Skip to main content

Leading Change Vs. "Leading" Status Quo

Change and Status quo can be as far apart from each other as a butterfly is from a caterpillar ...

Or ... as an Amazon.com is from a K-Mart ...
Or ... as a BMW is from a Hyundai ...
Or ... as laying a runway is from paving a cow path ...
Or ... as a solution is from a product ...
Or ... as experience is from service ...
Or ... as customer success is from customer satisfaction ...
Or ... as a distinct brand-you is from a me-too employee ...

Change can be triggered by innovation. Change can happen in corporate culture. And so on. There is a leader "behind" every Change. If you consider the corporate world, people like Lou Gerstner, Michael Dell, and Jack Welch may come to mind. Actually, there are scores of other lesser-known and unknown leaders that make change happen in their organizations.

Here's my question: What are some differences between those who lead change and those who "lead" the Status quo? Oh yes, we know about the staggering percentage of Change initiatives that fail. Let's, for the sake of this discussion, stick to successful Change initiatives and what it takes to lead them.

Comments

  1. There have been comments on this Question at the LinkedIn leadership/change/innovation Groups where I posted it. Not many attempted to list the characteristics of each type. Most commenters felt that only those that make Change happen could be termed Leaders and that all others should be termed Managers. One commenter suggested that those that only manage the status quo but still succeed should be termed Lucky! So there you go ... in terms of categories you have:

    1. Leaders
    2. Managers
    3. Lucky!

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Explorer mentality Vs conqueror mentality

A fixation on competitors and on beating them is evidence of what Amazon's Jeff Bezos calls a conqueror mentality. In contrast, people waking up in the morning thinking how to innovate for the customer -- and having intense fun innovating -- is evidence of an explorer mentality.

The explorer mentality resulted in Amazon allowing negative reviews of its products. Reacting to this, a book publisher objected, saying "You make money when you sell things." But Bezos thought, "We don't make money when we sell things; we make money when we help customers make purchase decisions." So explorer mentality also demands a willingness to be misunderstood for long periods of time.

During his 16 years as CEO, Bezos' Amazon has delivered shareholder returns of 12,266% (industry-adjusted), and the company's value has grown by $111 billion. More in HBR Jan-Feb 2013.

M&A perspective: IT staffing Vs IT consulting

This report is a simple analysis by HT Capital -- a boutique investment banking firm in New York. It basically makes the point that being a staffing company (Vs consulting company) does not provide adequate returns to most investors, especially from an M&A perspective.

Peter Rozsa, co-author of the report, is a Senior Managing Director at HT Capital. He was also my "classmate" at a Columbia Business School executive education program. I have Peter's permission to make the report available here.

Click to download PDF report.