Change Management Articles

Bring In A New Breed
Change Culture

Turnover has its virtues. Used correctly, it gives you a chance to reconstitute the workforce. The simplest, most straightforward solution to transforming the corporate culture is to switch out people. Nothing else has the potential to so quickly change the chemistry of the culture.

Take downsizing. Do it in a discerning manner, and you can reduce the size of the resistance forces. Second, you make room for replacements that have the characteristics needed to establish the new culture...

How Much Resistance To Change Is Normal?
Step 5: Manage Resistance

Push-back is predictable when a major organizational change program gets under way.

If you have a reliable frame of reference, you can put things into perspective. Knowing what’s “normal,” you’ll have a better feel for how you should react to the particular situation facing you. So let’s look at the typical scenario.

We’re dealing in generalities here, but the breakout usually goes about like this: 

Some 20 percent of the people are “change-friendly.”...

You Need People Who Howl At The Moon
Change Culture

Setting out to change the culture is like taking on an army of secret police. You know the enemy is everywhere, ready to crack down on the people who don’t conform. Cold-blooded and forever watchful, culture cannot tolerate the unconventional. The more eccentric or out of the ordinary someone behaves relative to existing cultural standards, the more ruthless the response.

Sometimes the rebuke is mild—a mere slap on the wrist to get the offender’s attention. But sometimes the reprisal...

Loyalty Is A Treacherous Thing In A World Of Rapid Change
Change Culture

Be wary of people who take pride in being “loyal” employees. Loyalty is a treacherous thing in a world of rapid change. You need to examine the object of people’s loyalty. Analyze their actions as well as their motives. Then determine whether this is the kind of “virtue” the organization can afford.

Loyalty to the organization has value, assuming it gets demonstrated in the proper manner. Loyalty to the culture, on the other hand, can present a variety of serious...

When It Comes To Culture Change, Standard Communication Procedures Won't Cut It
Change Culture

You need a tremendous amount of high-quality communication to sustain a culture change. Managers typically underestimate the effort that is required. They rely on the normal communication practices and patterns, failing to consider that those methods were never designed for times like this. Standard communication procedures simply won’t cut it.

Consider the situation at hand. First, people need to hear the logic, the rationale, behind the decision to change the culture. Give them an...

Make A Sales Pitch For Change
Communicate Effectively

. . . AND POINT OUT THE WARNING LABEL AS WELL

Change produces some rather nasty side effects. The intent is to “fix things,” but the actual payoff frequently comes as a delayed reaction. You set out to make things better, but before you get very far you have to deal with the problems of your solutions.

This is the “it gets worse before it gets better” phenomenon. And it’s totally predictable.

As people have to break their familiar routines, performance...

Forward Motion Offers The Fastest Education You Can Find
Acceralate

Growth doesn’t get started until you do. You must move...take action...mobilize yourself.

Sounds easy enough on the surface. But people get paralyzed by “planning.” They freeze up getting “prepared” to grow. Seems we want to figure out the answer before we start working on the problem. We like to do our learning first, then put it into action.

Fast growth calls for a more freewheeling approach. You must operate on the basis of learning as you go, not before you go....

Fast Growth Should Not Start Slow
Acceralate

Start your growth program with bold strokes. Courageous acts. Your opening moves should be strong enough to overcome inertia, give you instant momentum and create excitement inside.

Audacious action energizes a person. It’s like the initial thrust a rocket needs to clear the launch pad. Gutsy moves will power you forward, enabling you to escape the gravity field that pulls you back toward your same old daily patterns.

New habits are not easy to come by, and old habits are even...

Burn Up The Road
Acceralate

We’ll start with a one-question quiz: What do you think is the single best predictor of successful merger integration?

And here’s the answer: The length of the transition period.

The longer you take to integrate, the closer you live to the edge. Disappointing deals correlate highly with slow consolidation.

Decades of merger experience prove this. The turtle may win the race in fairy tales, but not in the grinding, gut-wrenching, high-risk game of merger integration. We’...

The Make-Or-Break Factor
Step 7: Operate at the 4th Level of Change

People are the crown jewels of the company…the cornerstone for your success…the make-or-break factor in today’s fiercely competitive marketplace. For you personally to be a high performer, and for the company to excel at wealth creation, you need a bank full of human capital.

Your job is to help accumulate it. So develop your skill as a talent scout—become an energetic recruiter—and help build an organization of high performers.

Recruitment must become a part of your everyday...

"He Not Busy Being Born Is Busy Dying" - Bob Dylan
Step 7: Operate at the 4th Level of Change

For most organizations, inventiveness is an acquired taste. Innovation is a cultural attribute they have to cultivate. But if we’re not aggressively managing toward innovation, we’re managing the organization toward extinction. Our days are numbered. The mortality tables look bleak for companies that score low on creativity.

“The problem is never how to get new innovative thoughts into your mind, but how to get old ones out.”

—Dee...

Good Planning Prepares You To Improvise
Step 7: Operate at the 4th Level of Change

Use a double-barreled approach to innovate toward “faster-better-cheaper.”

On one hand, carefully prepare. On the other, be willing to improvise.

In your own pursuit of spectacular results, start out by doing some “deep planning.” Anticipate as best you can. Consider different scenarios, and run your calculations. Make your very best guess about how the situation will unfold. But then be willing to bob and weave.

When your plan has a hole in it or fizzles out on...