The change process is at all times evolving in Eterra, that makes it hard to explain exactly how it was and where we are going. Looking at the culture and the company how it was before we are talking about how it was a year ago. Eterra had a very different leadership structure comparing them to more traditional consultant companies. The whole company was mainly driven by one man’s philosophy, who believed that a HR department and Marketing department was a big waist of resources. The company has much functioned by principle of chaos leadership.
In chaos leadership, the principle is that all your workers are loyal, but looking for individuality and freedom. They rely on self-direction and self-control. The company has been project oriented and the employees have only been asked to deliver their results. The rapid expansion within Eterra and because of acquisition of smaller companies the company goal has never been well presented or communicated throughout to the employees. It was mainly up to the department manager or team leader what routines and procedures they followed and if a project or something else was documented or not.
The theory has many similarities to the more classic team management form the leadership grid, where the employee has the responsibility to solve the task at hand given clear tasks and responsibilities. The difference is that in chaos the responsibilities does not have to be so clear the organization are always ready for the unexpected because much of the work is to make all employees ready for the unexpected, small phenomenon can have critical effect. It has been very much up to the employee to get the job done. Most leaders cannot tackle this and therefore not many companies have been successful, working that way.
This leadership model is good for constant change and the ability to meet the unforeseen, but is not predictable. The believe was that when a company was bought it had a unique quality and therefore should not be changed. Eterra is now a large company and has been working without any procedures or routines for the employees this limits the chance of getting synergies. The main wake up call for Eterra was when one of the larger customers asked about routines and procedures and how they where documented. That customer was very satisfied with the work, but to gain ISO certification they where looking at working habits with there suppliers.
Since Eterra could not show them any properly documented routines nor procedures it was then decided that, there was time to post a few documents on the intranet. With the recent arrival of the new CEO, there where already some changes planned, but this increased the pressure on the management to speed-up changes to meet the demand from that customer. We can say that the new CEO wants the company to go into a freeze stage changing to a more stable organization. Changing to a more traditional ways of leading the company in the future.
The budgets and results are now the driving force versus the previous growth driver. Everything is changing to rules and regulations. It looks like we are aiming for something between team management and Authority-Compliance (called goal driven leadership), more to authority-compliance. From a company with no universal rolls we are moving against bureaucracy. This is a long process, as it will involve the change of employee behavior. In this essay, we are not looking at the whole change but at focusing on the introduction of written routines and procedures recently introduced for everything.