Category Archives: Planning and Managing Change

Why Teams Fail (and What’s a Body to Do?)

A prospective client once asked, “Can you come and do teams to us?” Wrong question. Besides the fact that no one can—or should—“do teams to” any organization, the question misses the point: how (and even whether) to design and implement the right kinds of workplace teams to fit an organization.

It doesn’t help that there is a bewildering blizzard of information about teams in the workplace. How can something we consider so apple pie and American—teamwork—be all that difficult? If teamwork is so easy, why do so many at-tempts to bring it into the workplace fail? What are the roots of its failure in so many organizations? Continue reading

How to Help People Make Mergers Work: 7 Lessons for Leaders

Some say it’s shrewd business strategy.  Others call it “Merger Mania,” American industry’s penchant in the last twenty years for combining companies and gobbling up others.  Under the “Bigger is Better” banner, organizations have rushed with a vengeance to merge with–or acquire–others in the hope of improving prospects for long term survival, boosting profitability and increasing market share. Continue reading

Seven Deadly Sins: How to Make Sure Internal Change Agents Fail

We have watched (and helped) organizations invest time, energy and money training employees to be internal “change agents,” “facilitators,” and “improvement resources,” only to see their efforts wasted on puny results.  Here are Seven Deadly Sins you too can commit to follow suit.  Or, take our suggestions for avoiding them. Continue reading

Avoid the Quality Swamp; Think Backwards From the Future

You can get lost in the quality swamp.  An organization can slosh around forever in the muck of quality improvement programs, tools, processes, steps, guidelines, steering groups, and structures–and never find its way out.

A recent Wall Street Journal article described a growing number of companies which have invested years and millions in open ended quality improvement processes, with no results.  Many never got beyond navel-gazing the possibilities.  In the name of quality, they created bureaucracies instead of improvements.  In these cases, executives lost direction, the organizations lost momentum, customers and suppliers lost faith, and employees just plain got lost in the swamp. Continue reading