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14th September 2017 - Session 01

Topic: Introduction to the course
Why Companies Fail?
When business conditions change, the most successful
companies are often the slowest to adapt
-Donald Sull

Source: Why Good Companies Go Bad by Donald Sull (1999)

Your best practices wont save you.
- John Kotter
If you cant keep up with the changes and the disruptions and your competitors
can, then you are going to be in quite a bit of trouble.
The need to act fast!

Fortune 500 firms in 1955 v.

2015 - Only 12% remain
Average life of a company
From 67 years to 15 years
The need to act fast!

Source: Boston Consulting Group Perspectives: Die Another Day: What Leaders Can Do About the Shrinking Life Expectancy of Corporations
Its a VUCA World

The concept of VUCA


Volatility unstable and unexpected change for an unknown duration

Uncertainty - A lack of knowledge as to whether an event will have meaningful change
Complexity too many interconnected parts and variables
Ambiguity Causal relationships are not completely clear. No precedents exist.

A new technology that would affect some of our products might be approved by regulatory
We are competing in a market with too many competitors making our life difficult.
There are some disruptive products being brought by startup that could make our flagship
product irrelevant.
Rise or fall in demand of key job roles which makes it difficult to retain and attract employees.
We decide to move into emerging markets in which we do not have any experience and there is
little information available.
We are working with a huge number of micro-customer segments. It is difficult to have a product
strategy in such a situation.
A new placement rule is likely to be implemented and we do not know how it will impact our
chances of placement yet
Examples (contd.)

We are doing business in many countries with multiple regulation and tariffs.
We lack experience on how to attract and keep millennial employees happy
Exports revenue impacted by exchange rates and import tariffs
For the first time in the company history, we are forced to offshore one of our key functions.
We are doing business in a country with unstable political and economic environment.
Leadership gap?
Are organisations developing their leaders well?
The Leadership Gap

1. Leading employees
2. Strategic planning
3. Inspiring commitment
4. Change management
5. Employee Development
6. Self-awareness

2015 Center for Creative Leadership

The Leadership Gap

1. Leading employees 1. Leading employees good skills in directing and

motivating people know how to interact with staff in
2. Strategic planning ways that motivate them. They delegate to employees
3. Inspiring commitment effectively broaden employee opportunities, act with
fairness toward direct reports, and hire talented people
4. Change management for their teams.
5. Employee Development 2. Strategic planning - articulate long-term objectives and
6. Self-awareness strategies, develop plans that balance long-term goals
with immediate needs, update plans to reflect changing
circumstances, and develop plans that contain
contingencies for future changes.
3. Inspiring commitment - recognize and reward
employees achievements are able to inspire
commitment from their subordinates. Such managers
publicly praise others for their performance, understand
2015 Center for Creative Leadership what motivates other people to perform at their best,
and provide tangible rewards for significant
https://goo.gl/QNKS1t organizational achievements.
The Leadership Gap
4. Change management - have developed effective
1. Leading employees
strategies for facilitating organizational change. Such a
2. Strategic planning manager views change positively, adapts plans as
3. Inspiring commitment necessary, manages others resistance to change, adapts
to the changing external pressures facing the
4. Change management organization, and involves others in the design and
5. Employee Development implementation of change.
5. Employee development - A manager skilled in the area
6. Self-awareness
of employee development usually coaches employees to
improve performance, provides employees with
guidance, encourages employees to develop careers,
and makes sure employees understand their roles.
6. Self-awareness - Self-aware managers admit personal
mistakes, learn from mistakes, seek ongoing feedback,
and know themselves well (strengths and weaknesses).
2015 Center for Creative Leadership
Lack of skilled people at work?
PwC 20th CEO Survey 2017
The survey of 1379 CEOs from 79 countries carried out in the last four months of 2016
77% of CEOs worry that skills shortages could impair their companys growth. And
they say its the soft skills they value most that are hardest to find. Creative,
innovative leaders with emotional intelligence are in very short supply
Why our best hires do not perform well?
Functional stupidity!

Functional stupidity in the workplace is best described as when smart people are discouraged to
think and reflect at work. The ramifications can ultimately be catastrophic, leading to
organisational collapse, financial meltdown and technical disaster
Stupidity paradox - A dose of functional stupidity can be useful and produce good, short-term
results: it can nurture harmony, encourage people to get on with the job and drive success.

Functional stupidity!

Executives who more interested in impressive power point shows than systematic analysis
Companies ran leadership development initiatives which could be based on common fads in that
Technology firms that were more interest in keeping a positive tone than addressing real
Marketing executives who were obsessed with branding when all that counted was the price.
Corporations that would throw millions into 'change exercises' and then when they failed do
exactly the same thing again and again

The push for change in organisations

Shifting Strategic Organizational

Environment Renewal Change

Competition New products Tasks

Customer- New Markets Process
Behaviour New Business Systems
Politics Models Structure
Economy Culture
Society Technology
Business problems and opportunities

There has been a significant change in strategy

The company has become global
There is a shift in business model
Execution errors/gaps are identified due to outdated organizational arrangements
Slow decisions, role confusions, poor allocation of resources
The company cant afford what it has
Acquisitions arent integrated well
Business problems and opportunities

Environmental demands
Competitor action
Regulatory shift
Gain in customer power
Structure limits innovation
does not help identify new strategies
A new leader arrives
Mercer (2016) study identifies that Talent management in organizations are not making employees ready
for handling change

Mercer (2016) study also suggests that change programs in organizations do not take off as expected.
Organisations are investing more time in building change capabilities
2016 Process and Performance Management Challenges and Priorities (Collection)
Areas of internal consulting

HR strategy aligned to business strategy

Igniting talent
Building organisational capability to deliver business results
Building the appropriate organisational culture
Organisational renewal
Creativity and Innovation
Source: Vosburgh, R. M. (2007). The evolution of HR: Developing HR as an internal consulting
organization. HR.Human Resource Planning, 30(3), 11-16,18-23.
4 key aspects of change

Diagnosis: Why is change needed?

Design: What sort of change is called for?
Delivery: How can change best be implemented? Who will most likely be affected? What skills and
support do leaders need as they manage the process?
Evaluation: How can the impact of the change be assessed and measured?
Approach to the course

Lecture Explanation of important change concepts

Cases/Mini-cases to learn important concepts
Exercises/Organisational assessment questionnaires
Change management simulation to practice change strategies
Expectations from you

Ask questions/clarify doubts. Share your experiences.

Please go through cases/readings before coming to the session.
Be punctual! Asking for an attendance when you are late is a strict no-no in this course.
All group presentations/submissions must be prepared well
Please be mindful of plagiarism. All assignments are checked on turnitin.
Group project

Identify a goal for your group (either at XLRI or any other organisation outside)
E.g. reducing mess wastage, reducing electricity wastage, reducing the frequency of honking etc.
You could also select a theme from the organisation implementing a change or wanting to make
employees aware of something. If you know organisations in Jamshedpur implementing changes, you
could design communication plans for them
You could also talk to organisations you are already working with for projects related to other courses
and design a communication plan for their employees.

Important deadlines
Finalize the project context 25th Sep
Present an outline of your approach 10th Session
Present the final report and video 18th Session