What Managers Tell us that Really Matters
“What Managers, Executives and Staff Tell us that Really Matters”, in Review of Business and Economics, 2011 (2), by Paul Verdin, Eric Cabocel, Joanne Celens & François Faelli.
This paper gets perspective on change from the “field” by analysing in a bottomup approach over 8,000 verbatims put forward by more than 4,000 participants (from top managers to frontline personnel) in up to 90 change management sessions run by the Synthetron team in 25 different – mostly international – companies as well as some public organisations across 12 industries and over a period of 5 years.
The difficulties, even frequent failures, of many strategy implementation and change programmes have been widely acknowledged, and still often not well understood, notwithstanding numerous popular change management models and frameworks. This Synthetron study reports on what managers and executives actually are concerned about and what they converge on with regard to key issues in the course of these change programmes and projects.
- Managers actually seem to be positive about change, wanting to get involved, much less interested in ‘what’s in it for me?’ than often thought.
- They are critical of an over-emphasis on high-level leadership and communication.
- To be more effective, top management ought to pay attention to what the middle management and frontline employees are concerned about: values and behaviours as well as organisation and processes rather than planning and vision.
- Managers would like the time, tools and resources to be able to make it happen.