Overcome Resistance

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					 CHANGE       RESISTANCE                                                                   uses adeptly in managing high-perfor-
                                                                                           mance change. Imagine, he asked his

 Overcome Resistance
                                                                                           change-shy team members, if we could
                                                                                           create a situation in which each of the
                                                                                           decentralized geographical units could
 Give        change            a   chance            to     succeed.                       work together as an area-wide team,
                                                                                           continue to operate independently, and
                                                                                           yet improve individual unit results?
                                                 • Pace change. People can only deal          Camastral got his team’s attention.
                 by Howard M. Guttman
                                              with so many changes before they go          He then made the business case for
                                              into “Future Shock.” One way to keep         aligning each unit’s strategy with

                 W         HAT PROMPTS PEO-
                           ple to do what
                   they do? Why do they
                                              Future Shock from undermining your
                                              efforts to implement change is to make
                                              sure that people have sufficient time to
                                                                                           Mars’ global strategy. Camastral took
                                                                                           his top team through an alignment
                                                                                           session, which barreled home the
behave in a certain way? What causes          understand and absorb the upcoming           point that with each unit working off
them to overcome fear and inertia to          move to the high-performance model—          the same strategic plan, parts would
follow some new, untraveled path?             and to give them plenty of opportunity       be more interchangeable, allowing for
   These are complex questions. We            to ask questions. As Axcan Pharma’s          cross-border mutual assistance.
don’t have scientifically valid answers       CEO, Frank Verwiel, reminds us, “It’s a      Executives on his team realized that
for how organizations can change the          challenge to strike the right balance        they would remain accountable and be
behavior of those who show up each            between getting people to change             rewarded for their unit’s results, not
day in varying states of readiness,           enough to make a difference and not          the region’s, but their unit’s results
willingness, and ability to shift para-       making so many changes that they             would improve, given a freer flow of
digms and routines.                           become paralyzed.”                           talent. “The attitude began to shift,”
   What we can offer are practical tips          There is no formula for finding that      says Camastral, “until everyone want-
—a kind of results verification—that          balance. High-performing leaders know        ed to be on the winning team, and
come from great leaders who have              how to weigh the business case for the       they were all determined to make it
overcome resistance to change to take         change and its urgency with how far          work, individually and collectively.”
their teams to a very different place.        the organization must travel to get             When Paul Parker was vice presi-
   • Be reassuring. Not surprisingly,                                                      dent of HR for Colgate-Palmolive’s
change, especially in lean times, breeds                                                   Africa-Middle East Division, he was
fear. It is difficult for people to embrace                                                charged with reining in the South
your vision of some new tomorrow, no                                                       African team of “mavericks” who
matter how brightly you paint it, when                                                     enjoyed the rough-and-tumble of the
they remain frozen in fear.                                                                local marketplace. The only problem:
   Managing the fear of change is a                                                        The region wanted to play a more
top priority for high-performing lead-                                                     robust corporate role and become a
ers, who know that “greatness”                                                             global supplier for CP, which it could-
requires making deep organizational                                                        n’t do if it remained at its current level.
and personal change. When Grant                                                               Enter the universal motivator: self-
Reid, now global president, Mars                                                           interest. When it was pointed out to
Drinks, was faced with the challenge                                                       the South Africans that they would
of turning around sales at Mars’ Snack        there. They also know how to convey          never be viewed by corporate as a
unit, he first went directly to associ-       to everyone that moving horizontally is      source of talent for the global organi-
ates—especially those whose leader            the “real deal” rather than just another     zation, they realized that their behav-
had been replaced by Reid, to reassure        this-too-shall pass initiative.              ior wasn’t in their own best interests.
them.                                            Bottom-line lesson for leaders: Keep      They asked: “How do we accelerate
   Reid set up one-on-one meetings            in mind that change doesn’t just hap-        our careers within CP?” The answer:
with his VPs and their direct reports to      pen—it happens to people.                    “By demonstrating high-performance
explain his vision for the future and            • Tie-in self-interest. People are        behaviors.” They began to do so.
ask for their help in achieving it. He        more apt to change when there are               Then there is that effective, stand-by
encouraged them to express their feel-        incentives to do so—and disincentives        carrot: pay for team performance.
ings about the changes by asking ques-        for clinging to old habits. What will        Many companies now reward both
tions: “How are you feeling? What are         the high-performing model mean in            results and how they are achieved. In
you thinking about your future here?          terms of how players in an organiza-         one company, 40 percent of compensa-
What are your major concerns?”                tion earn their living and live their        tion depends on “soft” behaviors:
   Listening to the answers, Reid real-       professional life? What’s the cash           authenticity, following protocols,
ized that people wanted reassurance           value to them? What are the rewards          depersonalizing, holding others’
that their future was secure. He care-        in terms of their career, their ability to   accountable, being receptive to feed-
fully explained what was going to             operate freely, to tap their creative        back. And it really helps people take
change and what their role would be           energy, and to express themselves            that leap of faith onto a new path. LE
going forward. He let people know             freely without all the task interference
                                                                                           Howard M. Guttman is the principal of Guttman
the end game; let them know they              of a siloed, hierarchical environment?       Development Strategies, specializing in building high-perfor-
would have a hand in bringing it                 Brian Camastral, regional president,      mance teams, and author of Great Business Teams.
about. Before long, they were fully           Latin America for Mars, Inc., is a superb
committed to Reid’s plan.                     consequence thinker—a skill that he          ACTION: Reward results and how they’re achieved.

L e a d e r s h i p   E x c e l l e n c e                                                                            M a y       2 0 0 8            11

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