Category Archives: Change Management

DECISION MAKING INSIGHTS

DECISION MAKING INSIGHTS

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Optimal decision-making depends on a complex interaction between environmental forces, quality of thinking applied, best use of expertise, desired outcomes and a strong awareness and response to drag and enabling factors.

Whilst higher value outcomes are more likely to be generated from reliance on high quality qualitative and quantitative data there is no guarantee of data perfection over time.

Furthermore, how data is generated and used depends on the expertise, assumptions and awareness used to synthesise and translate findings into short and longer-term actions (tactics and strategy)

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EXTERNAL FACTORS – predicted and unpredicted

Political landscape

Economic issues

Sociological changes

Technological change

Legal impacts

Environmental issues

Competitive landscape  : current and transformational

 

Drag factors

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  • Unwarranted internal political interference /power plays/fiefdoms
  • The impact of PESTLE factors if not considered carefully
  • Poor competitor intelligence – known and unknown moves and plans
  • New entrants/ sudden shocks to the market
  • Lack of appropriate expertise to assemble, disseminate and translate data
  • Lack of agility and implementation expertise
  • Lack of cultural aims and dissemination throughout the organisation
  • Lack of continuous learning, creativity and innovation
  • Lack of stakeholder interaction and understanding
  • Lack of risk awareness
  • Poor ethical /moral stance

 

 Enabling factors 

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  • Best expertise in place with a mandate to act
  • Agile leadership and implementation
  • Organisation design to deliver
  • Optimal Stakeholder understanding and interaction
  • Critical and sensitive awareness/ response to PESTLE factors and competitor intent plus potential new entrants /market shocks
  • A culture based on the ability to learn, evolve, be creative and reinvent
  • A balance between evidence and intuition
  • Risk awareness and governance
  • Commercial and Market astuteness with value creation aims

 

 

SUMMARY – what makes it all work?

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  • Being well informed – excellent external and internal intelligence and feedback systems
  • Being well organized- to deliver through culture, people, processes and systems
  • Being agile, adaptable, creative and evolutionary – to embrace and lead on change
  • Being in control of the commercial context – to enable best returns and future investment

 

MODEL decision 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Drag factors

 

  • Unwarranted internal political interference /power plays/fiefdoms
  • The impact of PESTLE factors if not considered carefully
  • Poor competitor intelligence – known and unknown moves and plans
  • New entrants/ sudden shocks to the market
  • Lack of appropriate expertise to assemble, disseminate and translate data
  • Lack of agility and implementation expertise
  • Lack of cultural aims and dissemination throughout the organisation
  • Lack of continuous learning, creativity and innovation
  • Lack of stakeholder interaction and understanding
  • Lack of risk awareness
  • Poor ethical stance

 

 

Enabling factors

 

  • Best expertise in place with a mandate to act
  • Agile leadership and implementation
  • Organisation design to deliver
  • Optimal Stakeholder understanding and interaction
  • Critical and sensitive awareness/ response to PESTLE factors and competitor intent plus potential new entrants /market shocks
  • A culture based on the ability to learn, evolve, be creative and reinvent
  • A balance between evidence and intuition
  • Risk awareness and governance
  • Commercial and Market astuteness with value creation aims

 

 

SUMMARY – what makes it all work?

 

  • Being well informed and sensitised to the environment – excellent external and internal intelligence and feedback systems
  • Being well organised and ethical  to deliver through culture, people, processes and systems
  • Being agile, adaptable, creative and evolutionary – to embrace and lead on change
  • Being in control of the commercial context – to enable best returns and future investment

MARKETING STRATEGY INSIGHTS

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USEFUL INSIGHTS ON MARKETING STRATEGY 

THE ANSOFF PRODUCT-MARKET MATRIX 

The Ansoff product-market matrix helps to understand and assess marketing or business development strategy. Any business, or part of a business can choose which strategy to employ, or which mix of strategic options to use.

This is one simple way of looking at strategic development options:

Existing products New products
Existing markets Market penetration Product development
New markets Market development Diversification

Each of these strategic options holds different opportunities and downsides for different organizations, so what is right for one business won’t necessarily be right for another.

Think about what option offers the best potential for your own business and market. Think about the strengths of your business and what type of growth strategy your strengths will enable most naturally. Generally beware of diversification – this is, by its nature, unknown territory, and carries the highest risk of failure whilst also enabling opportunities.

Here are the Ansoff strategies in summary:

Market penetration – Developing sales of existing products to your existing market(s). This makes sense if there is market share to be gained at the expense of your competitors, or if the market is growing fast and large enough for the growth you need. If you already have large market share you need to consider whether investing for further growth in this area would produce diminishing returns from your development activity. It could be that you will increase the profit from this activity more by reducing costs than by actively seeking more market share. Strong market share suggests there are likely to be better returns from extending the range of products/services that you can offer to the market.

Product development – Developing or finding new products to take to your existing market(s). This is an attractive strategy if you have strong market share in a particular market. Such a strategy can be a suitable reason for acquiring another company or product/service capability provided it is relevant to your market and your distribution route. Developing new products does not mean that you have to do this yourself (which is normally very expensive and frequently results in simply re-inventing someone else’s wheel !) – Often there are potential manufacturing partners  who are looking for their own distribution partner with the sort of market presence that you already have. However if you already have good market share across a wide range of products for your market, this option may be one that produces diminishing returns on your growth investment and activities, and instead you may do better to seek to develop new markets, as in the next strategic option

Market development – Developing new markets for your existing products.

New markets can also mean new sub-sectors within your market – it helps to stay reasonably close to the markets you know and which know you. Moving into completely different markets, even if the product/service fit looks good, holds risks because this will be unknown territory for you, and almost certainly will involve working through new distribution channels, routes or partners. If you have good market share and good product/service range then moving into associated markets or segments is likely to be an attractive strategy.

Diversification – taking new products into new markets. This is high risk – not only do you not know the products, but neither do you know the new market(s), and again this strategic option is likely to entail working through new distribution channels and routes to market.

This sort of activity should generally be regarded as additional and supplementary to the core business activity, and should be rolled out carefully through rigorous testing and piloting.

Consider also your existing products and services themselves in terms of their market development opportunity and profit potential. Some will offer very high margins because they are relatively new, or specialised in some way, perhaps because of special unique selling propositions (USPs) or distribution arrangements. Other products and services may be more mature, with little or no competitive advantage, in which case they will produce lower margins

With this in mind the Boston Matrix is a useful way to understand and assess your different existing product and service opportunities: 

THE BOSTON MATRIX 

The Boston matrix model is a tool for assessing existing and development products in terms of their market potential, and thereby implying strategic action for products and services in each category.

Low market share High market share
Growing market Problem child (Rising) star
Mature market Dog Cash cow


Cash Cow – This metaphor is based on the idea of ‘milking’ the returns from previous investments which established good distribution and market share for the product. Products in this quadrant need maintenance and protection activity, together with good cost management, not growth effort, because there is little or no additional growth available.

Dog – This is any product or service which has low market presence in a mature or stagnant market. There is no point in developing products or services in this quadrant. Many organisations discontinue products/services that they consider fall into this category, in which case consider potential impact on overhead cost recovery. Businesses that have been starved or denied development find themselves with a high or entire proportion of their products or services in this quadrant.

Problem Child– These are products which have a big and growing market potential, but existing low market share, normally because they are new products, or the application has not been spotted and acted upon yet. New business development and project management principles are required to ensure that product potential can be realised and disasters avoided. This is likely to be an area of business that is quite competitive, where the pioneers take the risks in the hope of securing good early distribution arrangements, image, reputation and market share. Gross profit margins are likely to be high, but overheads, in the form of costs of research, development, advertising, market education, and low economies of scale, are normally high, and can cause initial business development in this area to be loss-making until the product moves into the Rising Star category, which is by no means assured – many problem children products remain as such.

Rising Star –  are those which have good market share in a strong and growing market. As a product moves into this category it is commonly known as a ‘rising star’. When a market is strong and still growing, competition is not yet fully established. Demand is strong; saturation or over-supply do not exists, and so pricing is relatively unhindered. This all means that these products produce very good returns and profitability. The market is receptive and educated, which optimises selling efficiencies and margins. Production and manufacturing overheads are established and costs minimised due to high volumes and improved economies of scale. These are great products and worthy of continuing investment provided good growth potential continues to exist. When it does not these products are likely to move down to cash cow status, and the company needs to have the next rising stars developing from its problem children.

After considering your business in terms of useful thinking aids such as the Ansoff matrix and Boston matrix there are other important considerations such as:

* What is the significance of your major accounts – do they offer better opportunity for growth and development than your ordinary business?

* Do you have a high quality; specialised offering that delivers better business benefit on a large scale as opposed to small scale?

* Are your selling costs and investment similar for large and small contracts? If so you might do better concentrating on developing large major accounts business, rather than taking a sophisticated product or service solution to smaller companies which do not appreciate or require it, and cost you just as much to sell to as a large organization.

COMPASS

BRAINSTORM INSIGHTS

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BRAINSTEERING

One aspect of change management involves the use of brainstorming .

In Kevin and Shawn Coyne’s book : BRAINSTEERING: A Better Approach to Breakthrough Ideas  some new ideas are provided for more effective brainstorming  based on the proposition that many attempts at brainstorming are doomed . The flow of ideas may be fast and furious with traditional brainstorming but they can be ultimately shallow

The authors propose seven main principles that  inform a ” brainsteering” approach . A more structured but not constraining approach.

1. Know your organisations decision making criteria : this considers the  company will use to make decisions about any ideas generated. There is a need to understand existing strategic and tactical aims.For example ideas used may need to be practical, affordable and profitable within a year .

2, Ask the right questions : Academic research implies that  loosely structured sessions are inferior to approaches that use structure as the best way is to use questions as the platform for ideas generation. /for example the authors suggest that 15 -20 questions are appropriate for a workshop attended by about 20 people.Typical questions might be around trying to understand the customer experience , how to reduce complexity, what existing policies and procedures should be challenged.

3. Choose the right people :  Pick the people who can answer the questions you are posing and have regard for their special knowledge.

4. Divide and Conquer :  Don’t hold on rambling discussion – break into sub groups of 3-5 people ( no fewer and no more based on the idea that the social norm is to  speak up in smaller rather than larger groups) and let them focus on one question for 30 minutes . So overall take the 15 -20 questions and split them between the subgroups ( about 5 questions each) .Furthermore where possible assign questions to groups that are best able to handle them.

5. On your marks ,get set,go ! : Orient the full group by clarifying expectations . Prepare participants for the possibility that they might only generate 2-3 worthy ideas and that this is balanced by the fact that by the need of the day all of the sub groups will have generated a wealth of ideas.

6.Wrap it up : By the end of a typical day each subgroup tends to produce about 15 interesting ideas for further exploration so there could be 60 ideas generated by a 20 person team . Have each subgroup narrow its list of ideas to a top few and then share all of the top ideas with the whole group to motivate and inspire all participants. the group should not pick winners or a winner. Close the day on a high note and describe exactly what steps will be taken to choose winning ideas and how they will learn about final decisions.

7. Follow up quickly : Decisions and other follow up activities should be rapid, well managed and thorough. Concrete action generated from brainstorm sessions can decline quickly as time passes and the momentum is lost. This part of the process must be clearly in place and agreed before any brainsteering session. There should be excellent communication to all participants covering all of the ideas and the rationale for selection and rejection at this stage.

The overall thinking behind this approach is that whilst traditional brainstorming is fast and furious it can be ultimately shallow. By using a more focused,question based approach their is an opportunity to capture better ideas from participants

 

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See the book on Amazon here

 

CULTURE CHANGE AND TRANSFORMATION LEADERSHIP

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You cannot lead what you do not understand

CORPORATE CULTURE emerges in how and organisation conducts business ,treats employees,customers,stakeholders and the wider community.It also shows in aspects such as the extent there is  freedom in decision-making, focus on  innovation and new ideas, scope for personal expression and how power flows . An existing culture is based on shared philosophies,ideologies,values.assumptions,beliefs and attitudes. Transforming,sustaining and allowing for evolution of  a  culture is a complex process requiring a clearly  articulated strategic aim , underpinning objectives and long term programme coordination and mobilisation of resources.

 1. Define what you are going to do, why you will do it, what the benefits of change are, and what the dangers of not changing are.

“Our only security is our ability to change” – John Lily

  • Is a clarifying vision of the future articulated and widely accepted?
  • Is the rationale for change sensible and clear and sound? Are benefits well-defined?
  • Does the case for change balance crisis and opportunity?
  • Are the vision and rationale easy to communicate in less than  3 minutes AND easy to get a reaction from AND of interest to others besides those in the executive meetings?
  • Has a clear roadmap forward been developed and shopped around to gain support?

2. Create a sense of urgency and sustain it

“If you do not change direction you may end up where you are heading” – Lao Tzu

  • Is there a change champion calling others to action at very top?
  • Is the Guiding Coalition actively involved (not just hoping for wins) in generating legitimate short-term wins?
  • Are reward & recognition for wins happily made AND do they go beyond money?
  • Are leaders leveraging the positive energy created by short-term wins to go after bigger opportunities?

3.Put governance and management in place; Form a powerful guiding coalition for success

“Slowness to change usually means fear of the new”- Philip Crosby

  • Is a Change Sponsor selected and has a Governance Body/Guiding Coalition been established to oversee and refine execution of the transformation roadmap and to maintain urgency throughout the enterprise?
  • Is the effort inclusive of diverse, influential leaders throughout the organization, or are the ‘usual suspects’ once again involved in this effort?
  • Is a day-to-day leader in place to coordinate the program’s various work streams, manage the roadmap, identify needs, remove barriers and drive execution?
  • Are there sufficient resources with the right skills dedicated to the effort?

4. Engage key stakeholders – particularly managers – in making change happen

“The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not the turbulence -it is to act with yesterdays logic” – Peter Drucker

  • Have stakeholders who are critical to transformation success been identified and their personal value drivers learned?
  • Is it clear how stakeholders will be proactively involved in making the transformation happen over time to build their support and maintain their engagement?
  • Has a cadre of top change agents been identified and rallied to be actively involved in all aspects of executing the transformation – planning, communications, engagement, execution, monitoring, training, local level readiness, piloting solutions, etc.? Is this cadre treated like the pioneering group of change agents and first-followers they are?

5. Over-communicate the vision & key messages 

“Paralyse resistance with persistence”  – Woody Hayes

  • Are executives across the impacted enterprise incorporating messages into their hour-by-hour activities?
  • Are ALL channels and roles being leveraged to deliver the right message ,to the right people , at the right time?
  • Are visible & influential leaders and managers walking the talk? Are change leadership coaching & 360 feedback tools being applied to change their behavior when needed?

Do the communications about this change strive for candid, cascading, interactive, face-to-face messaging?

6. Remove obstacles to transformation success, especially during implementation

“The path of least resistance is the path of the loser” – H.G.Wells

  • Have those impacted by the changes been asked about barriers to success?
  • Has fairness been included as a design principle in workforce reduction plans to avoid creating sense of injustice and disengagement?
  • Have local level change agents/leaders been identified and prepared to be involved?
  • Have rapid action barrier removal groups been formed on the ground to swiftly remove the biggest obstacles during implementation? Is feedback on barriers shared regularly with the Guiding Coalition to facilitate problem solving?

7. Enable real transformation by cultivating a new organisational culture and individual behaviours
“People don’t resist change. They resist being changed!”— Peter Senge

  • Are you actively and thoughtfully identifying and cultivating a desired culture that supports, not hinders, the new business strategy or change vision?
  • Are you actively and thoughtfully shifting underlying mindsets along with delivering new skills training?
  • Is there a focus on leaders modeling the desired behaviors as a key way to cultivate a new culture?

8. Realign operations and organisation to enable the new vision and support the transformation

“Those who resist change are the architects of decay’ – Harold Wilson

  • Have competencies and skills been assessed and upgraded across the impacted enterprise?
  • Are processes being assessed and modified to enable a new way of working?
  • Are you hiring for the future or for yesterday? Do new hires reflect desired or old culture?

9. Upgrade executives’ and leaders’ skills in change leadership

“Change before you have to” – Jack Welch

  • Is your leadership prepared to effectively lead people through change, or do they simply do things the same way they’ve been doing them in relatively stable times?
  • Are there key leaders and senior managers involved with the effort who are experienced in change or is there an assumption that it ‘can be figured out?’ Can you afford to assume that given what’s at stake for the company?

If you find yourself in charge of a highly visible, strategically critical change program, it is appealing to think of a list like this as a checklist – “if I do these things, we will succeed.” The power of understanding these success factors cannot be underestimated. The real power in this framework, however, is in its’ effective execution. And that’s where experience with big change comes into play – make sure you’ve got people supporting you who have done it before and who understand the nuances involved in each of these factors. While it won’t be as easy as clearing a checklist, understanding the framework and having the right change experience on board will get you far closer to the financial, business and customer outcomes your company must achieve

SEE FREE  FLIPBOARD STRATEGY MAGAZINE

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My career experience includes HR Director and senior executive roles in Barclays plc and Tesco plc leading major transformation and complex change programmes reporting at Board level .I have an MBA, BA and I am a member of the CIPD and Association for Coaching. I am an accredited coach with over 12 years of private client coaching experience and as an associate consultant with Penna (UK) dealing with career, life,executive and business coaching and counselling. I work in mentoring and coaching partnerships with executives to help achieve gains of importance to them.I help people of all ages, different cultures and job levels to understand more about themselves, their impact on others and how to develop across major dimensions in life.
I respect the integrity and confidentiality of my clients building on their existing great skills and abilities and evolving enhanced self guidance : ” No one in the world was ever you before, with your particular gifts and abilities and possibilities.”

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Just a thought :

Five frogs are sitting on a log.
Four decide to jump off. How many are left?

Answer: five. Why? Because there’s a difference between deciding and doing.

Mark Feldman

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CLOUD LIGHT WEB

BRAINSTORMING AND CHANGE MANAGEMENT

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BRAINSTEERING

One aspect of change management involves the use of brainstorming .

In Kevin and Shawn Coyne’s book : BRAINSTEERING: A Better Approach to Breakthrough Ideas  some new ideas are provided for more effective brainstorming  based on the proposition that many attempts at brainstorming are doomed . The flow of ideas may be fast and furious with traditional brainstorming but they can be ultimately shallow

The authors propose seven main principles that  inform a ” brainsteering” approach . A more structured but not constraining approach.

  1. Know your organisations decision making criteria : this considers the  company will use to make decisions about any ideas generated. There is a need to understand existing strategic and tactical aims.For example ideas used may need to be practical, affordable and profitable within a year .

2, Ask the right questions : Academic research implies that  loosely structured sessions are inferior to approaches that use structure as the best way is to use questions as the platform for ideas generation. /for example the authors suggest that 15 -20 questions are appropriate for a workshop attended by about 20 people.Typical questions might be around trying to understand the customer experience , how to reduce complexity, what existing policies and procedures should be challenged.

  1. Choose the right people :  Pick the people who can answer the questions you are posing and have regard for their special knowledge.
  2. Divide and Conquer : Don’t hold on rambling discussion – break into sub groups of 3-5 people ( no fewer and no more based on the idea that the social norm is to  speak up in smaller rather than larger groups) and let them focus on one question for 30 minutes . So overall take the 15 -20 questions and split them between the subgroups ( about 5 questions each) .Furthermore where possible assign questions to groups that are best able to handle them.
  3. On your marks ,get set,go ! : Orient the full group by clarifying expectations . Prepare participants for the possibility that they might only generate 2-3 worthy ideas and that this is balanced by the fact that by the need of the day all of the sub groups will have generated a wealth of ideas.

6.Wrap it up : By the end of a typical day each subgroup tends to produce about 15 interesting ideas for further exploration so there could be 60 ideas generated by a 20 person team . Have each subgroup narrow its list of ideas to a top few and then share all of the top ideas with the whole group to motivate and inspire all participants. the group should not pick winners or a winner. Close the day on a high note and describe exactly what steps will be taken to choose winning ideas and how they will learn about final decisions.

  1. Follow up quickly : Decisions and other follow up activities should be rapid, well managed and thorough. Concrete action generated from brainstorm sessions can decline quickly as time passes and the momentum is lost. This part of the process must be clearly in place and agreed before any brainsteering session. There should be excellent communication to all participants covering all of the ideas and the rationale for selection and rejection at this stage.

The overall thinking behind this approach is that whilst traditional brainstorming is fast and furious it can be ultimately shallow. By using a more focused,question based approach their is an opportunity to capture better ideas from participants

The Six Change Approaches of Kotter and Schlesinger considers ways to minimise resistance to change in organisations

According to Kotter and Schlesinger there are four major reasons why people resist change:

  1. Parochial self-interest  where people are concerned with the impact change for themselves and how it may affect  their own interests
  2. Misunderstanding  including communication problems and  inadequate information
  3. Low tolerance to change  where some  people are concerned about security and stability in their work
  4.  Different assessments of the situation  where some people may disagree on the reasons for change and on the advantages and disadvantages of the change process

Kotter and Schlesinger set out six change approaches to deal with resistance to change:

  1. Education and Communication – Where there is a lack of information or inaccurate information and analysis. One of the best ways to overcome resistance to change is to educate people about the change effort beforehand. Quality communication and education helps people understand the logic of the change effort  and minimises  rumours
  2. Participation and Involvement – When people are involved in the change effort they are more likely to buy into change rather than resist it. This approach is likely to lower resistance and prevent passive acquiescence to change.
  3. Facilitation and Support –Leadership support helps people deal with fear and anxiety during a transition period. This approach is concerned with provision of special training, counselling, outlets for concerns
  4. Negotiation and Agreement – Where someone or some group may lose out in a change and where that individual or group has considerable power to resist. Managers can combat resistance by offering incentives to employees not to resist change. This can be done by allowing change resistors to veto elements of change that are threatening, or change resistors can be offered incentives to leave the company through early buyouts or retirements in order to avoid having to experience the change effort. This approach will be appropriate where those resisting change are in a position of power.
  5. Manipulation and Co-option – Where other tactics will not work or are too expensive. Kotter and Schlesinger suggest that an effective manipulation technique is to co-opt with resisters. Co-option may involve selecting leaders of the resisters to participate in the change effort. These leaders can be given a symbolic role in decision making without threatening the change effort.
  6. Explicit and Implicit Coercion – Where speed is essential and only to be used only as last resort. Managers can explicitly or implicitly force people into accepting change by making clear that resisting change can lead to negative outcomes such as job loss, firing, transferring or lack of promotion prospects.

See more on change management in Coaching Cosmos Newsletters

The Burke Litwin Model

Elements to include in a change campaign

Conversations enable change not edicts

Appreciative inquiry for change leaders

An approach to stakeholder engagement

Business Case Development Insights

The Kotter 8 step change process

The Link between change management and leadership

The Transformation Story

A new look at Brainstorming ( Brainsteering)  & Dealing with Resistance to Change

The ADKAR model of Change

The Futures Wheel

Four Principles for Staying in Control

Change Management Phases

Measuring the impact of change – KPIs

Resistance to Change by Rick Maurer

Time management and better use of resources

Insights on establishing credibility

Elements to include in a change campaign

Report Writing skills

Underpinning Successful Change

Road Test your Business Case

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