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Course Pearson BTEC Level 5 Higher National Diploma

Unit No. and Name Unit 17: Understanding and Leading Change

Unit code 17: A/508/0529

Unit Type Core

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Assessor’s Name Choose an item.

Pass Merit Distinction Grades Awarded

LO1 Compare ways in which change impacts on an
organization’s strategy and operations.

LO1 & LO2

D1 Draw conclusions

and recommendations

with valid

justifications for

planning effectively

for change and

applying change

impact analysis.

P1 Compare different
organizational examples
where there has been an
impact of change on an
organization’s strategy and

M1 Assess the different
drivers for change in each of
the given examples and the
types of organizational
change they have affected

LO2 Evaluate the influences that drivers of change have on
organization behavior.

P2 Evaluate the ways in
which internal and external
drivers of change affect
leadership, team and
individual behaviors within
an organization.

P3 Evaluate measures that
can be taken to minimize
negative impacts of change
on organizational behavior.

M2 Apply appropriate
theories and models to
critically evaluate
organizational response to

LO3 Determine how barriers to change influence
leadership decision-making.

D2 Critically evaluate
the use of force field

analysis in the context
of meeting

P4 Explain different
barriers for change and
determine how they
influence leadership
decision-making in a given
organizational context.

M3 Use force field analysis
to analyses the driving and
resisting forces and show
how they influence


LO4 Apply a range of leadership approaches to a change

D3 Critically evaluate
the effectiveness of
leadership approaches
and models of change

P5 Apply different
leadership approaches to
dealing with change in a
range of organizational

M4 Evaluate the extent to
which leadership
approaches can deliver
organizational change
effectively applying
appropriate models and


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Over All Grade Distinction Date 20-Nov-17

[To Achieve a PASS, all P grade descriptors should be achieved; To achieve a MERIT, all P and M grade descriptors should
be achieved; To achieve a DISTINCTION, all P, M and D grade descriptors should be achieved.]

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Assignment Task

Assignment Title Understanding and Leading Change

LO 01 Compare ways in which change impacts on an organization’s strategy and operations.

LO 02 Evaluate the influences that drivers of change have on organization behavior.

LO 03 Determine how barriers to change influence leadership decision-making.

LO 04 Apply a range of leadership approaches to a change initiative.

Scenario – Case Study on General Electric (GE)

by Jeffrey R. Immelt

(Article adapted from Harvard Business Review)

A CEO has different tasks in different cycles. Some CEOs are founders and builders. Others have

the luxury of managing momentum through a stable economy or a period when business models

aren’t being disrupted. My task was different: remaking a historic and iconic company during an

extremely volatile time.

I led a team of 300,000 people for 6,000 days. I led through recessions, bubbles, and geopolitical

risk. I saw at least three “black swan” events. New competitors emerged, business models changed,

and we ushered in an entirely new way to invest. But we didn’t just persevere; we transformed the

company. GE is well positioned to win in the future.

The changes that took in the world from 2001, when I assumed the company’s leadership, to 2017

are too numerous to mention. The task of the CEO has never been as difficult as it is today. In that

vein, my story is one of progress versus perfection. The outcomes of my decisions will play out

over decades, but we never feared taking big steps to create long-term value.

For the past 16 years GE has been undergoing the most consequential makeover in its history. We

were a classic conglomerate. Now people are calling us a 125-year-old start-up—we’re a digital

industrial company that’s defining the future of the internet of things. Change is in our DNA: We

compete in today’s world to solve tomorrow’s challenges. We have endured because we have the

determination to shape our own future. Although we’re still on the journey, we’ve made great

strides in revamping our strategy, portfolio, global footprint, workforce, and culture. I want to share

what I’ve learned more broadly about how to lead a giant organization through massive changes.

There are several lessons.

First, you must be disciplined and focused. You need a point of view. Your initiatives should be

interconnected—and it’s the leader’s job to connect the dots for everyone in the organization. All



the major initiatives we implemented during my tenure as CEO were aimed at making GE one of

the 21st century’s most valuable technology-driven industrial companies—one that can grow; one

that can generate greater productivity for ourselves and our customers.

The second lesson concerns the journey a leader must embark on before undertaking a

transformation. You have to go through a period of rewiring your brain—getting yourself to the

point of profoundly believing that the world is changing and that the survival of your company

depends on either anticipating the change or being in the vanguard of those reacting to it.

Third, you have to get people in your organization to see the need for change as existential.

Fourth, you have to be all in—you must make a bold, sustained commitment to the transformation.

Fifth, you must be resilient. I subscribe to the words of the great philosopher Mike Tyson, who

said, “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” It is so difficult to predict events. It

is difficult to sustain transformation during tough times, but it’s the only way to create a better


Sixth, during the transformation you have to listen and act at the same time. You need to allow new

thoughts to constantly come in, and you need to be open to the reality that your organization will

have to pivot when it learns something new, while still having the courage to push people forward.

Finally, you must embrace new kinds of talent, a new culture, and new ways of doing things. We

have hired tens of thousands of people—managers at all levels; software developers and engineers;

data scientists; and folks in sales, marketing, HR, and other functions—many of them outside the

United States. In 2001, 43% of our workforce was outside the United States; today 65% is.

Before delving into each lesson, I’ll describe the transformations we’ve undertaken.

The Transformations

During my time at the helm, we did five things that were transformative. We radically changed our

portfolio by focusing on our core industrial businesses and divesting slower-growth, low-tech, and

nonindustrial businesses (except for the portion of GE Capital that supports our industrial

businesses). We reestablished GE as a technology company: I more than doubled our investment in

R&D. We became a truly global company, with a strong local presence in the 180 countries we

serve. We became a major force in the technologies that will drive productivity in this era: the

industrial internet and additive manufacturing. And we made GE a vastly simpler company in terms

of how it runs—it now has much less administration and shorter cycle times, is more decentralized,

and is more willing to let people deep in the organization who are close to their markets take risks

without having to undergo multiple reviews.

All these transformations dovetailed to a certain extent. They were intended to focus us on creating

value for customers by making our core businesses leaner, faster, more technical, and more global,

and putting them on the cutting edge of the digital age. They have positioned the company to be

more valuable over time.

Even before becoming CEO, I believed that the company couldn’t simultaneously be good at media,

pet insurance, and making jet engines. We had come out of an era when many at GE believed that a


good manager could manage anything. I didn’t buy that. I thought that companies—and business

leaders—were good at certain things.

When I became CEO, the world was changing. The 9/11 tragedy had a dramatic impact on several

of our businesses. The power and pension bubbles—big drivers of our earnings growth in the late

1990s—came to an abrupt end. And in the background, the Enron saga made transparency a priority

for every company.

Our portfolio was simply too broad and too opaque. One business had no idea what another

business did. No one in leadership really understood the GE Capital balance sheet. And many of our

industrial businesses had commoditized.

Another theme of our transformations was the desire to use our scale to drive growth and efficiency.

I have long felt that nothing is worse than a big company that can’t grow organically. I never

wanted GE to be a $100-billion-plus company that had flat lined on organic growth. We

conceptualized the GE Store, a global knowledge exchange. The idea is to build capabilities that can

be shared across our businesses: horizontal strengths that can be harnessed to create scale-based

innovation and dominant global distribution.

Connected to that were my beliefs that the days of 4% annual growth in the developed economies

were over and that the forces of economic nationalism would only gain strength. When GDP is

growing by 4% a year, no business is hard. When GDP is growing by 1% a year, no business is

easy, so you’ve got to be percolating new and different ideas. That meant figuring out how to

innovatively leverage technologies that would allow us and our customers to achieve leaps in

productivity. And it meant getting into faster-growth parts of the world at scale.

Finally, simplification was all about reallocating resources to fund more growth and identify and

solve customers’ problems better. When companies are slow, it is typically a sign that their costs are

in the wrong place. One of the reasons big companies fail is that they don’t think they can afford

something and aren’t willing to free up the resources to make bold moves. We are investing heavily

in making GE a digital industrial company.

Now I’ll turn to what I’ve learned about leading transformations.

Be Disciplined

The leader has to be disciplined about nesting initiatives within one another—showing how each

one fits with the rest—and staying away from new ideas that don’t fit. For example, we couldn’t do

digital industrial until we’d focused the portfolio, made the right investments in technology—which

led to a huge backlog of service agreements—and simplified the culture. When we talk about

becoming a digital industrial company and deepening our global presence, we mean making the

portfolio deeper, not broader.


Good leaders, good CEOs, are curious. They are absorbing information about potentially important

trends and developments all the time, but they don’t instantly react to them. They contemplate them.


They read about them. They listen to internal and external experts with a variety of perspectives.

They engage in what I call a “soak period” before they reach a conclusion about what the input

means for their company and how to act on it. A leader needs a long soak period mainly because of

the tremendous amount of personal fortitude required to drive lasting change in a big organization.

You must be profoundly convinced that the company must transform itself—that it’s a matter of life

or death—because when you start the play, you will immediately get pushback.

Make It Existential

Every time we drove a big change, I treated it as if it were life or death. If you can instill that

psychology in your management group, you can get transformation.

I taught twice a month in the executive development programs at our Crotonville campus, in

Ossining, New York, where I could reach people three or four levels down in the organization.

When there, I might say, “Guys, if we don’t become the best technology company in the world,

we’re doomed, we’re dead.” And when I talked about digital industrial, I’d say, “There’s no Plan B.

There’s no other way to get there. Who’s coming with me? What’s in your way? What do we need

to be doing differently?”

Another crucial way I enlisted people in the cause was by forging personal relationships. One

weekend a month, a GE officer and his or her spouse would have dinner with my wife, Andrea, and

me at our home. The next morning, I’d spend four hours talking with him or her. I’d say, “Tell me

what’s important in your business. What do you think we should do at GE? What are you working

on? What else do you want to do?” Those weekends were a way to hear perspectives I might not get

otherwise. In addition, they gave me a chance, person by person, to build deep connections, which

are important in driving change.

Be All In

Half measures are death for big companies, because people can smell lack of commitment. When

you undertake a transformation, you should be prepared to go all the way to the end. You’ve got to

be all in. You’ve got to be willing to plop down money and people. You won’t get there if you’re a

wuss. Look at the billions of dollars we’ve invested in our digital capabilities and addit ive


Be Resilient

Transformation requires staying power. At GE, we had a pretty good track record of investing

through a crisis, particularly in technology and globalization. For example, we doubled our

investment in commercial engine technology from 2009 to 2012. Our competitors did not. That

explains why at this year’s Paris Air Show we booked $30 billion in orders and our competitors

booked about a couple billion.

I hate to say it, but transformation takes time. If change is easy, it is not sustainable. You need a

thick skin to see it through. In the capital markets, two ideas—unlocking value and creating value—

get thrown around almost as if they were interchangeable, but they are not. Unlocking value

frequently means strategic capitulation for short-term gain. Creating value is the result of long-term


investing—for example, when M&A activity to acquire technology or market access or position is

ultimately connected to a longer-term value proposition. It’s harder to appreciate such moves if

you’re using only a short-term lens.

I led GE during the financial crisis. Those were very lonely days. Despite our portfolio work, our

financial services businesses were still too big in 2008, when Lehman Brothers went down. It was

my fault. But we didn’t stop or point fingers. Most of the aviation engine technology that is

allowing us to gain share today is a result of investments we made during the financial crisis. We

fixed the problems. And a better company emerged.

Transformation takes grit. It requires risk taking. Many large companies change their CEOs every

three to five years; GE’s CEOs have tenures that are a multiple of that. This is because driving

change at scale is an imperfect science. It takes time and resiliency.

Be Willing to Pivot

One of the hardest challenges in driving change is allowing new information to come in constantly

and giving yourself the chance to adapt while still having the courage to act and push people

forward. There’s a tension: Even as you’re making a major commitment of resources, you’ve got to

be open to pivoting on the basis of what you learn, because you’re unlikely to get the strategy

perfect out of the gate. Nothing we’ve done has ever turned out exactly as it began.

One of the things I’ve said during every transformation is, “We’re on a 40-step journey. Today

we’re on step 22. I don’t know exactly what step 32 looks like yet. But we’re going to explore that

together. And we will do whatever it takes to be successful. We’re going to win.”

There’s a broader leadership point. Even on my floor of GE headquarters, the people I worked with

wanted to go home every night with all the answers in their briefcases. I went home every night

knowing I had none of the answers yet and that it was OK to let things come to you.

Embrace New Kinds of Talent

A company our age simply couldn’t do the things we’re trying to do with our core population. We

needed a cadre of people who hadn’t grown up in the company. That required me to protect those

people until they were truly integrated and to be open to building a new culture, new ways of doing

things, and new thoughts.

The leader has to defend a new group for as long as it takes for the core culture to pivot so that

unification takes place. For example, a guy in GE Aviation once complained to me, “Predix doesn’t

have all the features I want right now.” Understanding that creating good software is an iterative

process, I reminded him that when GE Aviation designed the GEnx engine, which powers Boeing’s

747-8 jetliner and 787 Dreamliner, it designed the low-pressure turbine wrong the first time.

“You’ve got to be more supportive of your colleagues,” I admonished him.

You can’t have a transformation without revamping the culture and the established ways of doing

things. In our case, that has meant choosing speed over bureaucracy and killing the bureaucracy,


employing new ways to recruit talent, and retaining the best people by giving them an opportunity

to lead.

We have changed—and are continuing to change—our culture and operating rhythm enormously.

We’ve radically changed our values, which are integrated into everything we do, including our

language, to signal that we are in the middle of a reinvention. For example, one of our old Growth

Values was “external focus.” It underscored the importance of collaborating with customers and

other stakeholders, but it wasn’t dynamic. Contrast that with two new GE Beliefs, “Customers

determine our success” and “Deliver results in an uncertain world.” They are much more

aspirational, forward-focused, and action-oriented. The speed and entrepreneurial spirit you see in

the company today reflect the GE Beliefs.

This is still very much a process-driven company. But what’s changed since the 1990s is that in a

protectionist, slow-growth world, you can’t succeed just by excelling in a process like Six Sigma.

It’s banking big ideas that will get you there. Process is the means to methodically achieving great

ideas at scale; it’s important, but it’s not an end itself. Companies get into trouble when process—

not outcomes for customers—becomes the endgame.


My legacy at GE will be a complicated one. In our core businesses, earnings have tripled during my

tenure. Our $324 billion backlog is up more than $150 billion in the past decade. We have record-

high market share. Our financial performance has outpaced that of our peers over the past five

years. We have paid more in dividends during my tenure than during the previous 110 years of GE

history combined. Nonetheless, our P/E ratio has gone from 40:1 to 17:1 in the past decade, and the

stock price has underperformed. Thus it is with transformation.

It will take years for GE to fully reap the benefits of the transformations. But as I contemplate my

departure, I love where the company is positioned. I love what we’re targeting. The company in

2001 was certain that the future would look like the past. The company in 2017 is ready for any

future. I’m confident that I’m handing over a company that will flourish in the 21st century.

(Jeffrey R. Immelt will be the chairman of General Electric until the end of 2017. He served as its

CEO and chairman from September 2001 to August 2017).



Assignment Tasks

Use the provided GE case study, and choose another organisation of your choice which
has undergone major changes in the recent past. You will have to explore more about
changes done in GE, as well as the changes planned and done by your chosen company.

Part 1

The submission should be made in the form of a comparative report between GE and the
chosen organisation, and should include answers to the following questions given below:

1. Give a brief overview of major changes that have occurred in GE and your chosen
organisation. A PEST/SWOT analysis should be undertaken for each case to
identify and assess the drivers of change. Compare and analyse how these large
scale changes have impacted each of these organisation’s strategy and operations?

2. Evaluate how these internal and external drivers of change have affected
leadership, individuals and team behaviour within the businesses. Using the change
management theories and models, evaluate measures that were taken to minimise
negative impacts of change on the businesses. Critically evaluate thereafter how
the organisations responded to these changes.

3. Finally, your comparative report should draw out valid conclusions and
recommendations with justifications for planning the change effectively by doing a
good change impact analysis, wherein you clearly bring out what were the change
deliverables planned and how did these impact business strategy and operations.

Part 2

The submission should be made by using only the given case study on GE, while
answering the following questions given below:

4. Using the given GE case study, explain different barriers of change that came in the
way of company, and how did these barriers influence leadership‘s decision making
abilities. Apply Kurt Lewin’s force field analysis change model to determine
opposition and support for changes sought by GE, and critically evaluate how all
this helped GE to meet its organisational objectives.

5. Using change management and leadership theories and models (for example,
situational leadership, change initiation, Kotter’s 8-Step model, Lewin’s change
management model, etc.), give out the advantages and disadvantages of different
leadership approaches dealing with change. Thereafter apply different leadership
approaches required to deal with the specific changes sought by GE. Evaluate how
the change was accomplished through adopted leadership approaches and critically
evaluate how successful was it?


Please ensure that the specific requirements of the M and D grade descriptors are addressed for achieving
higher grades. Remember that each of the M and D grade descriptors requirements have to be addressed
within each of the corresponding P criteria(s) itself while answering any specific question(s) given below. DO
NOT try and answer the M and D grade descriptors separately as a separate task.


The submission on the LMS is in the form of an individual written report for Part 1 and answers to questions
asked in Part 2. These should be written in a concise, formal business style using single spacing and font size
10. You are required to make use of headings, paragraphs and subsections as appropriate, and all work must
be supported with research and referenced using the Harvard Referencing System. Please also provide a
bibliography using the Harvard Referencing System. The recommended word limit is 4,000–4,500 words,
although you will not be penalized for exceeding the total word limit.


Part 1: The submission should be made in the form of a comparative report between

GE and the chosen organisation, and should include answers to the following questions

given below:

1. Give a brief overview of major changes that have occurred in GE and your chosen

organisation. A PEST/SWOT analysis should be undertaken for each case to identify

and assess the drivers of change. Compare and analyse how these large scale changes

have impacted each of these organisation’s strategy and operations?

About General Electric:-






April 15.1892; 125 years ago


Thomas Edison, Charles A.
Coffin, Rlihu THomson and

Edwin J. Houston


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