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Oct 28, 2008


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Spot on! I couldn't agree more with Linda.

Tim, you're so right about having senior level support, the higher the better! Do you use a formal methodology to manage change?

I am intrigued by the comments regarding outsourcing to China. Is there anyone else out there who has some interesting experiences to share?

Having spent the past 3 years working to implement a Global Services practice for a Chinese software company, this article resonated strongly - especially the "indecision" part. I find that consensus building is even more important to implementing change in this culture. It is a long, and sometimes painful process. It seems that "Any decision is better than no decision" translates to "No decision is better than any decision."


Excellent article.

I believe that a prudent approach to effecting change begins with "buy in," from the Chief Executive Officer. Once this has been obtained, I recommend that a well defined methodology be developed and carefully followed in order to meet or surpass expectations.


Kevin, isn't it interesting when leaders forget that without followers they have no purpose? Your comments that "doers" and mid-level managers may be overlooked as change champions is right on. Without engaged support at all levels, change agendas invariably fall far short of expectations. This, along with inadequate communications, a common causes of failure.

I used to work for a company where people talked about "engaging the heart". This can only be achieved through participation and empowerment.

Daniel, you touched on an interesting aspect of change. Anyone can say they're a leader, but a true test of leadership is how you behave under intense pressure. The glass can seem half empty or half full. Based on your comments, you are a glass-half-full leader.

Most people sincerely want to make a difference, and this can be a time to stretch and grow. Getting a couple of months under the belt will take the pressure off, and imagine how much broader and skilled people will become after they have learned how to swim in the deep end of the pool. Chin up!

Linda, great article. One of the biggest obstacles that I have personally faced on leading major transformation efforts including outsourcing is the lack of focus by the leaders on the "doers" or middle management - managers, supervisors, etc - who have staff and are responsible for processes. This middle level of the organization are the resources or true leaders who will be expected to implement systems or transfer process externally and all to often this key group is missed. This group is also the group that without proper engagement will severly resist change and will potentially derail progress.
You stated that "Your guiding team should be that magical 15%, and should be drawn from all levels in the organization" and by performing stakeholder analysis (for change management) early in a project and identifying middle management as a key group as champions or obstacles to the project. You can then develop a process to help enable them to lead through the change or ultimately own the implementation of the change, which will only further help organizations navigate obstacles.

Fear of the unknown is definitely the major obstacle, but one bi-product of this current economy is that many people are being forced to accept new roles, responsiblities and ways of doing things. The following statement sums up the current situation for many change-leaders:

"As a leader you must be open, be truthful, deal with conflict and personally deal with people issues. Especially when outsourcing"

It really is all about people - and sometimes adverse times like these are the necessary catalysts to change behaviours and attitudes,


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