Rally the entire workforce for effective change management
Business leaders make constant efforts to transform their organizations. The need to change is obvious to those at the top, who realize that continuously adapting the offering and processes is a matter of survival. But people on the ground are often exhausted and frustrated by the incessant succession of change projects. Organizations become less able to adapt as the workforce becomes demoralized and skeptical and begins to adopt a “wait and see” attitude. Transformation projects thus often appear to be a tug of war between management and employees.
However, this situation is not inevitable. A number of CEOs have demonstrated the strength of participative approaches. Vineet Nayar, CEO of HCL Technologies, for instance, managed to grow revenues at an annual pace of 20 percent at the peak of the financial crisis with his “employees first” approach. Other CEOs, such as Richard Teerlink at the head of Harley-Davidson and John Shook in charge of the joint-venture between General Motors and Toyota in the eighties, also used participative techniques to give a big shot in the arm to their change programs. Re-empowering employees was instrumental in liberating energy in the organization and thereby achieving remarkable results.
To get people engaged, these CEOs worked unrelentingly to put three basic convictions into practice:
- “Constant change is a matter of survival and everyone must pitch in to succeed."
- “We can’t succeed unless we trust each other.”
- “Everyone, regardless of hierarchical level, must help find solutions to the company’s problems.”
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