ichael R. Webb, Chairman and CEO of The Knowledge Webb, Inc., is a leading expert on designing and implementing leadership alignment systems for organizations undergoing substantial change. The following presentation reflects some of Michael's insights on how effective leaders manage change.


1. Personally lead

Personally lead the change.

  • Communicate in a one-page model the fit of the why, what, where, when and how of the change effort. If you cannot do this, donít start.

2: Role model

Lead by exhibiting and reinforcing TODAY the future values and behaviors needed by the organization TOMORROW.

  • Make a management change that is symbolic to the change effort.
  • Change levels of decision points, budget processes, or something else that shows that management processes are not sacred and will be aligned and focused to enable change.

3: Relentlessly focus

Focus only on the key priorities during the change initiative.
  • Plan the transition from the old ways to the new.
  • Strategically plan your early victories to gain organizational momentum.

4: Systemic Approach

Take a systemic approach and anticipate the unexpected.

  • "For every leadership action, there is an unequal and infinite number of reactions." Michael R. Webb, CEO, The Knowledge Webb
  • Plan your countermeasures and contingencies for the most likely and serious reactions before launching.

5. Educate

Educate your organization on the change process itself.
  • Educate individuals on how to be more flexible and resilient in order to capitalize on change quickly.
  • Prepare your organization with processes to quickly adapt to new situations and changing directions.

6. Visibly track progress

Simplify and make visible all key measurements to show the current status of priority processes.
  • Link cause and effect to show results of efforts wherever possible.

7: Balance the load

Balance the load if the process is changed.
  • Do not overload individuals during the transition from old to new processes.
8: Celebrate

Celebrate success and reward effort.

  • There are no failures if you learn lessons from the experience and build learnings into the next round of solutions.
  • Never enable a system that drives unsuccessful trials underground where no learning takes place because, in those cases, the pitfall is still there for future failure.
9: Donít turn back
Be unwavering in your commitment to changing, not necessarily in the change itself.
  • Let everyone know that change is NOT an option.
  • The exact target may change over time, but not the original reason for the change itself
  • Your personal level of commitment to change is the organizationís most tangible evidence that change is real and not just the "flavor of the month."
  • If you do not want to "throw in the towel" at least three times during the process, you are not pursuing change as aggressively as you should.

10: Be patient

Exhibit patience and a sense of humor.
  • Have patience and empathy with the struggle many people will have when dealing with change.
  • Poke fun at yourself and laugh. Everyone should have some fun in the process.


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