Change: Proving the Mettle of Leadership


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Most people are naturally resistant to change, especially when they can’t see how the change positively impacts them. This presentation describes how you can lead change in your organization by showing others the benefits of change and successfully implementing change in a forward-thinking and powerful way.

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  • A majority of employees, most managers (75%), and virtually all top executives must honestly believe the status quo is unacceptable.Understand the facts and look for obvious signs of misalignment.
  • Ways NOT to lead change:Drop your change announcement on people in a big meeting.Put together a plan, hand it to people, and try to hold them accountable.Make a decision and demand that others accept it.
  • People respond to change differently – be empathetic, be ready.Sense of loss (familiarity, established routines & relationships, sense of competence).See this a lot in mergers/acquisitions. Old way of doing things vs. new way. Some people never adapt.One person’s idea is another’s surprise.Context canyon – you and peers worked through ideas for months, others just beginning their mental processing. Defensiveness from the get-go because it feels like you’ve sprung it on them.Something I wasn’t ready for with D30M changes. I thought everyone would see the value and immediately be thrilled we were working on them.Eventually, people change to retain something they value (process, teamwork, quality, their jobs).Undercover Boss - lets people at top see the realities on the ground.“This is how we do it.”; “This is how we’ve always done it.”
  • Trust that people want to do the right thing.Avoid those with large egos and snakes who promote mistrust. Work with people to step back and recognize others’ roles.Examples – cross-functional teams, get members from all areas.D30M – Eng people, work with PM as needed.Doc team changes – PM, up the food chain in your dept., etc.Example: web-hosted help – we own the doc and help, we own the decision. But it affects others (Dev, PM, customers, etc.). Should have brought in PM sooner to help us sell the idea to Dev/QE.
  • Vision:Clarifies general direction for change.Motivates people to take action in the right direction.Helps coordinate the actions of different people in a fast and efficient way.Examples:Web-hosted help – customers can interact with us, provide direct suggestions, foster a community, update on the flyUsability – customers have a better experience, reduce maintenance costs of doc, call support less often
  • Remove structural barriers.Fragmented resources and responsibilities (functional silos).Mistrust among managers and employees.Fear of confrontation when reorganization is needed.Provide needed training.What new behavior, skills, and attitudes are needed?Get the best bang for your buck in training – have first round trained train others.Align systems to the vision.Agile methodology, processes used, idea of core teams for product developmentDeal with troublesome managers.Have an honest dialogue. Don’t let manager unwillingness to help discourage employees and stop momentum.Must remove those that will never buy in. It’s hard to lead change when principals don’t believe in it.
  • Major change takes time. Short-term wins are essential to show the effort is paying off.Example – reputation of D30M - PMP templates for upcoming training, moving to rubber stamp team.Start with one thing.For example, find a way to stop printing your documentation.From there, move to working on presentation of your online documentation.Finally, move to web-hosted help that you can update on the fly.For example, find a way to get all of your customers using a new tool available with your Software Product A.From there, move them to using other pieces of software that integrate with Software Product A.Finally, sell them Software Product B and Software Product C.Don’t fight everything with force. If something comes at you that can be tweaked to fit with one of your change goals, do that – it’s a gain to the team. When we have success, reiterate what the end goal will look like.
  • Anchoring change in culture comes last:Depends on results.Requires a lot of talk.May involve turnover.  scary to a lot of peopleMakes decisions on succession crucial.
  • Leverage the momentum of things that fall in your lap, use your increased credibility to promote more change. Hire and develop people that help you implement and continue your change.
  • Change: Proving the Mettle of Leadership

    1. 1. Rochester April 22-23, 2012Rochester Institute of Technology Rochester, NY
    2. 2. Change: Proving the Mettle ofLeadershipAlyssa FoxSenior Manager, Information DevelopmentNetIQ Corporation23 April 2012
    3. 3. Is There a Need for Change? • Get out of firefighter mode so you can honestly assess whether change is needed. • Talk to as many people at as many levels as you can. • Recognize there’s a problem, and get the team to agree there’s a problem.3 © 2012 NetIQ Corporation. All rights reserved.
    4. 4. ***** Don’t make a change for the sake of making change. *****4 © 2012 NetIQ Corporation. All rights reserved.
    5. 5. Successful transformation is 70-90% leadership and only 10-30% management.5 © 2012 NetIQ Corporation. All rights reserved.
    6. 6. Understand the Barriers to Change • Responses from people – Be empathetic. – Consider timing. • Disconnects between ideas on the top and realities on the ground • Inflexible corporate systems, policies, and procedures6 © 2012 NetIQ Corporation. All rights reserved.
    7. 7. Create a Guiding Coalition• Find the right membership. – Position power (enough key players/main line managers?) – Expertise (various points of view included?) – Credibility (members have good reputations to be taken seriously?) – Leadership (enough proven leaders to drive the change?)• Trust and a common goal are essential to a successful transformation. 7 © 2012 NetIQ Corporation. All rights reserved.
    8. 8. Develop and Communicate the Vision• Vision – a picture of the future and why people should strive to create that future.• Key elements in effectively communicating vision: – Simplicity – Metaphor, analogy, and example – Multiple forums – Repetition – Leadership by example – Explanation of seeming inconsistencies – Give-and-take (two-way communication) 8 © 2012 NetIQ Corporation. All rights reserved.
    9. 9. Empower Action• Remove structural barriers.• Provide needed training.• Align systems to the vision.• Deal with troublesome managers. 9 © 2012 NetIQ Corporation. All rights reserved.
    10. 10. Generate Short-Term Wins• Role of short-term wins: – Provide evidence that sacrifices are worth it. – Reward change agents, build morale. – Help fine-tune vision and strategies. – Undermine cynics and keep bosses on board. – Build momentum.• Characteristics of a good short-term win: – It’s visible. – It’s unambiguous. – It’s clearly related to the change effort.• Don’t fight everything with force. 10 © 2012 NetIQ Corporation. All rights reserved.
    11. 11. Anchor New Approaches in the Culture • Culture is powerful. – Individuals are selected and indoctrinated so well. – Culture exerts itself through the actions of hundreds or thousands of people. – All of this happens without much conscious intent and is difficult to challenge or even discuss. • Anchoring change in a culture comes LAST, not first.11 © 2012 NetIQ Corporation. All rights reserved.
    12. 12. Perpetuate Change • Resistance is always waiting to reassert itself, and highly interdependent organizations can slow change down. • Successful change efforts include the following: – More change, not less. – More help. – Leadership from senior management (clarity of shared purpose, keep urgency levels up). – Project management and leadership from below (lead and manage specific projects). – Reduction of unnecessary interdependencies.12 © 2012 NetIQ Corporation. All rights reserved.
    13. 13. References • Leading Change by John P. Kotter • Insights You Can Use blog – Esther Derby • Management Excellence blog – Art Petty © 2012 NetIQ Corporation. All rights reserved.
    14. 14. Questions? Thank you. Alyssa Fox 713-418-533414 © 2012 NetIQ Corporation. All rights reserved.
    15. 15. Rochester Conference evaluation link: ConferenceEvaluation Session evaluation link: SessionEvaluation