Tuesday, 19 May 2015 12:57

Mapping the Stakeholder Universe

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The stakeholder universe is becoming ever more complex for organizations. It has always been a challenge to determine which groups of stakeholders to focus on. Current trends are exacerbating this. 

Traditionally there were three main types of stakeholders organizations had to consider. Firstly, there were the owners and funders of the business, such as shareholders and banks, ensuring their needs were being met by the organization’s performance and strategy. Secondly, there was the internal audience of staff and work colleagues, making sure they were motivated and understood the organization’s direction. Thirdly, was the external audiences of customers and suppliers, making sure they were happy to keep buying and supplying.

Tuesday, 05 May 2015 09:52

Throw the baby out with the bathwater?

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I often act as a facilitator, working with teams to create a picture of the desired future state for their organization. This picture acts as the guiding light or vision for the change initiatives they undertake. 

 

One of the best ways of creating this picture is as a team in a workshop. There’s a question I always like to ask at some point in such a workshop. That question is “after the change - what should be the same?”

Sunday, 19 April 2015 09:21

Watch the walk before believing the talk

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I have a client whose chief executive has been talking up a strategic change. He has adopted a set of words to encapsulate, explain and encourage the change. He uses them a lot. If you listen to the words of the CEO everything will soon be profoundly different from the way they are now.

The words imply change. Radical change. As someone who spends his life helping organizations with change, I am interested in these words.

There is one type of change that results in more eye rolling, cynical comments and coffee machine jokes than any other. I am talking about changes that go under names like “cultural change”, “new values” or “behavioural change”. Announce an initiative of this type and many of your team will be sceptical. They will be sceptical because they have seen it all before. They have observed many cultural change programs previously and noted that nothing really changed as a result of any of them.

Friday, 16 January 2015 09:04

What is the point of change management?

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Are you involved in change management? Do you take part in conversations about change management? Do you ever find yourself questioning what exactly change management is? It can at times seem like a rather vague discipline to get your head around.

Friday, 12 December 2014 16:23

Operating or transforming: what's your priority?

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Every so often, pretty much every organization embarks on transformational change. This title may be applied to a major program of systems, process or organizational change, or the transformation may be driven by something less tangible  – such as altering organizational culture. Whatever it is, the organization wants to be different in a significant way.

There has been a whole lot written about the levels of success of organizational transformation programs. It makes sorry reading, but that’s not my subject today. I want to explore in this post is the inherent tension between business-as-usual operational performance and transformation. At heart, this is a conflict between doing a great job today and being able to do an even better job tomorrow. 

Tuesday, 02 December 2014 18:24

My new book: Managing Your Team Through Change

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I have just published my latest book, called "Managing Your Team Through Change". I am certain there is space for another book on change management. Two reasons drive this certainty: most books ignore team leaders as a specific audience with particular needs, and most change books do not talk to the messy reality of organizations. If you are a team leader, line manager, or someone who works with, supports or advises team leaders on change – this is the book for you.

Middle management is a really unfashionable topic. But to run an efficient organization it is critical to help middle managers fulfil their roles. My book sets out to do this, in the specific context of change.

Governance is not the most exciting topic. Conversations about governance often are dry and boring. Dull topics are the ones we tend to avoid. But governance is an important subject for anyone involved in projects.

Project governance relates to the mechanisms by which appropriate decisions are made on a project. These decisions relate to a range of issues. Typical governance issues concern project objectives, scope, approach, priorities and budget.

Sunday, 31 August 2014 08:03

Delegate, don't abdicate

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Ever since the leadership bandwagon started some decades ago, there has been repeated advice for managers to become leaders. One central piece of this advice is to avoid micro-managing. Give your team members space to do their work how they see best. Delegate widely. Set broad goals – leave your team to get on with the details. Focus your attention on building an environment in which your team can succeed, rather than trying to control them.

This is good advice. But like many simple pieces of advice – it can be interpreted in significantly different ways.

Saturday, 02 August 2014 09:29

The Last Book

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A few weeks ago, I sent the manuscript of my latest book to my publishers, (and writing this book is one reason I have not been posting so much recently sorry!). This will be my 11th book and possibly my last that will be published in the traditional format via a large publisher. In parallel, my 12th is already some way towards publication – but unlike my 11th it will only be produced in electronic format and is about a quarter of the length. The change between my 11th and 12th books marks the widespread, and probably easily predictable shift in publishing, commented on by many. 

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