by Jon R. KatzenbachKatzenbach and his real change leader team focus on the real change leaders (RCLs) below top management.CEOs, or in our case at the Corps DEs, can’t do change alone.He goes on to explain that “CEOs get far too much credit” and blame for the level of effort behind transformational change.A team at the top can’t do it either-you must have your organization reach a critical mass of RCLs throughout the organization to make that change happen.Change is about getting this critical mass of leaders in your organization.
Katzenbach presents first hand accounts of the RCLs in businesses, not government, showing how they get it done.These RCLs need top management to hear, understand, and engage with them.RCLs go beyond TQM, 6 Sigma, and other general prescriptions for implementing change, because they see how to integrate it on the front lines.
Similar to John Kotter’s premise about leadership vs management in Leading Change, the Katzenbach and his team explain the skills and leadership approach of RCLs differs from general managers, and they note this is what makes RCLs more effective.They are a source of new leadership capacity for change and performance, being top management prospects (note they aren’t as aspiring for the top management positions as they are favoring improving) and having a profound influence on how top management shapes its own role in leading change.
The book says organizations should develop these leaders, because of several reasons:1) RCLs are in very short supply 2) They are very different from mid-level managers and require a different kind of nourishment 3) RCL’s skills and experience differ, being characterized as “battlefield converts” and as good managers that saw heavy fire in many people intensive change scenarios.So the book is a “view-from-the-coal-face” and explains why the traditional managers are not enough to address the major change organizations face.
Here’s what RCLs are like:
1. Commitment to a better way
2. Courage to challenge existing power bases and norms
3. Personal initiative to go beyond defined boundaries
4. Motivation of themselves and others
5. Caring about how people are treated and enabled to perform
6. Staying undercover
7. A sense of humor about themselves and their situations
RCLs are:Individuals who lead initiatives that influence dozens to hundreds of others to perform differently-and better-by applying multiple leadership and change approaches.
RCLs will display
1. strong experience and know-how regarding action flows and customers
2. close, peer-like relations with front-line supervisors and workers
3. instincts to do more than step back and let it happen
4. determination to find the combination that works
5. undisciplined use of a limited an not yet fully developed set of tools and approaches
Change leaders need to learn how to use outside experts and special task forces (like the Corps using the IPET) as catalysts-but aware not to become dependent on them.RCLs decide to use change specialists or consultants that are experts with these characteristics:
• special expertise in high-leverage areas;leads to better judgement calls with minimal analysis
• superior experience on special issues that permits them to provide high value quickly in appropriate situations in different company settings
• fees and costs can be excessive unless used where the trade-off benefits are clearly favorable to the company
• different specialists offer widely varying “tailored approaches”;be sure their approach fits the need
• provide objective point of view and raise the tough questions that those closely involved may avoid or overlook;they can become aligned with factions that erode their credibility
Here’s what can seriously hinder a prospective RCL’s in any change situation:
• a few good men can determine what’s best for all
• faster promotions or higher compensation (they’re more interested in improving leadership skills and making a difference)
• leveraging your time by delegating and directing people for your achievements (RCLs wouldn’t meet with 6 different people in one hour;they’ll spend time in groups or 1-on-1 encounters to develop their capacities)
• make all the critical decisions yourself if you want things done right (RCLs actually do few decisions, as their trust is well founded in others that can decide;though they don’t avoid tough decisions)
• avoid mistakes and failures (RCLs expect to make mistakes;they learn more from their mistakes than their counterparts do)
New Breed.RCLs are the ones that handle the really tough and important change assignments.The theme of this book is that change leaders in the middle of organizations make the difference and are themselves different.Logically, the need is to place more and more RCLs at top levels in organizations.
This is one of the older books in the Level II requirement series, copywrite 1995, and the date is evident as never mentions project management by name.This is the longest one, too I think.Though Katzenbach et al focused on businesses only, at least half of what they present is relevant to the Corps or any other government agency. I found the book a bit tough to keep my focus, but there are gems of wisdom scattered all about it.All the interviews with the many businesses featured in this writing were tedious to read.The difference is they’re motivated by profit and government agencies by serving the public in the most efficient manner.When will we see a book about leading change in government on the PPM CDP reading list?Maybe From Good To Great should be on the list.Maybe Al Gore will write one.As this is the last report I need to do for Level II, I’m looking forward to fun reading, finally.
|Title||Real Change Leaders|
|eBook format||Paperback, (torrent)|
|Author||Jon R. Katzenbach|
|File size||7 Mb|
|Book rating||4.49 (14 votes)