysis of the market is required for identifying the section to be changed. This which would help the Company to identify the needs of the customer and have a better understanding of the customer demands. The change which is required has been identified through evaluating the working of the company across different states and the customer response it gets from them along with the profitability earned from different products in the stores of the company (Best, Zeigler, Cornwell, & Whitle, 2010). There are different products which are offered by the Barnes and Noble Company and it includes music, cafes, books, digital media, toys, educational products and games for children. The identification of the change has been done on the basis of statistical evaluation of the economic growth of the company during the different quarters in the last 8 years.
The need for change
There is a major concern regarding the profitability of the company in the stores established in U.S. there has been a continuous fall in the physical selling of books. This is due to the development of different online alternatives which are easily available and are less costly then physically purchasing the books. This has resulted in huge losses to the overall business of the company since 2011 and this has been increasing at an alarming rate. There are mainly 3 problems which are faced by Barnes and Noble Company and these problems serve to be the need for inculcating changes in the company.
The change model
The change model that has to be adopted refers to the restructuring, development of strategies and innovative plans for initiating change in the organization. There are different types of change models developed by the management scholars and experts. Three main types of change models which are widely adopted in inculcating change in an organization are:
 McKinsey’s 7-S Model
 Lewin’s Change Management Model
 Kotter’s 8 Step Change Model (Normandin, 2012)
The model represent different variables which are responsible for empowering change in organizations. For Barnes and Noble, McKinsey’s 7-s model would be most appropriate as it provides a holistic and complete evaluation and view of the changes which are to be incorporated in the company. The further details of this change model which his to be adopted for Barnes and Noble are developed in the section below.
McKinsey’s 7-s model to implement change:
The 7-s McKinsey model has been developed by Tom Peters, Robert Waterman, Anthony Athos and Richard Pascale in one of their meeting in 1978. It provides the 7 variables or factors which are responsible for incorporating change in the organization and ensuring that the implementation of change is successful to the company. These 7 variables are (THE ORGANIZATIONAL STRATEGIST, 2011):
It includes the flow of communication in an organization and involves the layout followed by the personnel in the organization. Barnes and Noble Company, has restructured its shops and retails stores through introducing new toys and educational products to attract children in U.S. and gain profitability through them. Shared Values:
Style element of change model refers to the attitude and behavior of the members in an organization while implementing changes in it.
Skills is an element which consists of possessing the knowledge and abilities to perform in an organization.
Staff plays a significant role in inculcating change and adopting it on an altogether collective level.
The term system refers to the various practices being carried in an organization. It provides a general layout, format and structure to the managers to become successful leaders.
Strategy refers to the usage of resources and the revenues generated from them. It involves development of plans for the Barnes and Noble Company that would help them to sustain in the market.
Shared Values:
Shared Values refer to the set of principles, rituals, attitude, behaviors and attributes which are adopted in an organization and provides an idea regarding the accomplishment of its Mission and Vision (THE ORGANIZATIONAL STRATEGIST, 2011).
Role of the leader in change initiative.
Leader plays the most important role in developing and implementing change initiatives successfully in any company. Barnes and Noble Company has been struggling hard to find an appropriate candidate which would help in leading the change initiatives through the retails stores through creative ideas. Leader has to be a constant source of inspiration and motivation as it would help the organization to interact with various people across the globe. An effective and successful leader has to keep the employees and managers under continuous supervision and he has to track their efforts for increasing their efficiency of doing work.
Process of change
Along with all these processes, I think that the company requires a close surveillance and supervision on the efforts carried by the managers and employees. The process of change involves considering following principles of Leadership:
 Leading with the culture for implementing the changes.
 Starting the change initiative at the top beginning from the senior most management.
 Involving each and every level or department through their equal participation.
 Developing a correct blend of rational as well as emotional bonding in the organization
 Developing innovative techniques, plans and strategies for inculcating the change.
 Continuously keeping the team engaged through effective leadership and providing constant aid to all the members of the organization.
 Developing exceptional leadership qualities.
 Regular and constant assessment of the efforts required in the execution of the plan and adopting appropriate modifications in the change initiatives which have been used (Aguirre & Alpern, 2014).
Overcoming barriers to change:
There are many barriers which are protruded in the implementation of changes. These barriers include the shifting loyalty of the customers from purchasing books at the retail stores to online reading libraries and E-Commerce content. The inclusion and large scale expansion of various selling and trading websites like Amazon has made the purchasing of books very easy and that too, at an affordable and lower costs than that which is offered in the retails stores. The leadership issues existing in the company are also a matter of great concern for which we have developed solutions in the above sections.
Conclusion: Sustaining change
Change initiatives and change model which have been adopted by the Barnes and Noble Company would help them to sustain themselves in the book industry across the globe. The main element of sustenance is to continuously keep adopting and modifying the structure and policies for fulfilling the needs and demands of the people. Sustaining change can be obtained effective evaluation of the strategies adopted and implementing them at right place, on right time and in right manner. Thus, it can be stated that while developing any change there are few special steps to be taken to ensure that successful leadership skills and qualities are inculcated among the managers and this should help in proper implementation of the proposed changes.
Aguirre, D., & Alpern, M. (2014, June 6). 10 Principles of Leading Change Management. Organizations and People(75), 1-17.
Best, S., Zeigler, J., Cornwell, J., & Whitle, J. (2010, November 17). A Case Analysis of Barnes and Noble. Barnes and Noble Case Analysis, 1-29.
Normandin, B. (2012, August 28). Three Types of Change Management Models. The Fast Track, 1-5.
THE ORGANIZATIONAL STRATEGIST. (2011, April 24). McKinsey 7S Model: A strategic assessment and alignment model. The Organizational Strategist, 1-6.
Trachtenberg, J. A. (2014, April 17). What’s Barnes & Noble’s Survival. The Wall Street Journal, 1-5.