Top Tips for Managing Change #1

April 10, 2018 | by Mike Green

Pitfalls in identifying the key external and internal drivers for change
Long gone are the days of the large strategic planning departments in organisations when maybe you could expect some due process in identifying external and internal drivers for change.
However it is interesting to note how senior managers actually acquire their data about what’s happening in the world and within their own organisations. Even more interesting to understand how they then use that information to make decisions.

This blog isn’t going to describe an ideal process but merely highlight the seven key pitfalls that I’ve found occurring in the more than two decades of Organisational consulting.
Pitfall #1
Marketing-led organisations rarely ask their frontline staff for information about what’s actually happening out there in the market.
Pitfall #2
Sales-driven organisations rarely take the time out to reflect on the bigger picture or wider context or bother with taking a particularly strategic view.
Pitfall #3
People higher up in organisations tend not to listen to the voices from below. Either they think they know best or they think they haven’t got the time.
Pitfall #4
Even if senior managers hear what their employees are saying they rarely take corrective action.
Pitfall #5
Senior managers see what the competitors are doing and get pulled along in the slip stream – regardless of whether it fits with their own strategy. Everyone else is doing it so they feel compelled to do it too!
Pitfall #6
I’ve seen more dysfunctional senior management teams than healthy and truly effective ones. Politics, personality and ego tend to trump decisions made with rational head and healthy heart.
Pitfall #7
Organisations seem to find it incredibly hard to make learning (individual, team, organisational) one of their core capabilities – seeing the organisation as an organism within the larger macro-environmental system is a hard discipline for top leadership to embrace.

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