Leading Change

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Navigating the Politics and Emotions of Change

Skepticism, fear and panic can wreak havoc on any change process. But proactively addressing these types of feelings can ease resistance and disengagement. Research shows that executives can successfully initiate change initiatives by mapping the political landscape to identify the key stakeholders who will be affected by the change and the key influencers within each stakeholder group. They should also involve influential early adopters and engage with skeptics.

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From the Editor: Creating and Leading Change

Consumers are driving change for retailers. As the new article “Competing in the Age of Omnichannel Retailing” notes, “Recent technology advances in mobile computing and augmented reality are blurring the boundaries between traditional and Internet retailing.” Meanwhile, “The Executive’s Role in Social Business” notes that while C-suite executives see social business as an opportunity, they are having a hard time turning that potential into reality.

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How to Use Analogies to Introduce New Ideas

While change and innovation clearly produce much of the turbulence that besets modern businesses, research suggests that change itself is not the culprit, but rather how organizations perceive and cope with change. Both people and organizations rely on analogies to help them comprehend change, including the meaning and potential of new technologies, systems and processes. But do all analogies function in the same way? How strongly should organizations adhere to their chosen analogies?

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How to Change an Organization Without Blowing It Up

Too often, organizational change occurs all at once, on a large scale, and often in response to crisis. Yet we know from a great deal of experience that such transformation attempts often fail, fostering employee discontent and producing mediocre solutions with little lasting impact. Continuously pursuing smaller-scale changes — and weaving them together — offers a practical middle path between large-scale transformation and small-scale pilot projects

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Image courtesy of Novo Nordisk A/S.

How to Become a Sustainable Company

Trends suggest that the public is no longer satisfied with corporations that focus solely on short-term profits. A recent study comparing companies that adopted environmental and social policies with companies that didn’t supports this view. However, few companies are born with a commitment to sustainability. To develop one, companies need leadership commitment, an ability to engage with multiple stakeholders along the value chain, employee engagement and disciplined mechanisms for execution.

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How Much Improvement Can We Process At Once?

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Companies’ use of sophisticated Six Sigma tools and similar improvement activities often creates information overload for workers, writes Satya S. Chakravorty of the Coles College of Business at Kennesaw State University.

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Overcoming innovation hurdles

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What’s one of the challenges to successful management or process innovation in an existing business? The array of organizational structures that are designed to keep current processes running smoothly.

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Enabling Bold Visions

A CEO’s new vision often blurs into an indistinct image once the initial blitz is over. To ensure that the vision is more than just a daydream, companies should follow a five-phase model that some organizations have used successfully to avoid disaster or complacency.

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Achieving Deep Customer Focus

Customer-focused transformation is producing long-term, sustainable growth through a systemic, tested process. The approach gets all employees collaborating to identify the outcomes that customers need — and to help them get there.

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Avoiding Repetitive Change Syndrome

Most management advice urges companies to undertake frequent and radical change in order to stay competitive. But, says the author, such advice is overprescribed, and those that continue to heed it risk initiative overload, organizational chaos and employee burnout.

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The Rhythm of Change

A generation of managers is obsessed with the idea of dramatic, turbulent change. This is misguided hype, say the authors. Drawing on management literature, history and company examples such as IBM, General Electric and British Airways, they contend that a sensible framework for change must recognize the subtle interplay of its various forms as well as the importance of stability and continuity.

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Leading in Unnerving Times

Warren Bennis and a panel of experts in leadership development discuss the “legitimization of doubt,” which frees managers to admit they don’t know everything and to begin the serious learning that improves competitiveness. “Most managers find it unnerving to be thrown into situations they can’t anticipate,” says Bennis. “Accustomed to being on top of everything, they are now experiencing doubt. And they should be.”

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How To Be a CEO for the Information Age

Increasingly, information technology isn’t just for supporting the strategy, it is the strategy. Unfortunately, many CEOs send their managers negative signals about IT’s role. Only the “believer CEO,” who demonstrates through daily actions a belief in the strategic value of IT, can help others manage effectively in the Information Age. The authors offer examples of such CEOs and give some techniques for addressing blind spots to improve an organization’s competitiveness.

Showing 21-40 of 42