A CEO’s Guide to Leading Successful Change Initiatives

In a world where the pace of change is only accelerating, the ability to drive effective change is becoming even more important. Yet, some 70% of change initiatives historically fail. Many books and articles offer theories about how to lead change. But what is missing is practical wisdom that is accessible to executive teams. In this conversation, Donald B. Hawthorne – a 6-time former CEO and go-to-market (GTM) Consultant – talks about the specific methods he has used over the years to drive change.

  • The missing link often found in leadership is the lack of intellectual honesty within teams which is critical to bring in the foreground any issues and perceptions about change
  • If management isn’t open and honest with employees about what is happening within an organization the employees will become more skeptical
  • Ask your team, what’s working, what isn’t working, and if you were in charge tomorrow what would you do differently? This makes them feel safe to speak up and start to collaborate with leaders and managers
  • Toxic individuals can cause a hostile work environment but generally can do well personally within the business. Honesty and intellectuality allow leaders to flush out the toxic people and highlight the workers they want within your company
  • Your future leaders will self-identify themselves as they will step up to get involved in change-making, additional responsibilities, and raising issues, all you need to do is create an open environment that fosters autonomy and honesty
  • Board meetings can be likened to a performance, often the core issues that impact the business every day are overlooked
  • The biggest thing Don has learned as a leader is that good people want to make a difference every day

“Employees know more within an organization and a business than many executives care to remember”
“Transparency is the key to drive performance”
“It’s a dynamic world, you have to be willing to accept the fact that you’re dealing with uncertainty”

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