The leader’s voice #3

While preparing for our book Osez la transformation d’entreprise, I had the privilege of interviewing transformation leaders about their lessons learned. Here is some of what they had to say:

How do you see the Management Committee’s role ?

  • A matter of stance. It all starts at the management committee level. The committee members take a stance of trust, vision, alignment, firmness and flexibility that sets the tone for the other management levels and the employees. Let’s say, for instance, that you adopt a rigorous project selection and monitoring process. Those anxious to move their projects forward may then become impatient and complain to their vice president. Any veering away from the established guidelines by the vice president in response to those complaints will cause confusion and undermine alignment. It is crucial that management take a firm stance as to the rigour of the process.

That said, if leaders expect their employees to be flexible and agile in their management of initiatives, they themselves must be flexible and agile in their comments and decisions.

  • Tackling the issues. Any resistance from the management staff under the management committee must be dealt with quickly. If managers persist in resisting the new guidelines and initiatives, it is important to hold those difficult conversations with them and take the needed decisions.
  • Allocating people to the transformation. The transformation I am involved in was not progressing as quickly as we would have liked. We wanted the existing employees to execute the transformation while maintaining their current responsibilities. The management committee realized that to get all the transformation projects moving forward, some of our full-time and part-time employees would need to be freed up. Furthermore, the transformation leader would need to report directly to the CEO.
  • One-on-ones. You can clarify the vision, objectives, priorities and methods all you like, but at some point you will need to have a one-on-one, face-to-face conversation with each individual to understand what is holding them back, and then take action to eliminate the roadblocks.

Space for reflection and action

Take a few moments to consider these three questions:

  • To what extent do the members of the management committee model the desired practices in their decisions and actions ?
  • What conversations should I have with members of my team to deal with resistance or a roadblock to our transformation ?
  • Do we have enough employees, and do they have enough availability, to accelerate the roll-out of our transformation ?

Marcel Auclair,
Cofounder, Vice President and Strategic Consultant
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