How leadership influences student learning

how leadership differs from management and how leadership style affect organizational performance team building and leadership notes for mba
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Chapter 1 The Strategic Leader’s New Mandate The ability to hold two competing thoughts in one’s mind and still be able to function is the mark of a superior mind. - F. Scott Fitzgerald The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed. - Carl Jung 1 Strategic leaders today are facing unrelenting pressures to deliver results. Indeed, whole books are being written based on the central premise that the purpose of leadership is to deliver results—on 2 time and within budget. In light of these withering pressures to deliver predictable short-term results, most leaders conclude that their only option is to react quickly to problems and opportunities as they arise and forget about long-term thinking. This pressure to change is real and increasing. Ed Lawler and Chris Worley note, An analysis of the Fortune 1000 corporations shows that between 1973 and 1983, 35 percent of the companies in the top twenty were new. The number of new companies increases to 45 percent when the comparison is between 1983 and 1993. It increases even further, to 60 percent, when the 3 comparison is between 1993 and 2003. Any bets as to where it will be between 2003 and 2013? 1 I distinguish between “strategic leaders” in this book who are in senior leadership positions at the strategic apex of the organization, and other “leaders” who can demonstrate leadership separate and distinct from their authority or position within the organization. 2 Ulrich, Zenger, & Smallwood (1999). 3 Lawler and Worley (2006), p. 1. Saylor URL: http://www.saylor.org/books Saylor.org 2 1.1 The New Mandate for Change Leadership While executive leaders must react quickly to current problems and opportunities, they must also look to and prepare for the future. And while only a skilled few will have the ability to be “visionary,” one thing you know that the organization will need to do is to become more agile, flexible, and nimble. In other words, their long-term mandate is to build organizational capacity for change. In the best-selling book titled The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People, Stephen Covey argued that all individuals must invest time and energy in balancing “production” with “production capacity.” Furthermore, Covey boldly states that “every production problem is a production capacity 1 opportunity.” While this insight was directed to individuals and personal effectiveness, it also applies to strategic leaders and collective effectiveness. One popular approach to making the organization more open to change is to resort to fear-based tactics in order to heighten the sense of urgency and productivity of the entire organization. For example, “burning platforms” is a popular phrase for many change programs—a metaphor for the notion that time is running out and we will all burn up and die if we don’t act immediately to move to or create an entirely new platform or organization. In the short term, fear works. And in some cases, a fear-based “burning platform” is the most appropriate way to get the organization to quickly understand the need to change and to respond in new ways. By way of a painful recent illustration, Chief Electronics Technician Mike Williams really did have to jump 100 feet off the burning oil rig owned and operated by British Petroleum in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20, 2010, in order to live—he had to jump or else get consumed by the lethal 2 flames, smoke, or explosions—it was literally a matter of life or death. However, invoking the burning platform metaphor too often or for too long a period of time will lead to unhealthy “burnout” for the change champions, create Dilbert-like cynicism from middle managers, and lead to pathological resistance from frontline workers. In short, organizational change is painful, but if there is too much pain or the pain lasts for too long a period of time, the 3 organization begins to break down. Saylor URL: http://www.saylor.org/books Saylor.org 3 Consequently, the new leadership mandate for the 21st century is delivering results in the short term while building change capacity for the long term. Capacity-building change initiatives take time, and short-term productivity sometimes suffers when the organization explores new organizational values, norms, systems, and routines. Capacity building requires trial, experimentation, and learning and these activities are not efficient in the short term. In general, learning is rarely efficient, but it is essential for organizations to be effective. Michael Beer and Nitin Nohria, both organizational scholars at the Harvard Business School, argue for a more balanced perspective of leadership as well. Essentially, they assert that the two leading theories of organization are “Theory E,” where the firm pursues short-term results in order to elevate the enterprise, and “Theory O,” where the firm seeks to build long-term organizational 4 capacity. Since much more is known about “Theory E” than “Theory O” approaches, this book will focus on the much newer and harder-to-execute theory. Consequently, strategic leaders today need to be ambidextrous in their approach to leadership. This balancing act is much more challenging than pushing hard for short-term results or nurturing the organization so that new ideas and capabilities emerge in the long term. Because current pressures usually shove long-term objectives to the side, leaders are proving to be much more practiced in reacting to putting out brush fires in today’s organizations than in preparing the organization to be 5 more change capable. Nonetheless, leaders must learn to fly the plane while rewiring it in flight — this is the mandate of the 21st century. 1 Covey (1989), p. 202. 2 Pelley (2010). 3 Abrahamson (2000). 4 Beer and Nohria (2000). 5 Judge and Blocker (2008). Saylor URL: http://www.saylor.org/books Saylor.org 4 1.2 Leadership Mandates in Context The notion of the ambidextrous leadership mandate is clear and compelling in principle, but in practice it can be quite challenging. First, individuals tend to be better at one skill than another. For example, leaders who thrive on generating short-term tangible results are often not as adept in building long-term organizational capabilities (and vice versa). Just as right-handed persons struggle with left-handed lay-ups in basketball, leaders often display a “handedness” in their leadership orientation. Of course, with awareness and practice, ambidexterity can be developed, but this is not a trivial endeavor. Hopefully, this book will offer compelling logic and some ideas as to how this ambidexterity can be cultivated. A second complication is that sometimes the official leadership mandate is different from the unofficial one within a particular organization. When the official mandate does not align with the unofficial one, it can be devastating to leaders and organizations. Laurence Stybel and Maryanne Peabody are organizational consultants based in the Boston area. They coined the term “stealth mandate” and observed that it is very common for an executive to be given one leadership mandate while others in that same organization are operating with a completely different mandate. Generally speaking, leadership mandates fall into one of three major categories: continuity, good to great, and turnaround. Continuity means business as usual: carrying on policies, procedures, and strategies. A typical example is the interim CEO, selected to maintain the status quo until a permanent CEO is found. Good to great refers to Jim Collins’s bestselling book of the same name. A good-to-great mandate is essentially this: We’ve been doing fine, but we can—and need to—do even better. Turnaround means dramatic changes are necessary: No business process, job, or 1 strategy is sacred. For example, CEOs are sometimes hired to move the organization from “good” to “great.” However, if the top management team or the board of directors or both are operating with a “continuity” mandate, the unofficial mandate clashes with the official one, and chaos often unfolds. When the official mandate is fundamentally different from the unofficial mandate, steps must be taken to bring Saylor URL: http://www.saylor.org/books Saylor.org 5 them into alignment. Usually, this requires extraordinary conflict management skills and emotional maturity on the part of the leader. A third complication that can challenge this ambidextrous approach to leadership is when the environmental context doesn’t allow the executive sufficient discretion to pursue short-term results while building organizational capacity for change. Some industries are in terminal decline, and the executive leader is not afforded the “luxury” of working for long-term survival. Some nations put employment ahead of productivity, and the executive leader is not allowed to challenge underperforming units. And some organizational cultures value stasis over excellence. All these constraints can conspire to limit executive discretion so that change capacity is not developed. Fourth, and perhaps most importantly, organizations are built to perform within an established order, not to change. Managers are often rewarded for predictable results so organizational bureaucracy often gravitates to exploitation over experimentation, efficiency over effectiveness, and leveraging previous learning over generating new insights. Hence, it is a rare organization that is 2 “built to change.” 1 Stybel and Peabody (2006), p. 11. 2 Lawler and Worley (2006). Saylor URL: http://www.saylor.org/books Saylor.org 6 1.3 The Leader’s Pursuit of Multiple Objectives In the fast-paced world that we live in with all its distractions, some might argue that it isn’t possible to pursue multiple objectives. Essentially, this is the logic behind pursuing shareholder value above all else. Indeed, there is some evidence to support this notion as some leaders pursue the stakeholder approach in order to avoid accountability, preserve self-interested behavior, or both. For example, a fascinating recent study found that the firms that were rated highest in corporate social responsibility were also the ones most likely to engage in earnings management—essentially using 1 accounting tricks to deceive those outside of the firm. However, even “Neutron Jack” (Welch) understood that a myopic focus on shareholder value would threaten the very survival of General Electric. As such, even while he was laying off thousands of workers and shedding dozens of business units, he was working behind the scenes to build GE’s organizational change capacity, which emerged as his official focus in his later years as CEO. Which leads to a very important insight—the public objective or objectives announced to the rest of the organization do not have to be the same as the private objective or objectives pursued by the leaders 2 of the organization. Louis Gerstner, the former CEO and Chairman of IBM who engineered a historic turnaround at that iconic firm, writes that leaders must be focused and they must be superb at executing a 3 strategy. For Gerstner, focus generated short-term results while execution was about building organizational capacity for change—both efforts were required to return IBM to its industry-leading role. In summary, the leader’s mandate of the 21st century is to “avoid the tyranny of ‘or’ and pursue the 4 genius of the ‘and.’” Those who are entrusted with authority within an organization must pursue results and build organizational capacity for change (OCC). This book details just what organizational capacity for change is, and provides guidance as to how that capacity can be developed. I have been studying this capacity for over 10 years now and have developed a reliable and valid inventory for measuring OCC. With that inventory, I have amassed a considerable amount of data that has been helpful to other executive leaders as they seek to develop their firm’s OCC. This Saylor URL: http://www.saylor.org/books Saylor.org 7 book helps to explain exactly what OCC is and to provide insights as to how executive leaders can pursue it. 1 Prior, Surroca, & Prior (2008). 2 Welch and Welch (2005). 3 Gerstner (2002). 4 Collins and Porras (1994). Saylor URL: http://www.saylor.org/books Saylor.org 8 1.4 Mapping the Chapters of This Book This book seeks to assist leaders in building their organizational capacity for change. It is written for any executive who seeks to be more proactive toward change, and wants the process to be less painful and somewhat more predictable. In this first chapter, my objective is to challenge the conventional views about leadership and change so that you can begin to pursue the “genius of the 1 and.” Chapter 2 "What Is Organizational Capacity for Change?" begins by examining what is organizational capacity for change, and why it is important. The one thing that you can be certain of in your future is that you and your organization will need to change. This chapter explores how some organizations do that well. In addition, you will learn that organizational capacity for change comprises eight dimensions, as summarized in Figure 1.1 "Eight Dimensions of Organizational Capacity for Change", and that each succeeding chapter goes into depth on each of these dimensions. The first dimension of organizational capacity for change, trustworthy leadership, is the focus of Chapter 3 "OCC Dimension 1: Trustworthy Leadership". This chapter explains that authority is not enough to make an organization change capable; the strategic leaders must be perceived to be competent and looking out for the well-being of the rest of the employees in the organization. However, a strategic leader or leaders behaving in a trustworthy fashion are not enough; the followers within the organization must be favorably disposed to trusting their organization. In essence, you also need trusting followers to be change capable. Therefore, in Chapter 4 "OCC Dimension 2: Trusting Followers", we examine how important effective followership is within an organization in order to make it change capable. Together, these two human capital dimensions combine to yield the level of organizational trust that exists within the organization and throughout the organizational hierarchy. Saylor URL: http://www.saylor.org/books Saylor.org 9 Figure 1.1 Eight Dimensions of Organizational Capacity for Change Chapter 5 "OCC Dimension 3: Capable Champions" explores the important role of capable champions within change-capable organizations. Change champions are those individuals within the senior executive group, the middle management ranks, or both who drive the change initiatives within an organization. These individuals are often mavericks and they don’t normally fit in well in bureaucratic structures. However, their misfit nature is exactly what is needed in order to drive change successfully. Chapter 6 "OCC Dimension 4: Involved Midmanagement" examines the role that involved middle managers play in making the organizational change capable. In many organizations, middle management has been hollowed out, downsized, and replaced by computers. The remaining middle Saylor URL: http://www.saylor.org/books Saylor.org 10 management group is often uninvolved with the strategy formation design initiatives. This is a mistake. Middle managers have a unique and important role to play in enhancing the change capability of the organization. When an organization comprises capable champions and involved midmanagement, then you have an opportunity for lateral leadership and effective influence without authority—a key ingredient for making your organization more agile. Chapter 7 "OCC Dimension 5: Systems Thinking" focuses on systems thinking within the organization. Organizations are complex living systems that are not properly understood by linear thinking and analysis. In this chapter, we explore how systems thinking gets cultivated so that organizational learning is accelerated. Then in Chapter 8 "OCC Dimension 6: Communication Systems", the importance of effective communication systems is investigated. When an organization combines systems thinking with high-functioning communication systems, systemic knowledge is created and dispersed throughout the organization. The final two chapters explore the role of organizational culture and change. Specifically, Chapter 9 "OCC Dimension 7: Accountable Culture" demonstrates the importance of having an accountable culture where there are consequences for employees that fail or succeed. However, this cultural attribute needs to be counterbalanced with an innovative culture, which is the focus of Chapter 10 "OCC Dimension 8: Innovative Culture". Together, these two dimensions of organizational change capacity—accountability and innovativeness—help to ensure that the organization efficiently marshals scarce resources while creatively looking to the future. Chapter 11 "The Big Picture" provides a “big picture” perspective on organizational capacity for change, as well as guidance for assessing your organization’s capacity for change. Specifically, it provides ideas and suggestions for utilizing the survey listed in Chapter 12 "Appendix A: OCC Survey Instrument" to collect data and the benchmark data listed in Chapter 13 "Appendix B: 8 Dimensions and Factor Loadings for OCC", Chapter 14 "Appendix C: OCC Benchmarking", and Chapter 15 "Appendix D: OCC Benchmarking" that can be used for comparisons between your organization and other organizations that have already been assessed. Chapter 17 "References" contains the references cited in this book, and Chapter 16 "Appendix E: Resources" contains some simulations, readings, and Saylor URL: http://www.saylor.org/books Saylor.org 11 cases that can be used to further explore the organizational capacity for change framework. Chapter 16 "Appendix E: Resources" also contains additional resources for teaching, researching, and learning about organizational capacity for change. 1 Collins and Porras (1994). Saylor URL: http://www.saylor.org/books Saylor.org 12 Chapter 2 What Is Organizational Capacity for Change? It is not the strongest of the species that will survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change. - Charles Darwin The only person who likes change is a wet baby. - Price Pritchett If the leader’s new mandate is to prepare for change in the future while delivering results in the present, then what specific preparation is required? My central thesis is that the strategic leader’s preparation for the future entails building organizations’ capacity for change, and that is the focus of the remainder of this book. In other words, this book is about helping executives fulfill the strategic 1 leader’s new mandate. The business press is filled with many recent and ongoing stories of organizations that failed to adapt and change to an increasingly fluid and unpredictable environment. Indeed, a widely cited statistic is 2 that “more than 70% of all organizational change initiatives fail.” Nonetheless, one of the arguments why senior executives are worthy of the lofty compensation packages that they currently command is based on the widely-held view that effective leaders and change agents are rare, but essential to cope with the volatile and hypercompetitive environments that many organizations find 3 themselves in today. In response to this pressure to change, scholars and consultants are increasingly focusing on the nature and dynamics of organizational change in an effort to distill lessons learned from previous successes and failures, and provide guidance to change agents to improve their future success rate. Notably, in a recent online search of articles written on “organizational change” in the last 20 years, I discovered that there were more than 25,000 articles published in a prominent online search engine 4 named Proquest. This suggests to me that the topic is of great importance to those seeking to change organizations, but that much that is written about organizational change by organizational Saylor URL: http://www.saylor.org/books Saylor.org 13 scholars is not improving our success rate. In sum, there is more to be learned about this important subject and this book attempts to fill that gap. 1 Bossidy and Charan (2002). 2 Higgs and Rowland (2005), p. 121. 3 Kaplan (2008), p. 5. 4 ProQuest Research Library (2010). Saylor URL: http://www.saylor.org/books Saylor.org 14 2.1 Primary Reasons for Failure to Bring About Change I believe that there are three primary reasons for our poor track record in changing organizations. One of the primary reasons for the failure of both scholars and practitioners to successfully develop and utilize a comprehensive yet parsimonious approach to organizational change is our collective failure to understand the systemic nature of change. Too often, organizational members operate in “departmental silos” that focus on local optimization at the expense of the entire system. Furthermore, the senior executives in charge of the overall organizational system (as well as the academics who study them) often fail to understand the interdisciplinary nature of their organizations as they are trapped in the myopia of their own backgrounds or disciplinary blinders. Organizations are complex, interdependent social entities with relationships operating both within its boundaries and outside of its boundaries. Too many practitioners, in their “bias for action,” focus on a single dimension of organizational life or a single lever of organizational change. Change agents need to be reflective, as well as capable of influencing others. Organizational leaders need to be comprised of confident but humble CEOs and by well-functioning top management teams who collectively understand the entire organization, not a lone wolf with a reputation for individualism and boldness. A second reason why so many change initiatives fail is that organizational change takes time, and time is one of the most precious commodities in the 21st century. In a recent article written by myself and a former doctoral student, we argued that organizations no longer have the luxury to go offline while the new information system is being built, the foreign venture is being launched, or the new technology is being analyzed. As such, change agents must “rewire” the plane while it is flying if the 1 organization hopes to survive and perhaps prosper in the future. Clearly, this is no easy task when everyone around you is arguing for you to “hurry up” A third reason why so many change initiatives fail is that our conception of what makes us human is overly mechanistic, narrow, and limited. Our traditional view of organizations is that they are hierarchies with power concentrated at the top with rational and logical employees operating Saylor URL: http://www.saylor.org/books Saylor.org 15 throughout this hierarchy. While it is true that all organizations are hierarchical in some form and that organizational members are rational at times, this viewpoint is limited and not terribly realistic. Organizational change is not only a rational activity but also an emotional one that challenges deep- seated human fears and inspires human hope. Indeed, John Kotter recently argued that change is 2 predominantly about matters of the heart, not the head. Organizations can operate in mechanical ways, but they also comprise living human beings who want meaningful work that allows them to “have a life” outside of work. As such, by assuming that all organizational change is rational and logical in nature where fear, political positioning, and turf wars rage, one wonders why any change initiative might work. 1 Judge and Blocker (2008), p. 915. 2 Kotter and Cohen (2002). Saylor URL: http://www.saylor.org/books Saylor.org 16 2.2 The Typical Reaction to Challenging Environmental Pressures In my executive education classes and consulting projects, I ask my students and clients what their planning horizon is since strategic leaders are responsible for the long-term performance of their organizations. One response by the president of a major nonprofit medical center is instructive: “Ten years ago, my planning horizon was 5 years into the future. Five years ago, it was 2 years. In today’s environment, where health care reform is the flavor of the day, it is now down to 2 months.” Another CEO of a Fortune 500 chemicals company told me, “There is merciless pressure to deliver the financial results that Wall Street expects each and every quarter. Even though Wall Street denies this, our stock price often gets punished by looking beyond the next 3 months.” Both of these quotations from CEOs, one from the nonprofit sector and the other from the for-profit sector, imply that the best that senior executives can do is to respond quickly to an increasingly volatile and demanding environment. While I agree that organizations today must be more “nimble” in reacting to such things as unexpected competitor moves, a seemingly short-term focus by the 1 owners of the organization, and unpredictable “disruptive” technologies that change the competitive dynamics of an industry overnight, this focus is overly narrow and too reactive. To succeed in the 21st century, organizations today must not only nimbly and flexibly respond to their changing environments but also build capacity for change. 1 Christensen (1997). Saylor URL: http://www.saylor.org/books Saylor.org 17 2.3 Organizational Capacity for Change Defined Organizational capacity for change (OCC) can be conceptualized as the overall capability of an organization to either effectively prepare for or respond to an increasingly unpredictable and volatile environmental context. This overall capability is multidimensional, and it comprises three ingredients: (a) human skill sets and resources, (b) formal systems and procedures, and (c) organizational culture, values, and norms. As such, OCC is a dynamic, multidimensional capability that enables an organization to upgrade or revise existing organizational competencies, while cultivating new competencies that enable the organization to survive and prosper. Peter Vaill argued that organizations increasingly operate in “white water” where executives have only partial control, yet effective navigation of a boat on the rapids requires everyone in the boat to 1 react efficiently and effectively to the white water all around them. While I like this metaphor, I would add that the navigator must also prepare the boat and the rest of the team for the oncoming white water. Robert Thames and Douglas Webster use a different metaphor to describe the context in which firms operate today, namely—a hurricane or an earthquake. They state, To many organizations, change comes like a hurricane season. Everyone knows it’s coming. It is the same every year. The only thing we don’t know is “Who will it hit this time?”…To other organizations change comes like the earthquake. We may never see it coming but have this 2 nagging feeling that it is. Whether your industry or national economy seems like white water rapids, an oncoming hurricane, or a potential earthquake, organizations must prepare in advance, not just react when the “environmental jolt” is experienced. That advance preparation is what I am calling organizational capacity for change. Organizations with relatively high change capacity can successfully shoot the rapids, weather the hurricane, or continue operating during and after a devastating earthquake. Organizations with relatively low change capacity are at the mercy of their environment and much more subject to luck and chance. Saylor URL: http://www.saylor.org/books Saylor.org 18 I have been researching the nature of organizational capacity for change in hundreds of organizations in a wide variety of industries for over 10 years. In previous research I have found that the higher the aggregate organizational capacity for change is, the higher the subsequent 3 4 environmental and financial performance. In other words, organizational capacity for change is positively correlated with, and is likely to lead to, superior financial and environmental performance. In addition, I have also found that the importance of organizational capacity for change increases with the volatility of environmental uncertainty. In other words, common sense and systematic empirical research show that the more your environment is changing, or is about to change, the more important your organizational capacity for change is. Finally, after reading literally hundreds of articles and dozens of books on organizational change, I have been able to distill the concept of organizational capacity to change down to eight separate and 5 distinct dimensions. These dimensions are briefly described in the sections that follow, but they will be more extensively discussed in later chapters. 1 Vaill (1991), p. 2. 2 Thames and Webster (2009), pp. 11–12. 3 Judge and Elenkov (2005). 4 Judge, Naoumova, Douglas, & Koutzevol (2009). 5 Judge and Douglas (2009). Saylor URL: http://www.saylor.org/books Saylor.org 19 2.4 The Eight Dimensions of OCC Trustworthy leaders. No lasting, productive change within an organization ever happens without a modicum of trust between its members. As a consequence, the first essential dimension for OCC is the extent to which an organization is perceived to be led by trustworthy leaders. A trustworthy leader is someone who is not only perceived to be competent in leading the organization but also perceived as someone who has the best interests of the organization as their priority. This is why Jim Collins found that organizations that were changing for the better tended to be led by senior executives who were perceived to be humble servants of the organization, but were also passionate 1 about ensuring a bright future for the organization. Organizational change is risky. In order for employees to change their perceptions and behaviors, they have to trust their leaders. As such, a proven record of trustworthiness on the part of the leaders is essential to bring about experimentation with a new order of things. Trusting followers. Leaders are only half of the equation when it comes to organizational change; the other half is the followers. I once worked with an executive at Alcoa who was perhaps one of the most trustworthy executives I ever met. He was honest to a fault, a first-rate engineer, who worked his way up through the executive ranks to a prominent leadership position. He had a deep and sound understanding as to where his business unit needed to change, but he had a problem—his plant was highly unionized and it had a long history of management missteps and labor union outrage. Interestingly, the union leaders did trust this particular plant manager, but they didn’t expect him to stay there long and they did expect corporate headquarters to replace him with someone who was not trustworthy. As a result, this business unit had a leader who was perceived to be trustworthy, but the ubiquitous lack of trust on the part of the rest of the organization prevented any major change initiative from progressing. 2 Psychologists tell us that all individuals have a “disposition to trust” others. This disposition is influenced by such things as a person’s genetic background, family norms, and work-related experiences. When an organization is filled with a critical mass of individuals who are hopeful, optimistic, and trusting, it will be well positioned to experiment with new ways of operating. When Saylor URL: http://www.saylor.org/books Saylor.org 20 an organization is dominated with a critical mass of individuals who are cynical, pessimistic, and not trusting, it will not be well positioned to engage with organizational change initiatives. In sum, a second key dimension of organizational capacity for change is the overall level of trust held by the employees of the organization. Capable champions. Individuals, and hence organizations, tend to be inertial. In other words, change takes extra energy and it is much easier to keep doing things the way in which we are accustomed to. Consequently, organizations must identify, develop, and retain a cadre of capable change champions in order to lead the change initiative(s). Within small organizations, these champions are often the same as the head of the organization. Within medium and larger organizations, these champions are often drawn from the ranks of middle management. Rosabeth Moss Kanter first identified this new breed of managers and she called them “change masters.” She defined change masters as “those people…adept at the art of anticipating the need for, 3 and of leading, productive change.” Professor Kanter’s central thesis is that if an organization is to change and innovate, power needs to be focused on or delegated to certain talented and energetic individuals, or both. These “corporate entrepreneurs” are experts in building formal and informal coalitions to makes changes and get things done within an established organization. They know how to directly and indirectly handle political opposition. They often lead a group of “mavericks” and “bend the rules” in order to bypass bureaucratic obstacles. They are often very goal directed and know how to deliver on their promises. In sum, these change champions are often “sponsored” by top management to spearhead change initiatives. If an organization does not have capable champions, change initiatives often stall. Involved middle management. Middle managers are those who link top executives to frontline workers. Department heads are classic examples of middle managers, but there are many other types of linkages. While it is undeniable that today’s organizations are flatter hierarchies with fewer middle managers than in the past, their role in helping to bring about change is still important. While Saylor URL: http://www.saylor.org/books Saylor.org 21

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