Never have I heard a senior executive say “I do change management.” Why?

Change management has become a barrier to accelerating change.

Good leaders aren’t naïve about change. They know that processes need to align to the business goals. The problem comes when the focus is on the procedure. Conflicts erupt about how to do things, which model of change to use, and so forth.

Conflict about “how” obscures the objectives. No one wins; least of all your customers.

You aren’t likely to realize the impact until a trend emerges. If it is in the wrong direction, then the scramble ensues. By then, customers are already talking, or leaving.

Who are the best change leaders? Business leaders.

 When Next Gear Capital refocused its target market, they had to change. Not only were they refocusing strategically, they were doing it after being acquired by a division of Cox Automotive, Manheim. Patrick Brennan and Brian Geitner were the two leaders. Brian had been President of Dealer Services Corporation, later renamed to Next Gear Capital. Patrick was a Group Vice-President at Manheim.

A lot had to change. The details, (information technology, operations, finance), were handled by a team of experts. Brian and Patrick had to manage a new relationship with one another. They had to manage the expectations and demands of their colleagues in each of their two home companies.

Next Gear Capital is a spectacular success by nearly any measure you can think of. This happened because the leaders didn’t remove themselves from the hard work of leading. Nor did they allow others to narrow their focus to only those concrete, mechanical aspects of the transition.

In a high stakes transition, what the leader does makes the pivotal difference.

I work with leaders on high stakes transitions. In June 2016, I will conduct a workshop for anyone with a desire to learn to help in mergers and acquisitions, top leader transitions, strategic shifts or debacles.  Register before the tickets are sold out!  

 Sydney, Australia – June 8th


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