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Vlerick HRday 2013: How to survive as a leader in change? - Jean Vanhoegaerden


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Vlerick HRday 2013: How to survive as a leader in change? - Jean Vanhoegaerden

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Vlerick HRday 2013: How to survive as a leader in change? - Jean Vanhoegaerden

  1. 1. ‘How to survive as a leader inchange?’Vlerick HR dayJean VanhoegaerdenAshridge Business school
  2. 2. Uncertainty• “if you are not confused you do not know what is goingon”Fortune 500 CEO• “our world is dominated by the extreme, the unknownand the very improbable while we spend our timefocusing on the known and the repeatable”Taleb , N, The Black swan : the impact of the highlyimprobable, 2007• “world will never be the same as before anymore”many, many, many people
  3. 3. “If things seem underIf things seem underIf things seem underIf things seem undercontrol, you’re just notcontrol, you’re just notcontrol, you’re just notcontrol, you’re just notgoinggoinggoinggoingfast enough.”fast enough.”fast enough.”fast enough.”Mario Andretti
  4. 4. Leadership On the Line:Pain of Change“The dangers of exercising leadership derive from the natureof the problems for which leadership is necessary. Changestimulates resistance- it challenges people’s habits, beliefs,and values. It asks them to take a loss, experience uncertainty,and even express disloyalty to people and cultures… loss,disloyalty, feeling incompetent… No wonder people resist.”Heifetz and Linsky , Leadership on the line, 2002
  5. 5. Surviving as a leader• Get on the balcony• Think Politically• Cook the conflict• Give the work back• Manage your hungers• Anchor yourselfAdapted from Heifetz and Linsky, Leadership on the line, Harvard business school press
  6. 6. “Getting on the Balcony”• Gain a wholistic perspective• Systems thinking• Simultaneously on the dance floor andabove it on the balcony• Observe patterns and people• Discern true meanings and feelings,particularly of authority figures; “songbeneath the words”• Personal reflection
  7. 7. “Thinking Politically”• Dance the relationship dance• Encourage supporters• Stay close to opponents• Court the undecided• Acknowledge the loss- uncertainty, disloyalty,and incompetence- change brings• Allow time for transition but leave behindthose that cannot make the change
  8. 8. “Orchestrating the Process,Particularly Conflict”• Establish safe, stress-ful holding environment, like apressure cooker• Moderate temperature to pace work progress• Let issues ripen when needed• Balance pain of loss with positive possibility of changefor their future• Make interventions short and simple• Don’t take personal attacks personally
  9. 9. “Manage Your Hungers”• Respect the ready availability of and need forpower, control, affirmation and importance• Intimacy and delight needs must be metappropriately• Manage your grandiosity remembering peoplesee you more in your role than as a humanperson
  10. 10. “Anchor Yourself”• Don’t confuse one’s self with one’sprofessional role• Identify a truly trustworthy confidant who canreally tell you what you need to hear• Do not use allies as confidants• Find a sanctuary for retreat, rejuvenation, andpersonal reflection• Put yourself on the line in leading again!
  11. 11. It is easier to behave your way into anew way of thinking than it is tothink your way into a new way ofbehavingRichard Pascale
  12. 12. “Maintaining a busy life isa great way to avoidchanging it”