April 7, 2005
Excerpts: Management of Change
Change does not happen by itself. Customer strategies require some fundamental internal changes. For companies that spent years organized around products or operational efficiency, customer strategies require major changes, ranging from updated roles and responsibilities to completely new organizational charts. People react differently to change, but most of them are fearful of its implications, often perceiving change as a personal threat. Just because a CEOs memo lands in the inbox, it does not mean people rush to execute its direction.
Often we see deliberate or unconscious behavior geared toward toppling customer efforts. This behavior is often motivated by fear of change, blinding employees to the reasons and benefits of customer programs and focusing on negatives they may experience. Change management must be embedded in the strategy, along with a healthy dose of employee and manager training. Employees need to be sold on the initiative, and proper change management analysis must be incorporated into the strategy to mobilize change within the organization. A memo from the CEO will not cut it.
About Dylan Schleicher
Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.