Pearson Publishing is an international publishing company founded in 1991 by Samuel Pearson and whose headquarters are located in London. Pearson Publishing is considered the largest publishing company in the world with over 1000 educational titles in print and digital formats. Due to their prowess in the publishing industry, Pearson has worked with international organizations like the United Nations, Microsoft, and the European Union.
In 2012, there was a major change in Pearson publishers through the appointment of a new leadership team. John Fallon took over as CEO of Pearson publishing from Marjorie Scardino. Instead of trying to fit in with the organization’s operations in his early days, John Fallon and the new leadership team announced a completely new organizational plan. The plan was known as the “Global Education Strategy” in a bid to keep up with the emerging digital technology and to improve the lives of people in the education sector (Wang, 2015). In light of the new changes, Pearson publishers were faced with two major challenges, including employee resentment and customer dissatisfaction. In fact, parents, teachers, and students also saw Pearson under Fallon in a new dimension. Indeed, they felt that the institution wanted to control every element in the system from teacher’s qualifications as well as the grading of tests by expanding and developing its own learning institutions.
To address employee resentment, Fallon, as the leader could have employed a couple of principles. First, to initiate change, it is clear that the initial direction the organization was following did not appease Fallon and his new team. Therefore, to deal with the impending challenges, it was important for Fallon to share his vision with employees and customers as well. People are generally likely to embrace change when they understand the reasons behind it. Employees depend on the top-level management for direction. It would be advisable to start the transition when the top-level management is on board with the new changes. From there, the employees will follow suit without much questioning since they look up to senior management for direction. The change affects some people more than the others; hence, it becomes difficult for others to process the transition. Finally, employee mostly resent change because they feel insecure with the new demand and re-arrangements, which comes with the new set up. Therefore, providing training for new tasks and supporting the employees will help in easing the resistance (Westover, 2010).
In fact, to help in dealing with customer dissatisfaction, several solutions could also be put in play. Involving the customers to get a better understanding of their ideas like what improvements they would like to see in their services would be a good start. Second, customers also need to get a general view of why the changes were necessary and how they would be a better fit for them (Wang, 2015). A good leader should also ensure that there is a channel for the customers to air their complaints. In fact, for a big organization like Pearson publishing, a section on their official website where the customers can contact the organization would be a good idea because it would be accessed globally. Adequate communication of new product and service improvements would also go a long way in assuring customers that they are the first priority for the organization.
As is evident from the above discussion, the idea of change is frightening to most people, whether it is realistic or not. This fear often leads to disruptions and panics when change is imminent or announced. When the associated leaders do not plan or anticipate for reactions, these disruptions may be more extensive than necessary. Agents of change accompanied by good leadership have the ability to prepare organizations for change. With good leadership skills, these disruptions and panics can become an asset by providing an opportunity for the progression of any organization.