Change Whisperer – Gail Severini, Symphini Change Management Inc.


About this blog

This is a blog about Strategy Execution and all of the disciplines that comprise it. It is about Leadership, Planning, Organizational Development,  Change Management and Project Management.  It is about mindsets, methodologies and capabilities.

It is about implementing change and driving ROI to the bottom line.

It is intended for:

  • Boards of Directors and Leaders who wonder “what on earth happens to the great strategy that we pipe into the top of the organization?”
  • Program, Project and Change Management practitioners trying to manage the weather systems of change raining inside the organization

Every professional who has undertaken a daunting strategy recognizes the high organizational, and personal, risk.  A recent study, “Why Good Strategies Fail: Lessons for the C-Suite“, from The Economist Intelligence Unit pegs the failure rate at 44%.   Yet success is entirely feasible for those who prepare, deliver and follow through with discipline.

And, more good news, there are innovations in execution that many organizations have only just begun to tap into.

This blog started in May 2009 addressing Change Management practices specifically – as in helping employees to transition more smoothly and to adopt the new mindsets, behaviors and processes more quickly – and I will continue to explore this important dimension.

In 2012 I broadened the focus to include the linkages between strategy and delivery.  Every year Leadership Teams, often with the expert advice of large consulting firms like McKinsey, BCG and Bain, create important strategies.  Sometimes these are a validation of the current direction, perhaps with some moderate trajectory adjustments.  However, other times these strategies reflect urgent responses to market threats or opportunities, responses that demand transformation (think Nokia, Netflix and the implications of US Heathcare Reform).

Broad directional strategies require interpretation at each layer in the organization.  Each division’s and department’s initiatives are complex, multi-faceted and intensive.  In isolation they are daunting enough – in aggregate they are formidable.  In fact, in some cases, failure will be catastrophic.

There are several risks associated with this magnitude and complexity of change which can range from alignment to scope creep/cull, to capacity to portfolio management and benefits realization.  We will explore them because it is only when the whole transformation is in balance that the organization can survive and thrive.

The material here, unless otherwise cited, reflects my own experience and opinions only. For greater clarity, I do not represent my current clients or employers – I speak only on my own behalf.

Over the past 20+ years I have worked both inside organizations leading and managing change as well as outside, as an external consultant, augmenting and advising.   This combination gives me a hands-on appreciation of the risks and complexity.  Most of my experience involves new product development and launch including start-ups, new technology implementation and business process re-engineering.  By its nature this kind of change is highly cross-functional and often requires many people to change not only what they do (alone and together) but also how they think about what they do.

You will also find guest posts and  interviews with leaders and other practitioners.  Transformational change is so diverse that we all benefit from hearing others’ perspectives.

It is always a pleasure to meet and network with like-minded leaders and practitioners.  Please do find me and connect on LinkedIn or Twitter.  I hope you will find this blog useful enough to subscribe (top left) and comment often.

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