my 9 top tips for implementing change – #likeminds (10/10)

my Like Minds keynote on intrapreneurship (10/10)

On the 19th of October 2011, in Exeter in Devon, I delivered a keynote at Like minds. It is entitled “confessions of an intrapreneur”. There are 9 of these anecdotes and tips, which are all used to describe my preferred approach to change management. I have decided to publish the script of my presentation in this blog, starting from lesson number 9 and going backwards to lesson number 1 and then the introduction.

This is the final post in this series. Use the following URL shortener [http://bit.ly/likemindsyag] in order to collect the entirety of the blog post

session synopsis

no slides

  • I have to apologise for having no slides for this presentation. I tried to figure out a reason why I should add some but couldn’t go beyond the need to show some nice pictures, I don’t believe that what I have to say – mostly derived from my day to day experience in these few years that I have worked – is worth being plonked into PowerPoint slides, it doesn’t add any value and besides, by refusing to show slides and pictures, I’m certain that I’ll get all your attention,
  • “The problem with the French is that they don’t have a word for entrepreneur” George W. Bush is reported to have said to Prime Minister Tony Blair during a discussion about the French economy. Although this is mostly hearsay and not proven that George W Bush actually said that, this Bushism has being recycled a great deal of times on the Internet and beyond. But I am here to guarantee that this isn’t true; the word exists and we even have another word, intrapreneur, derived from the first, which describes those people who attempt new things in large organisations, implement change, move things forward; relentlessly …
  • I am such an intrapreneur and I like it. Maybe this is because I dreamed of being and entrepreneur and haven’t had the opportunity as yet. Regardless, change is part of my business life, I love to change things, have always done, will always do. I believe it must be like a second nature. I can’t help it even though sometimes I think it would be a lot safer and more straightforward for me if I chose to let things be.
    • Intrapreneurs love to bridge the gap between thinkers, researchers, developers and those who run everyday business operations.
    • Intrapreneurs are doers, they like getting things done, they like it when the rubber meets the road…
    • I am like that too
  • Scott [note: one of the organisers and the co-founder of Like Minds] decided that I should make confessions about this need to launch new projects, push new boundaries, and implement new things for the large companies which I have worked for or with.
    • Yet, the word “confessions” – if I believe the Cambridge dictionary – means that one has done certain things wrong, committed a crime or a sin, and I’m not quite sure about that choice of words
    • Granted, many a time being an intrapreneur means that one fights against established rules, battle against resistance, overcome obstacles
    • But intrapreneurs aren’t trouble-makers, because true intrapreneurs always act for the common good.
  • I believe that the reason why I’m talking to you about this today is coming from an initial discussion at the Like Minds Summit at Bovey Castle in March 2010 with a few alumni, including our much regretted friend Trey Pennington, to whom I would like to dedicate this presentation
  • our subject was “how to implement social media in enterprises” and I soon realised that my experience was shedding a different light on that topic because I am an insider, I did this for years on end, and whether it be with social media or any other thing doesn’t make a difference at all.
  • It’s more difficult to change things if you are in a big organisation. Setting up a blog for a small organisation is a no brainer. You just go to wordpress.com and set up your space in a matter of minutes … you cannot do it exactly like that if you are the legal representative of a large company, mostly when it has gone public! It’s more complex, there are rules to comply with and obstacles to overcome. It’s easier to stay from the outside and just issue recommendations. I know, because I too worked as a consultant for many years … and yet it is also very frustrating because a consultant who issues recommendations is seldom the one who is commissioned to implement the change!
lessons learned
  • So here is my confession, that is to say a few lessons which I learned while implementing change and are my guiding rules for intrapreneurship. For each of these lessons I will give you an example, if time allows.

This is the final post in this series, which was posted starting from the end. Use the following URL shortener [http://bit.ly/likemindsyag] in order to collect the entirety of the blog post

[Chrysalis photo, Some rights reserved by Odd_dog]

my 9 top tips for implementing change – #likeminds (9/10)

my Like Minds keynote on intrapreneurship (9/10)

On the 19th of October 2011, in Exeter in Devon, I delivered a keynote at Like minds. It is entitled “confessions of an intrapreneur”. There are 9 of these anecdotes and tips, which are all used to describe my preferred approach to change management. I have decided to publish the script of my presentation in this blog, starting from lesson number 9 and going backwards to lesson number 1 and then the introduction.

Stay tuned and use the following URL shortener [http://bit.ly/likemindsyag] in order to collect the entirety of the blog post

lesson no. 1: change begins with a prayer 

  • … the serenity prayer to be precise; which I first noticed in Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five, when Billy Pilgrim has this sign posted above his desk in his office stating:“God grant me the serenity
    to accept the things I cannot change;
    courage to change the things I can;
    and wisdom to know the difference.

    if I believe it’s been adopted by Alcoholics Anonymous too … 

Anecdote: implementing the Sale Force Automation system at Unisys at the beginning of 1992 with my new boss who told me “ok for you to get the job, but don’t change anything about the method”. So I didn’t, let the project fail, then proposed a new method, and succeeded in less than 4 months in implementing a new system throughout Europe. I didn’t choose to change what I couldn’t change, I just proposed the right solution at the right time, i.e. when and only when my boss realised that the old method wasn’t the right one. Besides, I didn’t have to criticise it, all I had to do was to put things right.

[Chrysalis photo, Some rights reserved by Odd_dog]

my 9 top tips for implementing change – #likeminds (8/10)

my Like Minds keynote on intrapreneurship (8/10)

On the 19th of October 2011, in Exeter in Devon, I delivered a keynote at Like minds. It is entitled “confessions of an intrapreneur”. There are 9 of these anecdotes and tips, which are all used to describe my preferred approach to change management. I have decided to publish the script of my presentation in this blog, starting from lesson number 9 and going backwards to lesson number 1 and then the introduction.

Stay tuned and use the following URL shortener [http://bit.ly/likemindsyag] in order to collect the entirety of the blog post

lesson no. 2: think big and start small

  • one of the commonest mistakes is to try and change the whole world in one go… too fast, too big, too early
  • most people hate change, despite all the talk about innovation, letting sleeping dogs lie is reassuring, and change creates – in most people – anxiety, the fear that things may longer be as they were, the risk for them to become out of touch, to be left on the side, to be taken out of their own comfort zone and into the red (the zone in which people think that they are no longer in control, that they are losing touch, becoming incompetent and eventually … will be made redundant, even with no real reason)
  • hence change has to be implemented step by step, starting little and getting bigger, in order for people to reassure themselves that they can be part of that change and not be threatened by it!

Anecdote: I am in the process of overhauling the orange.com website but our ambition goes way beyond that. What we aim at is the establishment of a group-wide governance which will give more leeway to all our entities/countries while ensuring better consistency and maximising our Web IT spend. Although it’s a no-brainer, it would be stupid to start with the biggest websites, so we are slowly but surely adding small websites to our platform, therefore showing that our new Website factory is not a threat but a tool for all to benefit from.

[Chrysalis photo, Some rights reserved by Odd_dog]

my 9 top tips for implementing change – #likeminds (8/10)

my Like Minds keynote on intrapreneurship (8/10)

On the 19th of October 2011, in Exeter in Devon, I delivered a keynote at Like minds. It is entitled “confessions of an intrapreneur”. There are 9 of these anecdotes and tips, which are all used to describe my preferred approach to change management. I have decided to publish the script of my presentation in this blog, starting from lesson number 9 and going backwards to lesson number 1 and then the introduction.

Stay tuned and use the following URL shortener [http://bit.ly/likemindsyag] in order to collect the entirety of the blog post

lesson no. 2: think big and start small

  • one of the commonest mistakes is to try and change the whole world in one go… too fast, too big, too early
  • most people hate change, despite all the talk about innovation, letting sleeping dogs lie is reassuring, and change creates – in most people – anxiety, the fear that things may longer be as they were, the risk for them to become out of touch, to be left on the side, to be taken out of their own comfort zone and into the red (the zone in which people think that they are no longer in control, that they are losing touch, becoming incompetent and eventually … will be made redundant, even with no real reason)
  • hence change has to be implemented step by step, starting little and getting bigger, in order for people to reassure themselves that they can be part of that change and not be threatened by it!

Anecdote: I am in the process of overhauling the orange.com website but our ambition goes way beyond that. What we aim at is the establishment of a group-wide governance which will give more leeway to all our entities/countries while ensuring better consistency and maximising our Web IT spend. Although it’s a no-brainer, it would be stupid to start with the biggest websites, so we are slowly but surely adding small websites to our platform, therefore showing that our new Website factory is not a threat but a tool for all to benefit from.

[Chrysalis photo, Some rights reserved by Odd_dog]

my 9 top tips for implementing change – #likeminds (7/10)

my Like Minds keynote on intrapreneurship (7/10)

On the 19th of October 2011, in Exeter in Devon, I delivered a keynote at Like minds. It is entitled “confessions of an intrapreneur”. There are 9 of these anecdotes and tips, which are all used to describe my preferred approach to change management. I have decided to publish the script of my presentation in this blog, starting from lesson number 9 and going backwards to lesson number 1 and then the introduction.

Stay tuned and use the following URL shortener [http://bit.ly/likemindsyag] in order to collect the entirety of the blog post

lesson no. 3: choose the path of least resistance

  • Resistance to change is a staple of change management, so rather than confronting your detractors, it’s best to ignore them and circumvent the issue by working exclusively with the positive change agents that you can find. Therefore, there will be more than one person to advocate the change, and eventually, your detractors will follow in your footsteps when they realise you have succeeded and they can’t do otherwise,
  • If fights arise, I have found time and time again that refusing to confront people was the best way of getting rid of such issues. When the fight gets nasty and personal I go off on a tangent and do something else until the person tires and usually, they do. The most aggressive ones usually make so many enemies for themselves that they either fall victim to their own aggressiveness or, eventually, they go somewhere else and make other people suffer, in search for other fights,
  • It’s best to concentrate on one’s work, one’s results, to be a professional, not to confront people and move ahead,
  • I must also emphasise that one must remain courteous and friendly, even with one’s worst enemies. Always shake hands, never attack them, remain positive: “(Matthew 5:39) But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also” 

Anecdote: when I worked for a large British Bank in the mid-1990s on the Internet strategy for the Bank and was interviewing people, I met some people who were initiating their own project. I proposed that they become part of the team and that we promote their project and use their idea as a driving force for our strategic change. They instead became aggressive and secretive, refused to share their ideas and findings, refused to share their project, and eventually died with it. The Internet project – ours I mean – went on without them, they didn’t benefit from their advance, didn’t make any friends and didn’t help their company either. We didn’t have to confront them, they just shot themselves in the foot.

[Chrysalis photo, Some rights reserved by Odd_dog]