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The Change Catalyst: Secrets to Successful and Sustainable Business Change



The Change Catalyst: Secrets to Successful and Sustainable Business Change

Campbell Macpherson

ISBN: 978-1-119-38626-1 June 2017 424 Pages

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WINNER OF BUSINESS BOOK OF THE YEAR 2018 (The Business Book Awards)

"Essential reading for CEOs and leaders of change." - Martin Davis, CEO, Kames Capital

88% of change initiatives fail. The Change Catalyst provides you with the insight, tools and know-how you need to make sure your next change, strategy or M&A is the one in eight that succeeds.

Whether you're trying to change a process, a culture, a behaviour or an entire business, success demands complete clarity of what you are trying to achieve and why, followed by a clear plan to align your people to deliver. All change is about people, and one of the most important ingredients for successful change is the identification and appointment of a Change Catalyst. This is the person who can guide your organisation – its people and its processes – to the ultimate delivery of the outcomes your business needs.

The book takes you deep inside the culture and process of change to show you how to set yourself up for success in both the short and long term; identify your goal, clarify your vision, stay focused on the outcome and develop and deliver a do-able plan. It will also explain how to genuinely engage stakeholders at all levels in every stage of the process. Real-world case studies show you what a successful change initiative looks like on the ground, and the Change Toolbox offers a collection of proven tools and models to streamline planning and implementation. Clear, intelligent guidance cuts through the buzzwords to get down to business quickly, and a pragmatic, holistic approach helps you tackle strategy, culture, execution and more.

People don't like change; it rattles their cages and makes them uncomfortable – and emotion trumps logic every time. This book shows you how to pinpoint the emotional triggers, coax logic out of hiding and get everyone on board as you drive real, lasting change.

  • Learn why typical change initiatives are far more likely to fail than succeed.
  • Identify your Change Catalyst to strengthen both process and outcome.
  • Overcome cultural challenges and turn understanding into transformation.
  • Develop and implement a solid strategy for successful change.

Whether you want change at the team level or on a government scale, no initiative is immune from the perils of inertia, misguided focus, distracted leadership or muddled planning. Change is inevitable. Successful change isn't.

The Change Catalyst will tilt the odds on your favour and enable your next change initiative to be among the 12% that succeeds.

Acknowledgments xi

About the Author xv

Introduction 1

PART ZERO: Change Is Inevitable 9

PART ONE: Why 88% of Change Initiatives Fail 29

1 People Don’t Like Change 31

#1 reason why people resist change: fear of failure 35

#2 reason why people resist change: fear of the unknown 38

#3 reason why people resist change: fear of blame 40

#4 reason why people resist change: the comfort of victimhood 44

#5 reason why people resist change: the long-term gains don’t seem to be worth the short-term pain 49

#6 reason why people resist change: we need help but it is nowhere to be found, so we give up at the fi rst hurdle 50

2 Lack of Clarity Regarding What We are Trying to Achieve and Why 55

3 The Implications are not Fully Understood 71

4 An Obsession with Process over Outcomes 75

5 Inertia 81

6 The Project is Set Up to Fail 85

7 Poor Communications and Disingenuous Stakeholder Engagement 89

8 We Forget that Emotions Trump Logic Every Time 93

9 A Change-averse Culture 103

10 The Leadership Doesn’t Stay the Course 107

PART TWO: The Necessary Ingredients for Successful Change 113

11 A Change Catalyst to Drive Delivery 115

12 Clarity About What we are Trying to Achieve and Why 131

13 Detailed Understanding of the Implications of the Change 133

14 A Laser-like Focus on the Outcomes 139

15 A Change Process that Includes a 'Pause for Reflection' 143

16 Clear Governance and Thorough Planning 147

17 Genuine Engagement with People at all Levels of the Organisation 153

18 Identification of the Emotional Triggers 163

19 A Strong, Committed, Aligned and Unwavering Leadership Team 167

20 A Change-ready Culture 171

PART THREE: Culture Change 177

21 Cultural Intelligence 179

22 Instigating Change in a Foreign Culture 193

23 Understanding Your Organisation’s Culture 207

24 Teaching People to Walk in the Rain 211

PART FOUR: Getting Down to Business 225

25 Vision, Mission and Other Buzzwords 227

26 Values Schmalues 243

27 What Does a Good Strategy Look Like? 251

28 It’s the Delivery, Stupid! (Execution is Everything) 263

29 Where Are Your Walls? (Organisation Design) 271

30 Overcoming Complacency (The Innovator’s Dilemma) 279

31 What Does a Good Leader Look Like? 287

32 Building Extraordinary Leadership Teams 293

33 Your People 299

34 Case Studies 313

Tim Wallace and the iPipeline team: Transforming insurance 314

Michael Sheargold: Real estate Change Catalyst 321

Michael Gould and Anaplan: The UK’s newest unicorn 327

Unlocking the value of HR 335

Globalisation 345

35 The Change Toolbox 359

PART FIVE: And Finally, Tell 'em What You Told 'em 377

Index 385

"A good book, well researched with a clear instruction to use it as a guide and a resource to assess what is the right option for your own organisation."  (Irish Tech News, July 2017)

"The Change Catalyst is well-written and a pleasure to read. It is full of insight and anecdotes to help organisation transform for the better." 
(The Association of MBA's, June 2017)

"This is no ordinary business book. Easy to read and conversational, it leads an entertaining exploration of the subject of change." 
(thebiponline, May 2017)