my 9 top tips for implementing change – #likeminds (5/10)

my Like Minds keynote on intrapreneurship (5/10)
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.
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lesson no. 5: don’t think top-down

  • To those who don’t understand change management very well, it would seem a good idea to ask the top man to issue a top-down statement and to assume that this is sufficient for everyone to change their ways. Although this method sometimes works, most of the time it is not efficient and there are better ways of using top executives to implement change,
  • The best way for you to use top executive management to implement change, is to first obtain results and field level, highlight these results, and then seek a mandate from the top manager who will use these initial results to reinforce the need for change and send his instructions, reinstating the support that he’s giving you,
  • In case you are an intrapreneur and are showing the way even though nobody asked you anything in the first place, then there is no other option.

Anecdote: when I was in charge of implementing a new salesforce automation system throughout Europe at the beginning of the 1990s the Unisys, I realised that my predecessor had started her process by asking the executive director of the Europe Africa division to send a letter/mail to all country managers in Europe. The result was not the one everybody expected. Nobody ever paid attention to the letter/mail because there were more important issues at hand. The proper method was to initiate change at field level, establish a few results, then come and negotiate face-to-face with each country manager, proving the case, and demonstrating that change was needed, resources needed to be appointed, and once a few countries had been convinced (avoiding carefully the most antagonistic ones) then we went to the executive director of the Europe Africa division who confirmed our decisions and course of action. The system was deployed throughout Europe with a proper organisation and resources in less than 4 months, when the previous process had led to almost year of procrastination.

[Chrysalis photo, Some rights reserved by Odd_dog]

Yann Gourvennec
suivez moi !