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Driving Change


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Change is constant, and the need for periodic renewal is one of the only certainties in business. Unfortunately, the best practices associated with successful change management initiatives are often poorly understood.

Aspiring change agents greatly increase their chances of success by considering the factors most likely to drive and enable organizational change and incorporating those factors in a comprehensive strategic change management initiative.

Published in: Business
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Driving Change

  1. 1. 1 Abraxas Group LLC Driving Change August 2017 David Johnson Interim Executive Restructuring and Turnaround Advisor
  2. 2. “If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading” ‒ LaoTzu Abraxas Group LLC 2
  3. 3. The Challenge • Any change management project, ranging from a performance improvement initiative a to turnaround and restructuring situation, must address the challenge of engaging stakeholders. • Whether the change is being driven by a mid-level employee, a CEO, an interim executive, or an outside consultant, the first challenge is winning the war against the status quo. Abraxas Group LLC 3
  4. 4. • The pull of the status quo is strong in all companies. • A compelling case must be made for immediate change, and the benefits that change will bring to the organization. Creating a Sense of Urgency Abraxas Group LLC 4
  5. 5. • Too many change management initiatives fail due to the lack of a compelling vision. • Once a change agent has communicated the why, they must focus on the where. Where will a successful change initiative take the company, and why is that a good thing? Communicating aVision Abraxas Group LLC 5
  6. 6. QuickWins Build Momentum • In a truly successful change management initiative, execution is not a single phase but a rolling process. • A change management plan should be designed to deliver a series of quick wins, which will bolster morale and help build momentum for the more slow-developing aspects of the plan. Abraxas Group LLC 6
  7. 7. Key Takeaways 1) Win the War Against the Status Quo. 2) Sense of Urgency. It is not enough that people believe change is necessary, they must understand that change must begin now. 3) Where and Why. Communicating a vision is essential to success. Stakeholders must understand where the company is heading, and why that approach makes sense. 4) Quick Wins. Design an execution plan with some quick wins in mind. Abraxas Group LLC 7
  8. 8. David Johnson Abraxas Group LLC 8 Email: Ph: 312-505-7238 Twitter: @TurnaroundDavid David Johnson, founder and managing partner of Abraxas Group, has a 20- year track record of driving organizational change. David has served as an interim executive or financial advisor to dozens of middle market companies in turnaround and restructuring situations. Throughout his career, David has demonstrated a commitment to thought leadership, with numerous speaking engagements and articles on the topics of change management, performance improvement, restructuring, turnaround, and value creation to his credit. David received his MBA from the University of Chicago and completed his undergraduate studies at Fairleigh Dickinson University. Key Accomplishments • Interim CFO, Private Equity Backed Company: >$70MM increase in equity value in 12 months • Interim COO, Nonprofit Organization: Oversaw program closures and revamp of management team, revitalizing a 120 year-old organization • CRO, Family Owned Company: Developed a restructuring and turnaround plan resulting in a proforma $2.5MM YoY increase in EBITDA