“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more… you are a leader.” ~ John Quincy Adams

 

Course Curator: Dr. G. Danford (London Business School MBA, Helsinki School of Economics PhD)

Eight MBA-level sessions covering: Models of change, structural barriers, cultural challenges, and the implementation of change. Speakers include: business school professors (Harvard, Stanford…), corporations (McKinsey, Bain & Co…) and more.


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BEFORE YOU BEGIN: We recommend that you test your understanding of this sessions content.

WHY? Because the MOST VALID method for measuring learning is to compare results from a pre/post test of content.

 

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Please make a note of your score for comparison purposes at the end of this session.


8.0 Implementing Change

  • How structure, politics, and meaning interact in facilitating change?
  • Critical issues to consider when implementing change?
  • ‘Onboarding’ A NEW CHANGE MANAGEMENT TOOL

 

LEARNING MOMENTS from this session

  • There are two basic kinds of energy in organizations. One, triggered by a big opportunity, and the other, based on fear or anxiety
  • Organizational architecture refers to the formal (“official”) specifications of an organization and its governance.
  • Change should be described and communicated in ways that people can relate to.
  • To create change the elephant (energy), and the rider (planning and analyzing) must cooperate.
  • The eights steps for achieving change begin with ‘Creating a Sense of Urgency’ (crafting a significant opportunity).
  • To succeed in change it is essential to achieve congruence (agreement).
  • Onboarding has tended to be organization-focused, with little or no emphasis put on the value of new employees.
  • Leading positive change involves: ‘Lifting others-up…sharing the success, sharing the credit, sharing the recognition, and giving back’.

 

8.1 ‘Energy’ in Organizations

‘There are two basic kinds of energy in organizations. One, triggered by a big opportunity, can create momentum in the right direction and sustain it over time. The other, based on fear or anxiety, might overcome complacency for a time, but it does not build any momentum or maintain it. Instead it can create a panic, with all the obvious negative consequences, stressing people out and eventually draining an organization of the very energy leaders wanted to generate’.

A common problem is that people often mistake anxiety-driven activity for a true sense of urgency. But the two are vastly different. In order to create change of real significance, and to execute any new and different strategy, you need a sense of true urgency among as many people as possible. With less than 50% of managers and employees feeling that urgency, you’re very vulnerable to failure. (Prof. J. Kotter, Harvard)

 

The Importance of Urgency for Change (4:00)

Prof. John Kotter, Harvard Business School
NOTE: this video will start and stop at the pre-assigned times 6:13-10:31


 

8.2 Change Architecture

‘Organizational analysts distinguish between architectural and cultural features. Architecture refers to the formal (“official”) specifications of an organization and its governance. Architectural choices get reflected in the formal structures for assigning work, that is, construction of the units that undertake the subtransactions. The choices also specify the means of coordinating teams, monitoring them, and allocating resources/rewards. Culture governs the processes by which work actually get completed. The notion of culture includes both tacit knowledge of the details of the work process (including locally generated knowledge and craft/professional knowledge generated outside the organization) and norms encoding the informal understandings and practices for interaction, authority, and so forth’ (Source: M. Hannan, L. Polos, and G. Carroll, Stanford University).

 

‘Learn from the people. Plan with the people. Begin with what they have. Build on what they know. Of the best leaders, when the task is accomplished, the people all remark, we have done it ourselves’.

~Lao-tzu

The Change Process (2:00)

NOTE: this video will start and stop at the pre-assigned times 0:24-2:30


 

8.3 Healthy Change

Professor John Kotter (Harvard), states that ‘change should be described and communicated in ways that people can relate to’. When this is done properly, ‘it draws on people’s feelings, not just their intellects. It is vital to remember: hearts and minds. Without positive energy at the core, no significant change effort can succeed’, therefore:

  • Never assume that other people see what you see, even if a problem or opportunity seems obvious. People’s view of the world is limited by silo walls, and the hierarchy.
  • Never forget that ‘burning platforms’ can create more problems than solutions. Before yelling “fire!” consider the risks. No organization needs negative energy.
  • When it comes to sustained effort at a high level, positive feelings are infinitely more successful than negative. Fear and anxiety can keep people going for a limited time before leading to burnout.

 

The Six Critical Tasks (6:00)

NOTE: this video will start and stop at the pre-assigned times 2:30-8:30


pomodoro2

Take A Pomodoro Break Now (5 min. to relax & reflect)

Learning always benefits from short breaks. 


 

8.4 Desire To Change?

Our brain is like an elephant with a rider perched on top. The rider does the planning and analyzing. The elephant provides the emotional energy. To create change the elephant and rider must cooperate. Therefore, to bring about that change, we have to: Direct the Rider; Motivate the Elephant; Shape the Path (Dan Heath).

‘Our emotional side is an Elephant and our rational side is its Rider. Perched atop the Elephant, the Rider holds the reins and seems to be the leader. But the Rider’s control is precarious because the Rider is so small relative to the Elephant. Anytime the six-ton Elephant and the Rider disagree about which direction to go, the Rider is going to lose’. ~ Jonathan Haidt

  • To Direct the Rider: Make sure the rider knows where to go, how others got there, and how you’ll get there.
  • To Motivate the Elephant: Make sure the elephant feels drawn to the change (knowing isn’t enough). Make the change small (so it’s not intimidating) and encourage a growth mindset (“change is possible”).
  • To Shape The Path: Change the environment to change the behavior. Build habits. Behavior is contagious: surround yourself with others exhibiting the behavior your want; help is spread.

 

Put Feelings First (3:00)

Dan Heath
NOTE: this video will start and stop at the pre-assigned times 0:16-3:06


 

8.5 The Eight Change Steps

The eights steps in Kotter’s Change Model include:

  • Create a Sense of Urgency (crafting a significant opportunity).
  • Build a Guiding Coalition (a team with power and energy).
  • Form a Strategic Vision and Initiatives (steer the change effort).
  • Enlist a Volunteer Army (ready, willing and able).
  • Enable Action By Removing Barriers (remove obstacles).
  • Generate Short-term Wins (produce small accomplishments).
  • Sustain Acceleration (change structures and policies).
  • Institute Change (connect new behavior with success).

 

Lessons for Change (3:00)

NOTE: this video will start and stop at the pre-assigned times 8:42-11:44


 

8.6 Implementing Change @Microsoft

In order to succeed in change it is essential to achieve quickly the necessary internal and external organizational congruence (agreement). Leadership should also accept the need for and the value of improvisational change processes (improvising, and spontaneous). There exist many effective tools for implementing successful change programs. However, it is important that change leaders consider applying the three different ‘action repertoire’ (structure, politics, and meaning).

Change also requires that leadership are aware of the current organizational environment, therefore it is essential to analyze and understand the firms social networks, and design a change organization based upon those networks. Finally, formalizing the change processes requires that the leadership should add guiding rules, develop the necessary resources, and build strong relationships (the political landscape).

“What gets lost during transformative change is we wouldn’t be who we are, and as successful as we have been, if we didn’t have a decent batting average (Satya Nadella, CEO Microsoft). However, the Microsoft batting average in the last five years has not been great. Microsoft let go 18,000 employees, (most from Nokia), although 5,000 were from Microsoft. Therefore, as a result, the company is leaner and faster. The new CEO, without question, was picked to refocus, and is energetically refocusing Microsoft’s strategy. Amazingly, the remaining employees are fairly happy (82% approval rating for Nadella).

 

“We’re aspiring to have a living, learning culture with a growth mindset that allows us to learn from ourselves and our customers. I’m reluctant to communicate with employees in financially oriented terms, and prefer to emphasize stories about the company’s software and devices making a difference in the real world. I want everyone inside of Microsoft to take that responsibility”.

“This is not about top-line growth. This is not about bottom-line growth. This is about us individually having a growth mindset. The old culture will fight it, or our old capability will try to not let us go about it. However, I want people on the front line to be proud of what they’re doing, and give themselves permission to finish things in ways that they can be proud of. That’s what I think is what we’ve started, but the question is sustaining that effort. This is not about a one-time change.”

One way of cementing the Microsoft culture was by bringing more of the people who were spread out in offices around the Seattle region, back into the main Redmond campus. Microsoft’s new mission is: “To empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.” In his 2015 State of The Union address, Nadella stated: “I believe that culture is not static,it evolves every day based on the behaviors of everyone in the organization. We are in an incredible position to seize new growth this year. We will need to innovate in new areas, execute against our plans, make some tough choices in areas where things are not working, and solve hard problems in ways that drive customer value”.

 

Cultural Change @Microsoft (1:30)

Satya Nadella, CEO Microsoft
NOTE: this video will start and stop at the pre-assigned times 8:52-10:34


 

 

8.7 The ‘Onboarding Model’

Onboarding (new employee orientation) is an opportunity to teach new hires all about the organizational culture, help them fit in, and prepare them for their individual duties . Most companies offer some sort of orientation program (onboarding). According to Harvard Business School Professor Francesca Gino (and co-author Daniel M. Cable from the London Business School) , this approach to orientation has tended to be organization-focused, with little or no emphasis put on the value of the new employee herself/himself. Often, this process can discourage self-expression, which can eventually lead to job dissatisfaction and possibly even to an employee retention problem.

Many organizations say that they hire new personnel from outside because they want an infusion of new ideas. Therefore, why do some organizations stifle that desire during corporate onboarding?

Prof. Gino, hypothesize that a few small changes in the way organizations handle new employee orientation can have a dramatic effect on employee retention, engagement and happiness. The primary impetus for change in a onboarding model is due to the increased emphasis on the value of new employee individuality.

Onboarding could also be utilized as a means for planting the seeds of organizational change efforts. According to Prof. Gino; requiring new employees to ‘fit in’ rather than be appreciated for their new blood  and individuality (which fits with the objectives of a change program), may in fact pay off, and more organizations should re-evaluate their ‘onboarding’ processes. The establishment of successful long-term change in some organization may therefore rest with new  employees who are entering the organization, and the infusion of their new ways of thinking which fit more closely to the intended change for that organization. This process of change, although slower and incremental, may in the end achieve the desired results…especially in cases where…everything else has failed.

 

New Employee Orientation (3:30)

Prof. Francesca Gino, Harvard Business School
NOTE: this video will start and stop at the pre-assigned times 57:35-1:01:13


 

8.8 Leading Positive Change

Six Secrets to Leading Positive Change (Prof. Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Harvard Business School)

  • Show-up…if you don’t show up, nothing really happens.
  • Speak-up…use the power of voice to shape the agenda, framing issues for other people and helping people to see issues and ideas in another way.
  • Look-up…to a higher principle, a vision and values. Without a higher vision, leadership is hollow. Know what you stand for and be able to elevate people’s eyes from everyday problems to a higher vision and gain a sense of hope.
  • Team-up…everything goes better with partners. ‘If you want to go fast, go alone. If you go far, go together’.
  • Never Give-up…there is nothing we don’t start that doesn’t hit an obstacle or a roadblock. If you give up, by definition it’s a failure. If you keep going and find a way around the obstacles, more often you can reach a success.
  • Lift Others-up…share success, the credit, the recognition, and giving back.

 

Leading Change (4:00)

Professor Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Harvard Business School
NOTE: this video will start and stop at the pre-assigned times 0:36-4:52


 

8.9 Conclusion

“It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur.” ~ Nelson Mandela

  • A common problem is that people often mistake anxiety-driven activity (fear), for a true sense of urgency.
  • Organizational culture governs the processes by which work (change) actually get completed.
  • Without positive energy at the core, no significant change effort can succeed
  • ‘Anytime the six-ton Elephant and the Rider disagree about which direction to go, the Rider is going to lose’
  • Forming a strategic vision for change and the necessary initiatives (steering the change effort), is the third step in change management.
  • Change requires that leadership are aware of the current organizational environment, and networks.
  • Many organizations say that they hire new personnel from outside because they want an infusion of new ideas. Why do organizations stifle that desire during onboarding?
  • Never Give-up…’there is nothing we don’t start that doesn’t hit an obstacle or a roadblock’.

 

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BEFORE PROCEEDING:

COMPLETE Session 4/8 quiz again, and compare the results.

SHARE your thoughts and ideas in the comment section at bottom of page.

 


 

Recommended Reading:

Experimenting with Organizational Change (Harvard Business Review)


 

 

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