AMN Perspectives by Thomas Group: Experience at Work
Posted: July 13, 2004, 9 a.m., EST
by John Steidl, Thomas Group consultant and Mike Manor, president, Automotive Aftermarket, Thomas Group
IRVING, TX — For change leaders at all levels, nothing is more important than staying the course — showing clear and continuing public commitment to the change initiative under way.
One of the most common situations we see is the failure of senior executives to personally stick close to key initiatives they’ve started. Many executives see their role as generating ideas and setting goals and direction. Once an initiative is launched, it becomes someone else’s responsibility to see it through to conclusion. The executive moves on to something new, which may very well be defining and launching yet another initiative. In some organizations this results in an ongoing cascade of terrific improvement ideas, many of which are never completed.
If you tend to be an idea person rather than an implementer, here are some critical things to keep in mind in order to deliver successful change in your organization:
1. Leadership for change is about more than generating good ideas; it’s also about leading the implementation of those ideas.
2. You can start far more initiatives than the people in your organization can ever hope to finish. It’s up to you to practice “starts control.” Nobody else can do it for you.
3. Nothing kills change faster than creating a culture where change is seen as the “progamme du jour.” In this culture, people learn that if they wait a little while, management will move on to the “next thing.” No one takes change initiatives very seriously.
4. People can easily tell what’s important to you by how often you ask about it. The things that are really important, you probably ask about several times a week. If you only ask about something once a month, people won’t spend much time on it; they know it’s low on your priority list.
For an “idea person,” it’s sometimes difficult to stay engaged with implementation. Here are some techniques that can help:
1. Clearly define your own role in the initiative.
This should include, at a minimum:
a. Setting specific goals;
b. Working actively to get the organization aligned behind the initiative;
c. Reviewing progress on a regular basis;
d. Addressing resource issues;
e. Dealing with escalated barriers
2. Establish a drumbeat review process with the team driving the initiative. Then make sure you attend the reviews and participate actively.
3. Set aside time every week to spend with the initiative team leader one-on-one, even if it’s just 15 minutes.
4. Develop a specific plan to communicate the importance and impact of the initiative to everyone in the organization-not just those directly involved. This plan is not a one-time event, and you should have a role in all phases of fit.
Be a true change leader. Don’t just launch initiatives; see them all the way through.
For additional information, visit www.thomasgroup.com or call Mike Manor at 972-401-4444.
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“AMN Perspectives by Thomas Group: Experience at Work” is written and sponsored by Thomas Group. The opinions expressed in “AMN Perspectives by Thomas Group: Experience at Work” articles appearing on aftermarketNews.com do not necessarily reflect the opinions of AMN or Babcox Publications.