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]

my 9 top tips for implementing change – #likeminds (6/10)

my Like Minds keynote on intrapreneurship (6/10)

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. 4: set up an example 

  • If you tell people that something’s good for them, they might well believe you if your power of persuasion is good, but if they actually see you do these things yourself, it’s even better,
  • Likewise, if you ask your boss to show the way, it will be even more powerful and will have – at least – two positive consequences:
  1. Your boss will end up being convinced and will support you even more in your endeavours,
  2. He will in his turn become an advocate of the change you wish to implement and will help you spread the word around.

Anecdote: when I started the Orange Business Services blogs in early 2008, not everyone was convinced. I started with a couple of change agents who helped me move forward, but it’s only when I asked my boss to help us with the blogging activity that I reached a higher level of success. Indeed, from the moment I asked him to blog on his favourite topic, he stopped asking about the return on investment of expert blogging because he actually understood this for himself, and besides he became a lot more positive about what we were doing and encouraged other people to do so. Four years later, he is one of the strongest advocates of expert blogging at Orange Business Services.

[Chrysalis photo, Some rights reserved by Odd_dog]

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.

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

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]

my 9 top tips for implementing change – #likeminds(4/10)

my Like Minds keynote on intrapreneurship (4/10)

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. 6: always respect people

  • E-mail should always be used as a last resort. The right method is to favour human discussions over everything else. If people are in disagreements, then they should talk and express themselves openly over these disagreements rather than bicker and send each other useless e-mails which waste everybody’s time! 

Anecdote: Recently, I had to work on a very important subject related to the governance of our domain names at Orange worldwide. This particular issue was a thorny one because people had debated about the subject for the past 2 years. We were in a situation whereby people were negotiating on positions, not on facts, and regardless of the common good. I spent a couple of months talking to all these people individually, making them realise that we had to converge towards a solution, and whenever we were disagreeing, exposing the case of our disagreements clearly and debating them in a human and positive fashion, face-to-face or on the telephone. Eventually, after a couple of months, we were in a position to call on a new meeting in which a decision could be reached. Detractors exposed their views in front of the entire group, decisions were put to vote, and eventually, those same detractors came to me at the end of the meeting, saying: “this decision was exactly what we wanted”. It has to be stated that the decision which was reached, was exactly the opposite of what the detractors themselves were proposing in the beginning. What we had reached is a consensus and we have a built a long-lasting relationship based on trust and camaraderie.

[Chrysalis photo, Some rights reserved by Odd_dog]

my 9 top tips for implementing change – #likeminds (3/10)

my Like Minds keynote on intrapreneurship (3/10)

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. 7: murphy’s law should be your guiding principle 

  • This point is a thorny one because it is often misinterpreted,
  • Good project managers, and change managers are able to foresee not the future, but most of the alternatives in store,
  • This is what is described often as managing a project by Murphy’s Law: “if anything can go wrong it will!”,
  • Good project managers therefore, can predict the ways in which projects might actually screw up, in order to take all the precautions which will help them avoid these issues,
  • Bad project managers are 100% positive that the project will work beautifully, pay no attention to the things that could go wrong and therefore are ill-prepared for issues when they arise,
  • it is therefore often misinterpreted that good project managers working with Murphy’s Law are negative or pessimistic, whereas in fact they are merely cautious and professional. 

Anecdote: it is difficult for me to quote a particular example, because I do this all the time. I have a sixth sense for predicting issues arising on the path of a project, and knowing the issues which could cause a project to fail, enable me to take precautionary measures whenever needed. This is also why I always tend to put a lot of pressure on a new project in the beginning of its launch rather than towards the end of the delivery period when it’s too late. And then I press my project managers with questions about the things that could go wrong and how they have protected themselves against them, which enables me to deliver projects either in advance or at least in a very cool manner. I have never seen one of my projects generate tension towards the end of the delivery period.

[Chrysalis photo, Some rights reserved by Odd_dog]