Month: December 2020

Lifting your head from the sand.

Business conversations work better when business leaders actively acknowledge unpleasant information rather than run from it. Today an article from McKinsey & Company which describes a technique for ensuring all parties in a negotiation are on the same page when a meeting ends. I am sure we have all experienced the situation described in article, where the formal response from the other party did not match our expectations following the meeting. Ms Rinaudo’s article provides one technique to avoid such a problem. I would like to add some more ideas based on my experience. Most people prefer to avoid difficult conversations so they gloss over contentious issues during face to face meetings intending to clarify their real position in the follow up documentation. This wastes a lot of time in subsequent meetings, calls, exchanges of contracts etc before agreement is reached. In my experience raising and clarifying contentious issues is usually much easier than expected. And let’s face it contentious issues have to resolved at some point, so do it during the meeting. Starting the …

Managing Change Part 3

Walking the Talk on Change In this third post on the topic of driving change I am reviewing another article from David Michels available on Bain & Company’s website. We know that leadership can be difficult and lonely but that is no excuse to step back. It is well known that many change initiatives fail. Research by Bain found that 88% fall short of their original goal. How can you beat the odds and achieve your objectives? David Michels has identified three causes of failure and I will suggest some ways to avoid them. Change is vague and intangible: Mr Michels states managing change does not lend itself to clean analytical problem solving. And it is complicated by human behavior. People do not like change and there will be some employees who try to undermine your change initiatives either actively or via inertia. It is worth taking the time to identify groups of employees who may feel threatened by the change initiative being implemented. Take the time to talk with them, either to allay their …

Managing Change Part 2

What goes unmeasured goes unmanaged Today I am recommending David Michels’s article from Bain & Company, titled “Measuring Your Organizations Ability to Change” If the Covid Pandemic has taught us anything, it has taught us that the ability to drive change is critical. Mr. Michels states that companies that are good at managing change grow revenues up to three times faster than companies with lesser ability. Based on research the article identifies three skill sets and nine factors which, if they exist in an organization will enable it to manage and implement change. Lead Change Purpose: Although it is not stated in the article, but it is implied, explaining why change is needed and the expected benefits aligns employees with the company goals. Companies tend not to be good at this, so make sure you take the time to fully explain why you are making these changes. Direction: A clear road map on how you intend to get to the end goal. Connection: To ensure that employees are committed to the goal keep them informed. …

Managing Change – Part 1

Change is constant – Managing it is a Skill Today I am going to review the first three articles from Bain & Company, two of which were originally published by Forbes.com. I have linked these articles because they provide an effective path to implementing change in your organization. In Creating Change on the Front Line the authors recommend that you spend time learning from your star performers. Having identified the changes you wish to make, the author of Measuring Your Organizations Ability to Change identifies the critical skill sets needed to implement change. And finally in Walking the Talk on Change the same author reminds us that we must lead by example. As a leader of a SME you probably feel it is your and your management team’s role to solve problems. But you should not miss the opportunity to learn from your best performing employees, the stars, the employees who by their actions deliver above average results. The authors identify three steps to achieve success and remind us to look outside our organization for ideas: Analyze Data to find …