Posted: May 25th, 2022

Leadership Change Gene Case Study

Gene One Case Study

Gene One — Leadership Change

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Gene One is a biotechnology company that has increased its revenues over the past eight years from two to $400 million per year. The company attributes its success to gene technologies which help farmers to produce vegetables without using chemicals. The board of Gene One decided to go public in order to gain more capital and to remain competitive and assure continued success. Recently, the founder, Don Ruiz passed away, leaving his siblings and other members of the board of to carry on with the plan. The timeframe established for the board was three years, with the goal of achieving conservative annual growth targets of 40%. The goals and visions of the new strategy.

In order to achieve these aggressive goals, the company must restructure of the team members and add new members in accordance with the overall plan. The siblings are interested in keeping peace within the company and with the wishes of the company. The leadership position will be filled from within from among eligible candidates already on staff. Charles Jones was selected to fill the key leadership role because of his reputation for smart risk taking and for his connections within the biotechnology industry. Charles of demonstrated that even though he did not invest in the company, his professional pride is what motivates him to work hard towards achieving the goals of the company.

Another strategic leadership change was needed due to the resignation of Angela Thomas, VP. It is felt that this loss could have been prevented had the leadership style of Don been less intimidating. Her replacement was achieved through internal recruitment. Bill Chang was the chosen candidate. One more team member is still of concern. Teri Robertson needs to be motivated to remain with the team and not leave.

In addition to these requirements, Don’s family places the following restrictions on the new leadership structure. The team that is formed must be able to the following and according to the guidelines and the following timeframes. In order to go public a team is needed to guide the company through the transition. Good communication practices will be paramount to the success of the transition. Lucas Antonio was selected to head this team and will report to the board director. This team leader will be charged with creating an IPO training program to help employees better understand the company’s new direction.

Greg Thoman will remain head of human resources. He will serve as the negotiator between the management and the staff. He will be in charge of communicating decisions made by the board to the employees. He will also be in charge of listening and answering questions or concerns that may arise with the employees. This position will be of utmost importance in the change, as communication is expected to play a key role in the success of the change.

It was decided that Michelle Houghton would remain Chief Financial Officer. Teri Robertson, should she decide to remain, will retain her position as Chief Technology Officer. The person in this position will be responsible for making certain that the company has adequate technology to achieve their end vision. Board member John Kirby and Susan Wells will also remain at their current positions.

Throughout the transition, the managers and leaders of each of the department will be trained in communication skills and leadership styles necessary for achieving a successful transition. Of the following analysis will examine current leadership and their characteristics that will present opportunities and challenges for them to achieve success in the new transition.

Michelle Houghton, CFO

As stated previously, Michelle Houghton will remain in her position as CFO. She demonstrates a participant leadership style, and has a strong sense of ownership and emotional attachment to the company. These positive attributes will set a good example of for other employees. Leadership often determines the attitude that is taken by the other employees in the transition. It will help to have leadership that is positive and retains a supportive attitude towards the transition.

Ms. Houghton has a strong sense of logic and the strategic vision. She is cautious and is a strong problem-solver. Her strategic vision and logic have caused her to raise several concerns about the IPO. The first is about the timing of the IPO registration. The second concern is that the financial statements will be released to the public too soon without being finalized and approved. She has legitimate concerns that investors in the biotech industry will be cautious because of the human genome sequencing scandal. These key strengths will be at tributes that will help in the change. Her concerns over the communication with the public are a problem that will have to be resolved in order to make certain that the image of the IPO is a positive one.

Charles Jones was chosen as the marketing officer. He also demonstrates a participative leadership style and is known for calculated risk taking. He is self-confident and has high of morals. He has many connections in the biotech industry, which could be of benefit to the company. One of his key strengths is that he thinks in big pictures. This allows him to focus on the visions and goals. However, he also has a key weakness that in that he is unable to focus on details. Big visions will never happen if the small details along the way do not happen. As the head of a team, Mr. Jones will do well because he will be able to focus on the main vision and goals of the team. He will do well as a manager, as long as he has a competent and reliable team to back him up with execution of the fine details. His risk taking profile is compatible with that of Michelle Houghton.

Greg Thomas, will remain at the head of the HR department. This will be a crucial position, as he will be responsible for making certain that the concerns of employees and policies of what down by management are communicated Greg has a personality that is perfect for the job. He is a people-oriented person. This will allow him to gain the trust of other employees, making him seem to be a trustworthy companion. This will be important in establishing an open communication between the employees of and management. This is one of the most important attributes that a human resources person can have, especially in this time of change.

One of his key weaknesses is that he is more concentrated on system problems than on developing future strategies. He often checks the effects of any decision on the organizational culture before taking any action. This will help him to establish good communication between management and the employees. However, in this circumstance he must understand that in this case the needs of the company must remain at the top of the priority list. The intent of this change is to develop a new corporate strategy, which means that the changes will need to be embraced from the top down. His dynamic and productive attitude will help him to overcome many of the challenges that he will face.

Conclusions and Recommendations

The human resource department plays one of the most important roles in change management. They serve as conduit to help managers achieve the organizational changes that they desire. Both Michelle Houghton and Charles Jones have the proper strategic vision to execute their positions with efficiency and in a way that is best for the company. However, it is Greg Thomas who will play the most important role in achieving a successful change. It is important to have a team of strategists who can achieve the internal organizational changes that need to take place. However, in order for the company to embrace the new changes, a strong effort from Human Resources is essential. The leader’s mood plays an important role in the success of the organizational change (Warrlow, 2009).

The degree of change-orientation in the leadership team will have an impact on the success of the ability to make the changes necessary for the IPO. The leadership team dictates the team climate, which in turn will have an effect on getting employees to support the new changes. The effective change leaders will support employees in the new business model (Gil, Rico, & Alcover, 2005).

Leadership style and organizational culture can have dramatic effects on a firm’s innovative processes. An employee oriented leadership style was found to be the most effective leadership style for accomplishing positive organizational changes (Duygulu & Ozeren, 2009). With this concept in mind, it appears that the participative leadership styles demonstrated by key players in the organization offer the greatest chances for success in the IPO process at Gene One. One of the key weak points of the managerial team is that several members of the team are detail oriented instead of focused on the big picture. This is where the leadership of Charles Jones will be of greatest benefit. He will be able to keep the team focused, yet still allow his team to make the changes that need to be made in order to succeed. This managerial team has excellent balance to make the transition a success.


Duygulu, E. & Ozeren, E. (2009). The effects of leadership styles and organizational culture on firm’s innovativeness. African Journal of Business Management. 3: 475-485. Retrieved April 3, 2011 from

Gil, F., Rico, R., & Alcover, C. et al. (2005). Change-oriented leadership, satisfaction and performance in work groups. Journal of Managerial Psychology. 20 (3/4): 312-328. Retrieved April 3, 2011 from

Warrlow, S. (2009). Leadership Styles in Change Management — The Leader’s Mood Drives a Staggering 30% of Performance. October 28, 2009. Retrieved April 3, 2011 from

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