Northland Ledger Case Study Examples
The case is the description of almost close situation of Northlands Ledger newspaper, the main reason being the self-centered focus of the publisher and editor when they should actually be concerned about what the consumers of the newspapers, comprising of the advertisers and readers, want. The topmost management at the Paulus chain, the owner of the paper has made a decision of forcibly making the previous publisher retire and introduced a newer publisher, Potter, taking him in from another newspaper, which performed quite well in his affiliation. But, working in the new newspaper is not the same as the old. Potter needs to find a way out in handling the current crisis.
The main attraction of any Company towards its target base is the value proposition that it provides. In this case, the value propositions are outdated; the proposition to customers being 'we deliver the paper reliably and give you the latest national and international news' and that to the advertisers being 'we print your ads accurately and runs them on time'. Even the promised value proposition was not being well delivered. The decline phases of the key performance indicators i.e. the circulation, commercial advertisements, and classified ads explain much of the situation. Though the customer base is growing, the newspaper is not being able to cater to the needs of the growing community. The root causes of these symptoms may be summarized as the following three major problems:
The leadership of Allison has left some unfavorable practices and a gap between employees and the manager.
The traditional ways of working and resistance to change, be it in processes or in the strategy.
Human Resource issues such as the existence of employees, especially senior ones, who have no contribution to the organization and increase costs.
The existing set of problems laying the organization leaves Potter with only limited options as to how he can handle the situation. The possible solutions could be:
Cope the Star strategy in this organization as well
Design new objectives and changes in the organization
Evaluation of Alternatives:
Alternative 1: Copy the Star strategy in the organization:
Given the success of Star strategy in his tenure, Potter may decide to use the same plan of action in this organization as well. The pros of this step would be that the Company would be working under a proved formula of success. However, the cons may outweigh the opportunities. The first is that there will be no point of differentiation and customers would not pay to buy something that they already have. The second is that every organization is unique in terms of its functions and possibilities and applying the formula of some other organizations limits its ability to grow as a separate entity.
Alternative 2: Design new objectives and changes in the organization
The way Allison worked his way through the Company is not the way in which Potter would visualize his organization to run. So, now that the leadership is in his hands, he might as well identify the strengths and weaknesses of the institution and bring about the required changes. These changes will help him establish as a great leader and hone his abilities of change management. He has the opportunity to set clear objectives and new, relevant strategies for the paper that is responsive to both the readers and the advertisers. He could bring about changes in the human resources, for instance, by terminating the existing senior managers and other employees who were not contributing to the paper. The implementation is the main part where Potter may work: changing the structure, the corporate culture, decision systems, enhanced system of incentives and Human resource evaluation. While Allison was using only autocratic form of leadership, Potter could modify the situation using a mixture of authoritative and participative leadership to bring about better change management, in favor of all.
Alternative 3: Resign
The third alternative that Potter has is to resign and let go himself from the hassles in the Company. This is the least recommended solution, both for his career and for the sake of the Company.
Best Alternative Solution:
The best alternative solution identified through a thorough analysis would be alternative two i.e. Design new objectives and changes in the organization.
The reasons for the favorability of this situation have been explained in the alternative evaluation. The reasons why I think Potter will be better able to manage change is because he possesses certain characteristics that make him a better change manager as compared to the situation if the changes were made in the presence of Allison.
Potter is a leader who exhibits a considerably good degree when it comes to emotional intelligence. He can use two or more leadership styles at the same time depending on the nature and need of the situation. He has a good influential power on the employees. He is an observer of details, so he knows that he will be able to trace the elements required for change management at the moment. The demonstration of ways to lead an organization has been given by Potter at his previous workplace. He is an ethical person who understands the uniqueness of each organization and the universality of management processes, integrated into one.
Thus, replacing Allison by Potter was a wise decision made by the Company. The otherwise decision that can be made by Potter is now is the introduction of changes in the organization involving the structure, culture and processes and also manage the changes that he introduces accordingly.