Change Management Articles

5 Guidelines For Setting M&A Priorities

Ordinarily managers and executives find it extremely difficult, particularly during the early stages of the merger transition period, to (1) establish priorities correctly and (2) stay focused on them.

You’re particularly vulnerable to this problem if you start out with a poorly conceived or misdirected integration strategy. Rest assured, there will be more than enough “impromptu management” and improvising called for even when your integration plans are carefully made.

Another...

High-Quality Communication Rarely Ever Occurs By Accident

“Faster-better-cheaper” uses information exchange as its motor. It requires tight coordination. Effective linkages. A free flow of ideas. Information hoarding is a cardinal sin and openness a key virtue.

That’s because communication problems never remain just communication problems. They weaken everything else. If you let communications get balled up, performance goes down. If people fall into the habit of hiding problems, sitting on good ideas, or withholding information, you soon...

Don't Leave Management To Operate In The Dark

Managing during the first year of the merger isn’t going to be the same old drill, so the same old behaviors just don’t offer a lot of promise. Executives, middle managers, and first line supervisors desperately need expert coaching on merger dynamics and how to handle transition and change.

This is no place for OJT (on the job training) or a learn-as-you-go approach. There’s simply too much at stake. There are too many opportunities to foul up, and too much money goes down the tube...

Focus, Focus, Focus

Once upon a time there was a failed British politician. His father had been laughed out of politics. He himself had been influential in taking Britain into the First World War, a horrific disaster. During that war, he sent a large force to Gallipoli in Turkey. The troops were massacred as soon as they arrived. He went on to become the worst Finance Minister in living memory. He changed parties twice, ending up distrusted and disliked by most of his colleagues. On top of all this, he was an...

Trust In The Power Of Future Pull

You can grow at a faster clip if you’ll put the future to work for you. Tomorrow is your ally.

The key is to let the future know specifically what you want from it. Start by coming up with a clear mental picture of your goal. Keep it alive in your mind. Visit it often in your imagination. The future will start organizing events to help bring about this thing you want.

Most people don’t appreciate how this technique can accelerate a person’s growth and accomplishments. Maybe it...

Control The Life-Shaping Power Of Your Thoughts and Attitudes

THE SCIENTIFIC ARGUMENT FOR OPTIMISM

There’s a hot new field of research in the behavioral sciences. It’s called positive psychology, and it’s proving that attitude profoundly affects performance. Study after study spells out the benefits: Optimists get paid more, are healthier, win more elections, live longer, plus are better at dealing with uncertainty and change.

A lot of people have pretty much felt this at a gut level. What’s new is the confirming evidence from...

One Traveling Companion Of Change

Change...

Sometimes you can see it coming. Other times you just get a feeling inside, the vague sense that something big, something different is coming down. But now and then it takes you totally by surprise. Regardless of how it approaches, though, change usually comes with a traveling companion:

Uncertainty.

This uncertainty often blankets us well before the actual changes arrive. Like a descending fog that marks a shift in weather, uncertainty...

Three Major Forces

We could identify a wide range of factors that are reshaping our world and the way we live. But let’s focus on three major forces.

1. People

Here's the most obvious reason why we’ll see an even faster rate of change in the years to come: Mother Earth is producing a lot more people. And people cause change. Like, they make stuff. They come up with new ideas. They compete for...

Rev Up The Organization's Operating Velocity

Old time supervision tends to slow things down. By comparison, management now should focus on acceleration of the enterprise. Your efforst should be shifting away from traditional governance and toward gunning it. The idea is to put as much kick as you personally can into the way the organization operates.

These days success depends on speed. Quick is what files the edge on your outfit’s ability to compete. So you must become an accelerator, looking for every opportunity to increase...

Speed Does Not Come For Free

In the scientific terminology of physics, energy is specifically defined as “the capacity for doing work.”

By now, most of us have heard the message at work. We know the push is on to pick up the cadence. To adapt quicker to change. To produce ever-better results, and do so at a faster clip. But speed doesn’t come for free. In fact, going faster gets expensive in a hurry when we consider the fuel consumption—the energy—it involves.

We’ve all had the everyday experiences of...

A Slow-Paced M&A Integration Is A High-Risk Strategy

The most common complaint employees have in the typical merger sounds like this:

“Nothing’s happening . . .
Why don’t they get on with it? . . .
They’re moving too slowly.”

Instinctively, the employees seem to know what’s best. Certainly they know what they want, and that is for top panagement to get the merger over and done with instead of letting it drag on and on. Employees need answers. They want closure. What they can’t stand is “not knowing,” and having to...

Think of Resistance To Change As Sort Of Like Body Temperature

You can expect a certain amount of resistance, at least from some people. Human nature is predictable enough for us to expect that certain employees will not readily embrace the changes.

The main key to managing resistance effectively is to actually invite it. Get it out into the open. Then, at least, you are in a position to analyze it and work toward overcoming it.

Sometimes you can reduce the resistance by giving subordinates a good understanding of the rationale for the...