Fundamentals of Effective Change Management
1. Address “Human Side” of Change. Anticipate “people issues.” Job descriptions will change, new skills and capabilities will be needed, and employees will be resistant. Dealing with these issues on a reactive, case-by-case basis puts speed, morale, and results at risk. Develop a game plan early.
2. Executive Team Needs to Speak in One Voice. All eyes will turn to the CEO and the leader...Read more
Question: Small changes managers can make for creating stability in the organization
People support what they help create. Have you involved your people in decisions that affect their lives? Most execs don't, but you seem pretty smart and probably have. However, if you haven't, invite them to get them involved with the planning, looking at the environment, helping them to understand what the organization is facing and how the need for change is critical. This will get them ex...Read more
Question: Minimizing negative gossip in the workplace
IMUS - I make up stuff (or s*%t, depending on how bad it is) - is alive and thriving in most organizations, especially in new areas or when a new boss comes into town.
I'm not one for long answers . . . and this is a pretty easy situation to diffuse. Talk to the people, and find out what are their concerns (if any) - most of this comes from their (1) being fearful of their own jobs and attem...Read more
Question: Changing team meeting format
Don't agonize over it - just change it. You are a consultant and should know what works / doesn't with your clients, and the same things work with employees. Just find out if anything useful comes from that meeting before cancelling it, but you seem to be on the right track so far.
WRT redesigning team meetings, not sure what you are attempting to accomplish, so my giving you advice would b...Read more
Question: Choice Of Company Growth Metric (Revenue Vs. Market Share)
I don't know your situation, but frankly, given what you have asked, I don't think using just one metric is smart, especially if it is market share. What if you have 80% market share and the market isn't large or profitable? That doesn't work for anyone.
Whether it is in life or business, people need targets to meet. Market share is a "feel good" metric, but may not tell you everything you n...Read more
Question: Getting consultant performance tied to results
ERP implementations are among the toughest IT projects, but that is no excuse: to not get the results you anticipated (and were promised) would, as Dolly Parton once said, "fry my grits"!
Truth and reality. The truth is that many consultants will say they like performance type contracts, but the reality is that most do them only when we are required to and very rarely if ever for IT integratio...Read more
Question: Transition from being a division head to being CEO
First, congrats on your new position. Being a CEO is one of the most rewarding and "fun" things I've done in my career.
You are right in saying that your experience will help, but you will face new challenges, one of which may be the board. Some recommendations if I may.
First, your first 100 days (forget that – 30- days is all you really get) are critical. Get to know and understand yo...Read more
Question: How can we reduce turnover in a newly acquired company?
I agree with my colleagues. Many times in situations like yours, the "acquired" firm's key personnel are "locked in" for 2-3 years as part of the merger agreement, and they and others are incentivized to stay. I hope that the barn door was closed long after the horses got out, but I'm guessing that this didn't happen on a broad enough scale if at all.
Shared vision is critical in times l...Read more
Question: Can Lean or Six Sigma help reduce complexity in service organization?
I personally am not a big fan of Lean/Six Sigma for service organizations - I think that it's been stretched too much to make it adapt to too many different scenarios. However, the structure that you describe - one team per client - doesn't seem like it may be the best use of your resources as I would think there is too much redundancy which is why I am guessing you are thinking about "leaning" t...Read more
Question: How can the board help CEO develop new leadership talent as a process?
I am going to respectfully disagree with my colleagues. I view this as two separate issues, (1) board responsibilities and (2) resistance to change.
As a board, you have five main responsibilities: (1) setting the strategic direction and approving the strategic plan, (2) approving the budget, (3) setting policies, (4) holding leadership accountable for results, and (5) ensuring the long-time v...Read more
Question: Getting consensus on risk, and driving compliance to company policies
This reminds me of Drucker's statement (which many erroneously attribute to Bennis): "Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things."
Controls are critical to ensure the proper functioning of an organization, and from you have said, you previously didn't have many in place until you hired a consultant. Perhaps the consultant put too many in place, and people are bypas...Read more
Question: Getting away from Cost Vs. Quality mindset in customer service department
With all due respect to my colleagues, I would suggest that this may not be an engineering problem as much as it is a people / leadership problem.
The simplification-standardization-automation lens is great for Lean companies, but most management consultants would tell you that turnover results from unhappy employees, which may or may not result from engineering issues.
I don't discount that...Read more
Question: Revenue-share arrangement with a vendor
I would say Caveat Emptor - let the buyer beware - to this one! What may be a great idea on the surface of the car may not be so good when you look on the hood.
I've seen a number of these arrangements work out very well, but the keys for that were clear expectations around metrics, responsibilities, and actions. Without those, an arrangement like this is a recipe for a train wreck.
For ex...Read more
Question: How best to communicate for culture change?
This is a tough one, but the reality is that things change. Try the 3M / Google approach - 10-20% of the employees' time is their own to work on their own pet projects, but the remainder they have schedules and ROI to consider. I'll bet that those "pet" projects end up having more of a financial impact than do the other projects. :)Read more
Question: How can we create a talent dashboard?
I would take a page out of the major consulting firms who have multiple projects going on at once, and implement a three step process.
1. Develop an application / skills matrix that collects all employees' skills, e.g., roles, projects, task descriptions, relevant skills.
2. Develop a process or application that can search these "resumes" and allow keyword searches. This take some time to ...Read more
Question: Performance appraisals during reorganization and downsizing
Wow, this is a tough one. Frankly, and I know I'm being a bit of a heretic on this, I would throw the baselines out.
There is a reason that you are downsizing, and for that reason (and probably other good ones) new baselines must be established. At the same time, employees must have something to strive for, so helping them set goals going forward is a good thing.
In downsizing, employees...Read more
Question: Role of diversity in leadership team
ABSOLUTELY! Diversity of thought is one of the most critical things organizations require, and when there isn't that diversity, they ultimately die as there is too much "group think" that goes on. Having led organizations before, I know this to be critical to spur innovation and ensure success in the marketplace.
As Carol mentioned, there are instruments available that highlight diversity in ...Read more
Question: Change management issues during company-wide system implementation
First, congrats on your decision and commendations on your courage for taking on one of the most challenging change projects there is. ERP projects are important, especially for a organization of your size, but they are not for the faint of heart. :)
I will not repeat my colleagues' advice, because training and the WIIFM (what's in it for me) are critical for the success of your project. HR ...Read more
Question: How do we use performance appraisals to drive a change in employee behavior?
I don't know the nuances of how you are actually conducting the performance evaluations, but based on what you have said, my sense is that the problem is the process you are using. The employees are not involved with setting their own goals, and I suspect that that they don’t have much input on the organizational goals.
Fact is, we cannot force people to change - they must want to do it. ...Read more