Leading Change Meeting 1 Takeaways

Leading Change Meeting 1 Takeaways

These were the main discussion points from the first meeting on January 28th covering the first 4 chapters (Pages 1-68). The bolded questions were asked during the meeting. This page does not include all of the book material, nor all the questions posed or discussion points from the discussion.

Meeting 2 will take place on February 28th at 2 PM Central Time.

Chapter 1: Why Firms Fail

At least 75% of the upper management has to be in full support of the initiative. If they are not or they get on board after the start of the project, then it will be significantly harder to get traction in the organization.

Chapter 2: Successful Change

Management vs. Leadership

Management is much more of a title/role you fill whereas leader is real action. Overall, when part of a team, there are managers that aren’t necessarily leaders and leaders that aren’t managers. It comes down to your personal leadership style and what your strengths are. In the end, everyone has to be supportive no matter what position you hold.

When have you experienced a good manager that was a bad leader or vice versa? What did you do to work with that person more effectively?

Everyone has experienced these struggles, and sometimes people that are really good at one job but then get promoted and struggle. A good leader is someone that can adapt and change their style for the person.

Poor leadership is not giving a vision for the future. They are constantly asking: What might this company be in the future? As for employees, good leaders give a path to progress help them if they feel stuck. People want to move on and showing/helping them do that will get you their trust and support.

Chapter 3: Urgency

Are there any sources of complacency particularly strong in the plastics industry?

Complacency can cause all projects to fall behind. Team members that don’t have it as a priority must be changed. Their attitude is: if no one else cares, then why should I? Establishing a sense of urgency alleviates this problem because it becomes a priority for everyone.

You need a vision for the future. It’s very easy to not go toward anything when there isn’t a set destination or target. It’s very difficult to motivate people in this case.

In the plastics industry – customers are averse to change because there is lots of testing and expenses associated with it – is it worth it? Lots of pressure to change from outside forces, we need this urgency to change as an industry.

How to combat complacency:

There are several effective ways to incite a sense of urgency in the organization.

  • Set targets way above realistic expectations so that people can see the shortcomings, even if it’s fabricated.
  • Get people out of their comfort zone so they don’t fall behind. Back to the reasons behind failures: It’s a lot easier to motivate people when there is a visible problem.
  • Upper management cannot communicate “happy talk” to employees because this leads to complacency. Management needs to be true to employees and face the facts. Do your employees know things might not be going well?
  • Money is typically the driver, 80% of changes come from financial problems that need fixing. Potential increase in the supply market, changes to facilities, it really comes down to money. If it isn’t bank-breaking to change, then it might not happen. If it’s coming from top-down and fits in-budget, then the urgency will be there.

Chapter 4: Guiding Coalition

The leadership team for a major change has to involve all levels of management and employees and include influencers throughout that chain.

Short term goals are very important, involving teams by accomplishing tasks that are part of the endgame goal. Company-wide objectives gets buy-in from all departments, seeing buy-in when these tasks are completed. If they want to see more action, create smaller teams that include multiple departments, facilitating conversations across the company.

Get feedback, what do you like/dislike, don’t be afraid of negative feedback.

How can you prevent negative influences on the Guiding Coalition?

When a manager, watch out for the people just interested in checking off the box, belief in the vision is imperative.

Need to be apathetic and a team player, try to understand their personality type for better collaboration. Do not blow them off. Understand their perspective, and remember that at the end of the day, they’re a part of the company.

Personality types are very important, recommend taking the tests to learn about yourself and how to interact with other people.

How can you build trust throughout the company?

Social meetings are important too. Regional meetings can have team activities to boost trust. Business conferences can be split between social and professional. Work hard play hard culture, being together away from work is important for the team.

As regional managers that are remote, not seeing them every day, try to schedule travel together in order to build that time together on the road.

Trust is crucial, an endgame goal that requires multiple levels and departments that need buy-in. Each department can be very separated from the others, so you need to trust those departments to do their work on their own, and trust off-site employees as well.

Communication is key – copy on emails as much as possible, let me know if anything goes awry. Even negative news, communication can solve the issue.