Leadership Studies Essay Paper on Changing Customer Services at the Seattle Solid Waste Utility

Changing Customer Services at the Seattle Solid Waste Utility

            In order to have a successful customer involvement program, there is a need to identify the pertinent issues relevant to the situation. Bryson’s approaches to strategic issue identification are relevant for use in the implementation of positive change to the customer services department in the Utility. Among the approaches he mentions, the most applicable to this case is the alignment approach.

            This approach has been chosen because of its flexibility and its focus of identifying the elements that seem to be lacking across the organization (Bryson, 2011). This is applicable to this case because the issues that are stemming from customer support are due to such factors, as the lack of consideration of the staff and customers’ views in the strategy formulation process. An example is the Seattle Solid Waste Utility’s serious consideration of the incineration approach despite the widespread protest from customers. Identification of such gaps early on reduces chances of their repetition in future.

            The identification of conflict is also always the first step in its resolution. This approach focuses on identifying flaws in past strategies and working towards fixing them. This is essential in guiding the process of setting improved strategic goals and ensuring their success. The applicability of this in the case is that when setting new strategic goals, past omissions will be equally considered.

            The alignment approach works well when employed with other alternative approaches (Bryson, 2011). This is beneficial to the organization because it enables constant revision to deal with emerging requirements. This strategy is also favourable because it can guide the operational strategy for the whole organization, and not only in the customer services department. It is therefore the most appropriate approach to be taken by the Seattle Solid Waste Utility.


Bryson, J. M. (2011). Strategic Planning for Public and Nonprofit Organizations: A Guide to         Strengthening and Sustaining Organizational Achievement. John Wiley & Sons.