In a recent webinar that Patty McManus and I led — "Three Strategies to Succeed at Change (and what to do if it goes sideways)" — many change leaders in the audience expressed concern about sponsorship. The short headline: "Lack of sponsorship can wreck a change effort."
Most major change initiatives in business fail to achieve their desired results. This is a shocking fact, when you consider how much is at stake when you undertake change — whether it's a company reorganization, new technology implementation, new products/services, you name it. And even the most successful initiatives are often painful and time-consuming to implement.
Restructuring an organization may be commonplace, but it isn't easy. I'm currently working with three companies that are either being acquired, or spinning off divisions to create new publicly traded companies — and I've been a leader during a restructuring (when PepsiCo divested itself of Pizza Hut). There are rumors that PepsiCo may be at it again; financial blogs are buzzing about the possible spin off Frito Lay.
Ashley Welch of Interaction Associates conducted a timely conversation with her colleague from the Interaction Institute for Social Change, Melinda Weekes (pictured below left). They discussed Strategies for Designing Social Change, exploring ways leaders in any sector can succeed when leading change.
Well, this has been quite the World Series – a Fall Classic showdown between Texas and St. Louis that even a die-hard Red Sox fan like me has enjoyed. Around Red Sox nation these days, anything to do with baseball is a sore subject – after the Sox suffered such an epic collapse in September.
But the film Moneyball has me thinking about the cliché that "baseball is a metaphor for life." And as the 2011 season winds to a close, I'm struck by how that movie offers a definite lesson in leadership that I want to explore here briefly.
Becoming and Belonging: the Underpinnings of Sustainable Change
In June, Ashley Welch spoke with Danny Martin: thought leader, environmentalist, facilitator, and inspirational speaker. Ashley and Danny discussed how to deepen and widen understanding within a group or organization so that change can take place.
On June 23rd, I partnered with Andy Black and Ali Vega to conduct a webinar about leading better online meetings. First, I covered our recent research about online meetings. Then, Andy shared some tools and best practices, and finally, we both gave a brief overview of Interaction Associates' new workshop, Mastering Online Meetings. (This workshop has been renamed Leading Online Meetings.)
Building on two years' work in emerging leadership models, Ashley Welch explores the challenge of developing leaders in a rapidly changing world — including a look at how shifts around sustainability are changing how leaders are developed.
Decision making during a crisis is the ultimate test for a leader. Especially when the problems are complex, roles become ambiguous, and urgent decisions get made hastily or pile up. The results are confusion and sometimes even paralysis. A leader can feel like the whole world is watching and waiting for decisive action that addresses issues and does it fast.
If you were to survey almost any professional group and ask who is working in a formal or informal matrix organization, chances are you'd see most hands in the air. Even if their companies have a formal organization structure aligned to market segments, products, or functional groups, most people have to contend with satisfying competing needs from multiple constituencies. All too often, the result is finding the "least worst" option rather than building agreements and reconciling the differences to serve all parties' needs and interests.