Author, Consultant, Executive Coach - Helping people and organizations grow into desired results

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Change, innovation & global opportunities

In the run-up to the workshop I’m running next Tuesday that asks, “Is your organization change-ready?” a bit of recent research suggests a growing realization among global senior leaders that their organizations are not as change-ready as they would like.

The “Global CEO study” by IBM is based on interviews with 1,130 CEOs, general managers and senior public sector and business leaders from around the world.

Here are some highlights:

  • Eight out of ten CEOs see significant change ahead, and yet the "change gap" between expected change and the ability to manage change has almost tripled since the last Global CEO Study in 2006.

  • Nearly all CEOs are adapting their business models and two-thirds are implementing extensive innovations. More than 40 percent are changing their enterprise models to be more collaborative. (And I would suggest this is not just with customers as the IBM study suggests, but also with employees as the Mercer Workplace 2012 report has persuasively argued.)
  • CEOs are moving aggressively toward global business designs, deeply changing capabilities and partnering more extensively; organizations of all sizes are reconfiguring to take advantage of global integration opportunities.

An increasing number of senior leaders are coming to the realization that a different approach is required if they are to successfully manage change, develop sustainable innovation and succeed in a global context.

How does your organization compare?

According to the IBM report, the predicted Enterprise of the Future is change-ready, radically innovative, accesses active (not reactive) creativity and is comfortable with the realities of global business across cultures, able to work virtually and beyond the constraints of traditional “9-to-5” thinking.

So how does your current organization measure up to this predicted future?

Are there structures in place to manage the inevitable conflict created by change? Is there a healthy corporate culture in your own organization, let alone the expertise to manage the cross-cultural challenges of global business?

If not, what steps are being taken to foster the development of trust relationships? Is it a project devised by an external consulting firm and done TO your people, or process created collaboratively and interactively WITH your people – who are after all the ones who will have to carry on long after the consultants pack up and head out?

Does your organization have the management capacity to deal with complexity, the leadership ability to guide through change and – crucially – the transformational skills to overcome natural resistance to change by channelling that energy into engagement to produce positive growth and development of people, teams and organizations?

Useful questions to consider, whether you are a senior leader making your way in the current global business climate or a staff member making decisions about the sort of company where you want to spend the majority of your productive waking hours.

If in your opinion the answers to those questions fall short of the mark, the good news is that there is a way forward: an integrated, holistic approach to improved business performance that offers people a common language to structure their experience of change, helps to effectively engage stakeholders cognitively, emotionally and behaviourally, and enables organizations to communicate in a structured, effective, managed and phased way to enhance strategic alignment and produce high-performance cultures.

Email me for details.


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