Dr. King’s Lessons for Business Leaders  A Case Study in Change Leadership The Global Rail Theglobalrail.com
Objectives of the Case Study |  01/12/10   |  Why this View on King’s Leadership? <ul><li>Examine King’s leadership from a...
The Case Study: The Leadership Lessons Available through the Birmingham Change Campaign |  01/12/10   |  Strategic Risks a...
Strategic Rationale of the Change Campaign <ul><li>In the spring of 1963, King and his leadership team targeted racial int...
The “Blueprint” – Project “C” <ul><li>The strategy they employed to achieve this goal was straightforward; force local, in...
The Heart Of The Blueprint was Management Of Stakeholders  |  01/12/10   |  Stakeholder Legend A-A Business Community Loca...
Not A Strong Show of Force at the Kickoff Meeting |  01/12/10   |  Source – Citizen King, PBS, 2004 Dr. King’s Lessons for...
Project “C” – Week One Status |  01/12/10   |  Plan Status Army of trained, committed volunteers ready to demonstrate Voca...
The First Intervention – Breaking the Injunction <ul><li>“ Everybody made the case for calling it off” – Andrew Young </li...
The Second Intervention and the tipping point of the campaign was the decision to enlist school age children as volunteers...
Dramatizing the Current State…an Intransient Stakeholder “Goes Public” |  01/12/10   |  “ The people in the rest of the co...
The results in Birmingham catalyzed national action towards King’s change objectives |  01/12/10   |  Dr. King’s Lessons f...
Lessons Learned for Today’s Change Leaders |  01/12/10   |  Conflict can be Constructive Dramatizing the Current to vision...
Dr. King’s Lessons for Business Leaders  A Case Study in Change Leadership The Global Rail Theglobalrail.com
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  • IBM Confidential
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  • Dr. King's Lessons For Business Leaders

    1. 1. Dr. King’s Lessons for Business Leaders A Case Study in Change Leadership The Global Rail Theglobalrail.com
    2. 2. Objectives of the Case Study | 01/12/10 | Why this View on King’s Leadership? <ul><li>Examine King’s leadership from a tactical perspective, not ideals and vision </li></ul><ul><li>Highlight the challenges faced in the midst of a change crisis, not looking back on success with “rose-colored” glasses </li></ul><ul><li>Extract specific lessons business leaders can apply </li></ul>Dr. King’s Lessons for Business Leaders
    3. 3. The Case Study: The Leadership Lessons Available through the Birmingham Change Campaign | 01/12/10 | Strategic Risks and Rationale – The Decision to “Go in” <ul><ul><li>The Change Plan – What was Planned and What Went Wrong </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Leadership Interventions – The Road to Revitalization </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lessons for Today’s Change Leaders </li></ul></ul>Dr. King’s Lessons for Business Leaders
    4. 4. Strategic Rationale of the Change Campaign <ul><li>In the spring of 1963, King and his leadership team targeted racial integration in the city of Birmingham. </li></ul><ul><li>Strategic Rationale </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A new precedent of success for the movement. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A cascade effect – “If Birmingham goes toward integration, so will the entire south.” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reemergence of King as the preeminent civil rights leader </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lack of competition by other civil rights organizations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Entrenched opposition </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Key Risks </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Alienation from key constituencies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Uncontrolled violence that harms the reputation of the movement and compromises outcomes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Back to back failures meant declining power and relevance for King </li></ul></ul>| 01/12/10 | <ul><li>“ The decision to go into Birmingham was really the first time that Dr. King said I am not going to be responding to a crisis, I am going to create a campaign to test really try to test what we can do….” </li></ul><ul><li>Taylor Branch, Historian </li></ul><ul><li>“ Nobody wanted to go to Birmingham…(it) was a terrible place…there had been 60 unsolved bombings…and nothing was done about any of this.” </li></ul><ul><li>Andrew Young </li></ul><ul><li>“ The violence that Birmingham represented, people knew, could easily be turned and focused on King as a representative of the movement.” </li></ul><ul><li>- Vincent Harding </li></ul>Source – Citizen King, PBS, 2004. Parting the Waters, America During the King Years. Taylor Branch, 1988. Dr. King’s Lessons for Business Leaders
    5. 5. The “Blueprint” – Project “C” <ul><li>The strategy they employed to achieve this goal was straightforward; force local, intransient community leaders to negotiate racial integration through economic boycott, peaceful protest, and filling local jails beyond their capacity.  </li></ul>| 01/12/10 | <ul><li>Key Components in Executing the Plan - </li></ul><ul><li>Trained volunteers to protest and fill local jails beyond capacity </li></ul><ul><li>National media coverage to highlight demonstrations and help build a national call for action </li></ul><ul><li>Federal Intervention to apply pressure to negotiate </li></ul><ul><li>Funding from outside sources </li></ul><ul><li>Businesses with an economic stake in Birmingham to apply further pressure </li></ul>Source – Parting the Waters, America During the King Years. Taylor Branch, 1988. Dr. King’s Lessons for Business Leaders
    6. 6. The Heart Of The Blueprint was Management Of Stakeholders | 01/12/10 | Stakeholder Legend A-A Business Community Local Clergy White Moderate Reform Movement Kennedy Administration National Media Volunteers Birmingham City Government Funders Chamber of Commerce Local Coalition National Stakeholders Target Stakeholder Source – Parting the Waters, America During the King Years. Taylor Branch, 1988. Dr. King’s Lessons for Business Leaders
    7. 7. Not A Strong Show of Force at the Kickoff Meeting | 01/12/10 | Source – Citizen King, PBS, 2004 Dr. King’s Lessons for Business Leaders
    8. 8. Project “C” – Week One Status | 01/12/10 | Plan Status Army of trained, committed volunteers ready to demonstrate Vocal, visible support from the local African-American business community Federal Government Intervention National media coverage Support from outside Birmingham King and his leadership team faced the reality of a change campaign that was stalled from the start. There was a growing consensus to halt the campaign, with no clear plan on how to overcome terminal weaknesses. 42 volunteers showed up for the kick-off African-American business leaders petitioned King to call an end to the campaign No incentives to intervene. Local injunction on further demonstrations. Limited media coverage that was negative Limited funds and no outside corporate pressure Dr. King’s Lessons for Business Leaders
    9. 9. The First Intervention – Breaking the Injunction <ul><li>“ Everybody made the case for calling it off” – Andrew Young </li></ul><ul><li>“ There were a lot of ‘I told you so’s.’ – Taylor Branch </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;Look, I don't know what to do. I just know that something has got to change in Birmingham. I don't know whether I can raise money to get people out of jail. I do know that I can go into jail with them.&quot; – Dr. King </li></ul>| 01/12/10 | <ul><li>King believed that a demonstration of personal sacrifice would mobilize more volunteers </li></ul><ul><li>He was arrested for breaking the injunction on April 12, 1963, choosing not to follow the advice of his father and members of the local community </li></ul><ul><li>Spent 8 days in solitary confinement, writing The Letter from Birmingham Jail on the margins of newspapers </li></ul>Despite the demonstration of personal sacrifice, King’s personal sacrifice failed to catalyze the campaign. Media attention and the numbers of volunteers showed little increase. Source – Citizen King, PBS, 2004. Parting the Waters, America During the King Years. Taylor Branch, 1988. Dr. King’s Lessons for Business Leaders
    10. 10. The Second Intervention and the tipping point of the campaign was the decision to enlist school age children as volunteers | 01/12/10 | Campaign Events Results D-Day The Balance of Power Shifts <ul><li>959 children in Jail within four hours </li></ul><ul><li>Jails filled far beyond capacity </li></ul><ul><li>Kennedy administrations petition King to end demonstrations </li></ul><ul><li>King signals that demonstrations will continue </li></ul><ul><li>1,000 children volunteer to demonstrate </li></ul><ul><li>Police and firemen unleash attack dogs and fire cannons on demonstrators </li></ul><ul><li>Demonstrations push into downtown shopping areas </li></ul><ul><li>Firemen refuse orders to use water guns </li></ul><ul><li>National media descend on Birmingham in force </li></ul><ul><li>Local dissent towards King starts to evaporate, focus moves towards his demands </li></ul><ul><li>Kennedy administrations intervenes to facilitate agreement </li></ul><ul><li>Chamber of Commerce convenes to negotiate </li></ul>Agreement is Reached <ul><li>Formal agreement and timeline for racial integration announced to the press </li></ul><ul><li>Kennedy administration publicly endorses agreement </li></ul><ul><li>2 bombs explode in the house of King’s brother </li></ul><ul><li>Bombing at the hotel where King’s staff resides </li></ul><ul><li>King and his leaders effectively quell atmosphere of violent retribution </li></ul><ul><li>Agreement holds </li></ul>May 2 May 3-5 May 10-11 Source – Parting the Waters, America During the King Years. Taylor Branch, 1988. Dr. King’s Lessons for Business Leaders
    11. 11. Dramatizing the Current State…an Intransient Stakeholder “Goes Public” | 01/12/10 | “ The people in the rest of the country with the vivid pictures of fire hoses and police dogs attacking children … exposed … how fiercely the South was defending it.” - Jack Greenberg, NAACP Legal Defense Fund Source – Citizen King, PBS, 2004 Dr. King’s Lessons for Business Leaders
    12. 12. The results in Birmingham catalyzed national action towards King’s change objectives | 01/12/10 | Dr. King’s Lessons for Business Leaders Led to national voting rights reform Provided a national platform for King’s Washington D.C. Address – “I have a dream” Nobel Peace Prize created international awareness and legitimacy
    13. 13. Lessons Learned for Today’s Change Leaders | 01/12/10 | Conflict can be Constructive Dramatizing the Current to vision Gap is Essential Don’t Compromise Core Objectives to Stakeholder Concerns Use planned conflict (creative tension) to bring reluctant parties into negotiation, overcome entrenched resistance, and activate sideline stakeholders Focus on dramatizing present conditions in a way that built credibility and support for his cause.  Decision-making based solely on constituency concerns becomes a “stakeholder trap” that compromises progress.  Strategy and Plan are Interlocked Strategy – linked with planning - changes daily to respond to the changing ground The Power of the Status Quo Find constituency groups that are not invested in the status quo and find ways to increase their influence
    14. 14. Dr. King’s Lessons for Business Leaders A Case Study in Change Leadership The Global Rail Theglobalrail.com

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