Archive for Jun, 2016

Business Transformation: Key “hard factors” that influence success!

Jun 21, 2016

I wrote in a previous post about why many change management initiative fail and made some suggestions as to what to do to swing the balance in favor of success.

If according to research, many transformation initiatives fail, operationally and from experience, I know that many do indeed succeed!

Reflecting on all the good practices I witnessed over the years at different organizations that contributed to transformation success, I started thinking about how to summarize all those best practices in a short post and in doing so, I came across an article first published in the HBR in 2005 on the subject and entitled « The Hard Side of Change Management » by Harold Sirkin, Perry Keenan and Alan Jackson (see HBR The Hard Side of Change Management).

In this article, the authors highlight some key « hard factors » that must be taken into account if change is to be managed successfully and I thought it useful to review the authors ideas here as a pragmatic way of summarizing many of the good practices I have used or come across in the past and that have helped me achieve success in the transformation projects I managed or was associated with in recent years.

Indeed, in their article, Sirkin et al. focus only on the “hard factors” contributing to change management success because in their opinion, if “Soft” issues are important for success, managing these aspects alone isn’t sufficient to implement transformation projects. For them, “Soft” factors don’t directly influence the outcomes of many change programs”.

The Best Way To Predict The Future Is To Create It sign on desert roadFor Sirkin et al, we should focus first on the “hard factors” because as they say, “if companies don’t pay attention to the “hard issues” first, transformation programs will break down before the soft elements come into play”. Whether you agree our not, it seems to me obvious that it is indeed critical to be alert to the importance of these hard factors as a “sine qua non” for leading change successfully.

Hard factors have three distinct characteristics:

  • First, companies are able to measure them in direct or indirect ways.
  • Second, companies can easily communicate their importance, both within and outside organizations.
  • Third, businesses are capable of influencing those elements quickly.

On the basis of research they performed on a panel of 225 companies, the authors established a consistent correlation between the outcomes of change programs and four specific hard factors:

  1. Duration
  2. Integrity
  3. Commitment
  4. Effort

They called these variables the DICE variables as they “could load them in favor of project success”.

The way organizations combine these four factors creates a continuum – from projects that are set up to succeed to those that are set up to fail. Let’s look at those four factors briefly and the different success drivers that these four factors generate if organizations focus sufficiently on them before project launch.


We are all anxious for projects that take too long to implement and we have all felt the pressure placed on trying to complete projects rapidly, the assumption being that the longer the project goes on, the more likely it is to fail.

Lots of reasons are given: possible loss of momentum, the window of opportunity may close, objectives may be forgotten, key supporters may leave, problems may accumulate. These indeed are very real risks and very good reasons for moving fast.

However, according to the authors’ research, a long project reviewed frequently is more likely to succeed than a short project that isn’t reviewed frequently and it really is the case of “Hurrying slowly”!

What is critical for project success indeed is not project life span but in fact the time between reviews!

What does this mean in terms of actionable success drivers?

D1: Companies must set formal project milestones reviews with clearly definedDemingkreis deliverables for each milestone and the project cannot move on to the next milestone if all the deliverables for that milestone have not been met.

If this is the case, the project team must work with the project sponsor to understand why, take the necessary corrective actions and learn from the experience to prevent problems from recurring later on.

D2: These milestone reviews must be formal meetings and the project team must provide in advance to the project review team (that includes the sponsor) a concise report of its progress and evidence that the deliverables have been met. Reviews should happen at least every 8 weeks and even more frequently for critical projects.

D3: Sponsors and project teams must have authority to address any issues blocking progress and must be empowered to take corrective actions, add extra or different resources or suggest a new direction.

So at least 3 key drivers that act on project duration in a positive way.


By performance integrity is meant the extent to which companies can rely on teams of managers, supervisors and staff to execute change projects successfully. Execution of course is key.

Change management projects are particularly complex and challenging and of course require highly skilled project leaders and team members capable of executing the plan.

Often, companies either don’t have enough “star performers” or senior managers don’t want to sacrifice their “stars” to change projects because they fear regular work will suffer. But success depends on allocating the best talent to the project and companies have to convince senior managers to free up their stars. So what can we do?

D4: Companies must accept to free up their “stars” while making sure that day-to-day operations don’t falter.

D5: Change initiatives need to be well led. Managing change means dealing with a wide range of activities, resources, pressures, unforeseen events and ensuring team cohesion

Initiative Definition Button Showing Leadership Resourcefulness And Action

and meeting deadlines. This means choosing carefully not only a “star performer” but that “star” must have the right project management skills.

Senior management must therefore choose carefully the project leader and the key members of the project team and a precondition for successful selection is defining in advance and publishing the criteria by which candidates will be evaluated.

Good project leaders should have the following skills:

  • Excellent problem solving skills
  • Results focused
  • Methodical while tolerating ambiguity
  • Possess organizational savvy
  • Accept accountability for decisions
  • Be highly motivated and self starting
  • Possess humility and not crave the limelight

D6: The project sponsor should take personal responsibility for selecting candidates based on these criteria and the senior executive team should agree the candidate selected. Senior managers demonstrate their commitment to the project by involving themselves directly in the recruitment of the project manager and team members.

I have often seen CEOs and senior executives become very involved in the recruitment process and each time, it has had a strong impact on project success.

Do What Is Right Not What Is Easy card with sky backgroundD7: Project leaders and key team members should have a clear mandate and this should be defined in a project mission statement and their objectives of course should be included in the annual appraisal process. Roles and responsibilities should be clear, expectations and deliverables should be clear and shared within the organization as quite often, the project will cut across organizational and functional responsibilities and therefore potential for conflict and resistance to change.

D8: Of course, it is not enough to recruit and appoint your project team. Companies must reward and recognize project leaders and teams when the project is successfully completed and ensure that the success feeds into the career management process of all concerned so that taking on the role of project leader is seen as a stepping stone to success and encourages “star performers” to see the role as one that will further their careers and not as a burden.

So at least 5 actionable drivers that impact positively on Performance Integrity and on project execution.


For Sirkin et al., companies need to obtain the commitment of two different groups of people if they want their change projects to take root:

  • the most influential executives (not necessarily the top titles)
  • The grass roots: people who must deal with the new systems, processes or ways of working.

D9: Concerning influential executives, senior managers must be seen to “walk the talk” and even when the senior managers feel they are doing so, quite often, this is not perceived so by the grass roots. So senior managers must communicate again, again and again and do three times as much as they would think is necessary.

Of course, senior managers must not only support the project but they must constantly explain the “Why” of the proposed change. There can be very many good reasons why senior managers don’t want to do this but it is always vital to communicate clearly on the reason for change and what it means for employees. So Communicate the “Why” constantly and it is always better to communicate too much than not enough.

Having said that, problems are often caused by inconsistent or confusing or contradictory messages coming from management and especially in tense situations, employees perceive these confusing messages as indicative of something hidden.

D10: So a lot of effort must be dedicated to preparing and sharing the communication with

Change Management Strategy

top and middle managers so that management from top to bottom can speak with one voice and align their messages so that one consistent message is delivered throughout the organization.

The authors stress that companies often underestimate the importance of middle managers and staff in driving change and often postpone communicating with them until very late. Delaying communication can create confusion and even alienate staff and so it is always vital to communicate early and involve middle managers and key staff.

D11: Companies should seek the support of middle managers and key staff by communicating early to them on the “Why” of the change and ensure the same message is understood and shared by all.

Finally, organizations often underestimate their ability to build staff support. Reaching out to staff can in fact turn them into change champions.

D12: Don’t hesitate to reach out to key staff early in the project if you want to offer them the chance to become change champions. Quite often, even if the change requires sacrifices and even los of jobs, staff can react positively if the changes are presented clearly and they are given a chance to voice their concerns.

So at least 4 key drivers that impact on the Commitment of middle managers and staff in a positive way.


One important aspect too frequently neglected by organizations is that staff are already busy with their day to day tasks and if they are have to deal not only with their daily work but also with changes to systems or processes or tools, they will quite often not be able to cope and resistance to change ensues.

So an important effort must be made by project teams to calculate the extra work beyond existing responsibilities to introduce the change. The authors offer a figure of 10% as being an acceptable limit but of course this is only a guideline.

D13: Project leadership must be conscious of the impact of the extra work on staff, calculate the extra workload and limit the extra work to no more than10%.

Time management diagram

However, for employees already fully-loaded, companies must decide whether to take away some of the regular work from key employees participating in the transformation project or rid them of the discretionary or non-essential tasks. 

D14: Senior management should ensure key employees can offload unnecessary or non-essential tasks. This can be done by outsourcing non-essential tasks, bringing in interims or even postponing or cancelling such tasks.

In addition, companies can also review all the projects in the operating plan and assess which ones are critical for the transformation. This can mean delaying or rescheduling some projects to free up stars and key resources to focus on priority projects. If this happens, senior management should be mindful to explain clearly to the project teams impacted on the reasons for the change so that they remain committed and motivated.

D15: Senior management must be ready to look again at all the projects in the plan, reprioritize according to the critical impact of each project and reallocate key resources to the most critical projects if necessary.

So at least 3 actionable drivers that impact positively employee work load.

The authors go on to outline how they created a scoring system based on these 4 factors and that allows managers to predict the chances of project success.

This scoring system allows managers to categorize projects into one of three categories:

  • Win (the project statistically seem likely to succeed)
  • Worry (the project’s outcome is hard to predict)
  • Woe (the project outcome is totally unpredictable or fated for mediocrity or failure.

We won’t discuss here the details of the DICE scoring system. However, the authors tell us that the DICE Framework and scoring system has been used by the Boston Consulting Group to predict the outcomes and guide the execution of more than 1000 projects worldwide and they indicate three key advantages that I think are important in building the foundations of change management success:

  • Track projects: A scoring framework (DICE or any other) provides executives with an early warning system of potential problems in a transformation project because it gets senior management to review each project according to these four criteria and evaluate how effectively it has “allocated people, senior management time and other resources” to each project. As soon as a project shows poor scores, senior management is obligated to intervene and take the necessary steps to put the project back on course. It seems to me vital to build in to the change management process such an early warning system because it is always better to prevent than to cure and it’s no good closing the stable door if the horse has already bolted!!
  • Manage portfolio of projects: large transformation programs can often contain many different projects and if the portfolio of projects is not managed well, these tasks can end up competing for attention and resources. By deploying the DICE framework (or a similar framework) from the outset, senior management can identify problem projects in the portfolio, focus execution expertise and senior management attention where it is most needed rather than allow certain projects capture all the resources. In other words, senior executives can set certain critical projects up for success and work on the less critical projects in the “Worry” zone progressively to get them into the “Win” zone. Indeed, as the authors point out, “when companies are trying to overhaul themselves, they shouldn’t have all their projects in the Win zone. If they do, they are not ambitious enough and transformations should entail fundamental changes that stretch the organization.
  • Force Conversations: The authors point out that it is already difficult to get consensus from senior managers on what factors contribute most to ensuring transformation success and this applies even in an organization using the DICE Framework or some other similar way of predicting the outcomes of a transformation project. The real value of DICE is that it provides senior managers with a common framework to debate questions such as “Why do we see the project in different ways?” and “What can we agree to do to ensure the project will succeed?” Simply put, DICE provides senior managers with a common language and forces the right discussions to take place.

D16: So it seems to me important to define and implement a project portfolio scoring system (DICE or a similar system) that allows senior management to predict project success proactively as well as build a consensus through strong discussions on what actions are required to optimize the chances of those projects in the “Worry” or “Woe” zones.

These are some very practical and actionable items that lay the foundations for change management success because not only do they ensure the main building blocks are in place but also because they contribute to helping senior management and project transformation teams have the necessary discussions that help them predict success rather than simply focusing on what went wrong.

It could be said that these drivers don’t necessarily guarantee success. In my view, they may not guarantee success but success is certainly inhibited if they are not implemented at project launch.

In my view, it is clear that every transformation project needs to be founded on “hard factors” that include:

  • A strong senior management sponsor that communicates constantly on the reason and goals of the change project.
  • A competent, results focused project manager.
  • A competent, motivated and engaged team.
  • Reward and recognition for successful projects teams.
  • Middle managers and staff that understand the reasons for change and have the opportunity to participate in the decision making phase and not only in the execution phase.
  • A project schedule, milestones and defined deliverables at each milestone.
  • A formal review for each milestone by senior executives.
  • Project managers empowered to take corrective action when things go wrong.
  • A limit on the extra work expected of key players who have the possibility to offload or even postpone unnecessary tasks.
  • A “project success predictability” scoring system (DICE or other such system) that forces discussions amongst senior management on how to predict future success (rather than focusing on what went wrong) and on what actions to take to manage projects from “Woe” to “Worry” to “Win”.

And as JFK once said,“all of this doesn’t happen, it has to be made to happen”.

make it happen text write on paper

What do you think?

Why Change Initiatives fail and what we can do about it.

Jun 6, 2016

According to a study back in 2013 by Towers Watson, only 25% of change initiatives are successful in the long term! (See Victor Lipman, Forbes, Why Change Management Fails)

Quite dismal results when you think of the huge investment made by many corporations to implement change initiatives in their organizations, even more so when you consider that such initiatives are almost always announced as critical for future business success!

Highlights of the study involving approx. 280 large and middle size organizations from North America, Europe and Asia showed that:

  • Employers felt 55% of change management initiatives met initial objectives but only 25% felt gains were sustained over time
  • 87% of respondents trained their managers to manage change but only 22% felt the training was effective.
  • 68% of senior managers said they got the message for change but this fell to 53% for middle managers and 40% for front-line supervisors.


These are quite dispiriting figures and seem to show, unsurprisingly, that the lower down you go in the organization, the less informed and therefore less engaged employees are.

Why do these change initiatives fail? More importantly, what can we do about it?

Commentators suggest the following reasons why change initiatives fail:

  • The change initiative goals are not realistically attainable
  • The CEO is not at the forefront of driving the change
  • Senior managers talk the talk but don’t walk the talk.
  • Middle managers and supervisors are not sufficiently informed and don’t really understand the reasons why the changes are needed
  • Management wants a quick fix and doesn’t understand that implementing change is a long-term effort.

These are certainly very understandable reasons and the following solutions would seem the very least we should do:

  • Look at the territory and not the map. Set SMART change objectives.
  • Make sure the CEO is at the forefront and leads the way!
  • Make sure senior managers not only talk the talk but walk the talk by demonstrating the behaviors required to drive the change down into the organization
  • Prepare for the long term. Lead, plan and budget accordingly.

But what about the crew down in the hold rowing hard to the corporate drum beat?

Doing all the things listed above will certainly increase our chances of getting more buy in from grassroots employees but what more can we do?

How can we get grass roots employees to engage more directly and more often in supporting and implementing enduring and sustainable change? How can we harness the power of the grass roots employees to deliver extraordinary results long-term?

This is really the question at the heart of “The Open Organization, Igniting Passion and Performance”, Jim Whitehurst’s account of his leadership journey when he became CEO of Red Hat, a world leader in open source solutions.

open orgThe starting point of Jim’s leadership journey was his realization that the traditional top down, command and control, classical hierarchical organization that he was used to at Delta Airlines could not work for the Open Source culture of Red Hat.

For Jim joined an “Open Organization”, an organization that is not led in the traditional top-down way and that depends on ever-growing collaboration between internal and external communities of contributors who update and improve software (essentially Linux based) by working together, an organization where decisions are taken not top down but bottom up or even from edge to edge of the organization to respond to business opportunities. If Linux is open source and supposedly free, Red Hat is in the business of adding value to free code and providing customers with peace of mind that “their entire system based on Linux is the most stable and secure system on the planet”. And to do that, openness, transparency, participation and cooperation inside and outside the organization is critical.

Moreover, as Jim explains, not only do they need the inputs of more and more employees

Think Outside The Box Tic Tac Toe Concept

further and further away from the centre or from partners and customers if they are to innovate and gain competitive advantage but decisions have to be taken faster and faster. For such organizations, the traditional hierarchical chain of command no longer works because it takes too long, consumes too many resources and because they don’t own the code on which their solutions are based. As he says himself, “you can’t command initiative, creativity or passion”. These are gifts and every day, employees choose whether to bring them to work or leave them at home. Suppliers and customers likewise.

So leading such an Open Organization requires a new management paradigm where decision-making is no longer the prerogative of hierarchy and where decision making is top down but one where decision making is bottom up, where employees are trusted to do the right thing and where management is hands off enough to allow the people in the organization to direct them and make their own decisions.

open org management model


I would highlight 7 key leadership principles that are key to managing change successfully in Open Organizations and indeed in all 21st century High Tech, innovative organizations.

  1. Start with Why!

For Jim Whitehurst, you must start with “Why” because starting with “Why” and building a compelling sense of Purpose creates an extraordinary degree of engagement among all stakeholders and catalyzes creativity, innovation and organizational commitment. Jim Whitehurst quotes Whole Foods CEO John Mackey and Babson College Professor Raj Sisodia:

PURPOSE concept

“People are most fulfilled and happiest when their work is aligned with their own inner passions. Personal passion, corporate purpose and business performance all go together”. If you can create a compelling reason for people to participate, they will.

So a compelling Purpose is the first driver of engagement and if your change initiative doesn’t have a clear compelling Purpose that employees identify with, you won’t get the levels of engagement from employees required to drive change successfully.


  1. Ignite Passion!

But a compelling Purpose is not enough. Today’s workers want their work to mean something and they want to be part of something that makes a difference. So organizations must activate passion amongst employees to really achieve great performance.

An employee who feels passionately about his company’s purpose will be engaged and

Wherever you go, go with all your heart

motivated to deliver extraordinary performance and go that extra mile. And to get that passion, organizations must be prepared to challenge their people to take initiatives, find ways to innovate and of working together to gain an edge on the competition. As Jim Whitehurst says, if you don’t want passionate people, you can always use robots but robots won’t deliver innovative solutions to unforeseen or new complex challenges!

So the second ingredient in managing change: encourage passion in your employees and give them opportunities to express their passion from Day 1!

  1. Engage your employees from Day One!

As employees today need to understand “Why”, leaders need to engage with their workforce in a much more direct, continuous and positive way. Expecting employees to behave proactively and assume accountability for their decisions means that leaders have to provide much more information and context than ever before and this means much more than simply pushing information down the organization through the usual internal communication channels.

This means constant and ongoing dialogue between leaders and employees at all levels. So in an Open Organization, the leadership role is not undermined or abandoned. Rather, the leader’s role becomes one where he/she constantly provides context and meaning and constantly supports employees in their decision making by “determining the appropriate amount of latitude that each individual is capable of handling, plus develops, coaches and stretches their capabilities along the way”.

This third element of successful change management requires leaders to engage constantly with employees and not only when some change management initiative needs to be implemented. If leaders haven’t been busy building the engagement of their team members from day one, don’t expect to get it when you need to launch an urgent organizational change. It’s too late!!!

  1. Develop Accountability!

In conventional, top-down command and control organizations, Accountability is simple. I am accountable to my boss who is accountable to his/her boss who in turn is accountable to his boss, etc. But as Jim Whitehurst points out, real Accountability is not asking permission to do something or saying “May I” all the time.

It’s about being accountable for a set of outputs after the fact! And if you want employees to accept real accountability, you need to foster a culture that encourages initiative, trust, transparency, information sharing and all the things that allow employees to feel that they have the means and the support from leaders to take reasonable decisions at their level and are willing to be therefore accountable for the results.


AccountabilityAbove all, the best way for leaders to develop Accountability is to demonstrate it themselves and walk the talk by actively seeking feedback from all levels of the organization on whatever issues concern team members. Leaders have to listen to and engage with employees on how to resolve the issues raised rather than simply telling them to shut up or accuse them of being obstructionist. One very frequently used way of getting feedback is the annual employee survey and one equally important way of walking the talk is by acting on the employee feedback obtained in the annual survey in a positive way.

As Jim Whitehurst says, feedback is a gift so take the feedback at face value, don’t shoot the messenger or risk disengaging your employees!

It’s all about trust. Employees who trust their managers are more productive and trust comes from open dialogue and from leaders walking the talk!

So real accountability is a 4th element in ensuring successful change management and again, this has to be from Day One and not only when circumstances require it.

  1. Enroll your thought leaders, not just your managers!

In classical top down organizations, decision-making is simple. The Boss decides ultimately and the hierarchy dictates who gets heard. In Open organizations like Red Hat, this can’t work.

Those closest to the issue rather than those responsible for overall direction of the organization or team, tend to make the decisions. This of course requires collaboration and mutual respect between employees and their managers in a complimentary relationship. Decisions are made on merit. In other words, they are made on the best case put forward and excellence, not position, prejudice, titles, politics or privilege is the criterion of choice.

So the role of leaders is to ensure decisions based on merit can be made by the right people working together on the right things. And how do leaders do this?

They can do this by building an organization that listens to all employees and allows Hand writing the text: Be a Voice Not An Echoeveryone to voice their opinions openly so that gradually, real thought leaders can rise to the top. Organizations of course usually know who their key influencers are (the thermostats as Jim Whitehurst calls them), those thought leaders within the organization who are generally recognized by their peers for their achievements and expertise and whose contribution is vital for the success of any change initiative. But such thought leaders are unlikely to contribute positively if they are being stifled by a command and control type manager or if they witness colleagues being gagged or not being listended to. If you want your thought leaders to participate willingly and if you want to avoid groupthink conformity, proactively encouraging a culture of open expression where everyone’s voice is heard is a (small) price to pay!

So to ensure the success of your change initiatives, listen to everyone from day one!

  1. Nurture creative abrasion!

It’s not enough to show you listen. In conventional organizations, everyone is expected to fall in line and conflict is seen as a threat and usually repressed. But as Jim says, you can’t get the best creativity, initiative or efforts from members of an Open Organization, indeed any organization, by saying “Go do this”. The best ideas happen when teams “hash things out”! Open organizations therefore encourage and accept not only bottom up feedback but also organize and develop strong, energetic internal debates which may even occasion conflict and opposing points of view.

What Jim Whitehouse calls “creative abrasion”, something that involves some level of conflict – a disagreement, contention or argument – works best when it is practiced in a community that has a shared purpose, shared values and rules of engagement that help keep the conflict productive rather than destructive”.

If you don’t encourage such debate, you may well end up with what Jim calls a “terminally nice” culture that ends up in real trouble because you never initiated the difficult conversations required to challenge the status quo and get the meaningful inputs required to turn things around.

And the role of leaders in these Open Organizations is even more important: encourage and manage these abrasively creative discussions where everyone is free to exchange their points of view in a candid, positive way. Jim quotes the former CEO of Xerox PARC who

Disrupt Change Innovate New Business Product Concept Word Collag

said: “you want an organization that argues with you. And so you want to nurture the bottom up but you’ve got to be careful that you don’t degenerate into chaos”. In a way, leaders have to disrupt the conventional way of getting things done if they want to avoid falling in to the “terminally nice” culture that suffocates successful change management!


Lots of tools now exist to orchestrate such internal debates and in implementing them, you can use the wisdom of the crowd to police discussions. Indeed, peers themselves will step in themselves if discussions become too virulent, if you really have a community of like-minded employees who share a common goal.

So 6th element in managing change, accept being challenged and proactively promote a creatively abrasive, bottom up feedback culture and do it from Day One!

  1. Involve employees directly in decision-making!

Managing change is fundamentally about decision-making and getting decisions implemented operationally. So change management is not only about big transformational projects but is at the heart of what leaders need to do every day: get their team members to adapt with agility to change and execute effectively.

In a typical command and control organization, the manager says and the employee does but we all know that it doesn’t work like that in real life, especially in Open Organizations, indeed in most 21st century high tech organizations. Leaders need the buy in of employees to execute effectively.

But as Jim Whitehurst points out, classical change management approaches usually focus on the “execution” phase and huge effort is spent on “explaining and selling the changes” top-down to employees, once decisions are made by management at the top.

At Red Hat, they do it differently. Rather than focus on “selling” the execution plan to employees once the plan is hatched, they have moved most of the change management activities into the decision-making process itself and using a host of different feedback mechanisms, get inputs from all levels in the organization before any significant decision is made or implemented. The drawbacks are numerous: the feedback process is time consuming, objectives needs to be explained and understood, leaders have to be prepared to listen and even ready to alter their plans according to the concerns raised and this can be threatening for many managers.

But as Jim Whitehurst points out, the results are worth the effort because the time you

pride acronym concept

lose in preparing your change is gained back in the adoption phase because you have more employees on board and they will follow you “because they trust you and not because you ordered them to”. As we all know, employees feel more ownership in the changes needed when they are involved in the decision behind them!

This doesn’t mean that a company is a democracy. leaders still remain the ultimate decision makers and may have to make difficult decisions despite all the efforts to listen and engage teams. But if you take the time to explain why and can back it up with a rationale, you can still drive progress and get things done.

So the 7TH element in managing change successfully is in switching the change management from the execution phase to the decision making phase and really making the effort to involve employees in the decision making process on an ongoing basis.

Hurry slowly. It’s worth it!

So 7 simple principles for leading change in Open Organizations.

And they obviously work for Red Hat as they have grown from an organization with revenues of $400 million to one with revenues of $1.5 billion. A great achievement.

But in my view, these 7 essential principles of leading an Open Organization can be applied in any organization, Open Source or otherwise, that seeks to foster initiative and creativity rather than running operations on HiPPO – the “highest paid person’s opinion”.

And if they are applied, they will help to build a really collaborative culture where employees are engaged from Day One and change doesn’t need to be “managed” but is an integral part of the leadership and collaborative team work process on a daily basis.

Remember the 7 Principles of leading in change in an Open Organizations:

  • Start with Why
  • Ignite Passion
  • Engage with your employees from Day One!
  • Develop Accountability at all levels
  • Enroll your thought leaders as well as your managers!
  • Nurture creative abrasive bottom up feedback
  • Involve employees proactively in the decision-making process


What do you think?


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