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November 2013
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Who are the true leaders of change?

Establishing the right leadership for change is the difference between success and failure.  Lets examine the candidates for ‘key people’ who should own or lead change in the business.

External Consultants:   NO

No explanation required.  If you need one. See me after school.

Senior Management:  NO

Senior management don’t actually do stuff.  The defer on the detail to their “trusted lieutenants”.  Then sanction decisions and provide support.  It is a myth that senior management are the leaders of change (at least in large companies).  It is WW1.  They are not in the trenches.   They don’t lead the charges.

The ‘Trusted Lieutenants':  YES

Depending on the size of the business and the scope of the change – there are between 8 – 18 people who actually will have to do stuff to make transformation happen.  These people take (or make recommendations on) decisions, lead the key activities, and be the guarantors of operational success in the end game.  Anything less than wholehearted support from these people is a serious problem.  Their active participation and leadership is the best.  Trusted lieutenants have “credibility up” and “credibility down”.  That is the definition of a trusted lieutenant.  If these people are the right people then you are one step closer to guaranteed success.

Everyone Else:   NO

If you have the active support of the key lieutenants – then you have the active support of everyone else.  It is very popular for consultants to bleat on about getting the 100’s of others “on-side” with the change.  But really this is only a money making exercise for them.  Getting others on-side is what the key lieutenants do.  The leaders lead.  They will need support to do this well but this does not require armies of consultants.

Why am I right?

I do programme rescue.  There is no time.  I have to get straight to the people who have the biggest influence in the business.  The Trusted Lieutenants.

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