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如何避免企业变革项目失败

Jennifer Reingold 2014年11月11日

各种告诉人们如何成为变革推动者的书在市面上已屡见不鲜。但是我们所知不多的是,究竟怎样在一家组织中引领变革。戴维•波特拉克的最新著作《预先准备》正好解答了这个问题。

    变革是件好事。它是在所避免的,也是令人害怕和忧虑的,特别是“突破性变革”,那种会让所有人都非常不舒服,导致其中部分人失业的变革。

    许多商业书籍都试图告诉人们如何成为变革推动者,这类书我们屡见不鲜。但是,究竟怎样在一家组织中引领变革,则甚少有书提及。天马行空的理论太多,而脚踏实地的建议很少。

    我喜欢戴维•波特拉克最新著作的原因就在此。其大作名为《预先准备:如何突破所有障碍,引领突破性变革》(Stacking the Deck: How to Lead Breakthrough Change Against Any Odds)。首先声明,2005年我就与戴维相识。当时,我花了几个月来说服他,想让他谈谈被公开解雇【他曾是嘉信理财(Charles Schwab)联合首席执行官】的感受,以及之后他是怎样在个人和职业方面重新实现平衡。不可思议的是,他答应了我的要求。从我就此写出的报道中可以看出,戴维是少见的谦卑而又居于弱势的公司高管。

    好消息是他恢复了过来,成立并投资了数家公司,而且一直在沃顿商学院的高管培训课上教授突破性变革——在嘉信理财以及其他公司,他都成功实现了突破性变革。这本书来源于他的教义,但他还补充了大量对现任高管的访谈,包括英特尔(Intel)总裁詹睿妮、星巴克(Starbucks)首席执行官霍华德•舒尔茨和捷蓝航空(JetBlue)首席执行官戴夫•巴格尔等。

    这本书分两部分:第一部分是关于“预先准备过程”,波特拉克在此具体介绍了在企业内部形成并引领变革的九个步骤;第二部分更进一步,探讨了鼓舞和激励团队成员所需要的技巧。他说,要点很简单,但值得反复强调,那就是:“变革需要有领导力的人来引领。如果不具备推动变革所需的领导技能,你所倡导的变革无论大小,最终都不会成功。”

    在具体如何操作上,波特拉克讲得非常具体(每个章节末尾都有一页行动方案,来帮助读者实现每个步骤)。不过,他也把大部分责任重新放回领导者肩上。领导者要明白变革过程的压力之大,在取得胜利时要庆祝,还要提出整体愿景,让大家预见最终的结果。同时,也许最为重要的是,领导者还要能识人,知道哪些人应该进入变革团队。波特鲁克认为,衡量指标很重要,但可能被滥用:“要记住,从根本上说,领导突破性变革,就是既要产生并管理实际动力,又要形成并管理对这股动力的认知。”

    在这本书中,我最喜欢的部分是波特拉克谈到的两个问题,一是领导者怎样通过沟通来达到激励他人的目的;二是真诚有多重要。他举了一个感人的例子:重新担任星巴克CEO的第一周,霍华德•舒尔茨在演讲时痛哭流涕。当时星巴克销售额不断下滑,舒尔茨为公司业绩不佳道歉。舒尔茨后来说:“上台发言时我没打算流眼泪,但当时我是代表领导层道歉,为我们让员工及其家人失望道歉。”

    如果舒尔茨当时是在做戏,星巴克也许永远也无法扭转局面。但他的表现是真情流露——而建立了情感纽带后,他就能鼓舞各店铺经理对自己门店的业绩负责。波特拉克写道:“就变革进行沟通时,动机(以行动换取奖励)没那么重要,更重要的是激励(让人从内心产生渴望,想参与真正的重大事件,并为之做出贡献)。”这是非常棒的一课,而且对解释了为何众多变革项目以失败告终大有帮助。(财富中文网)

    译者:Charlie

    审校:Hunter

    Change is good. It’s also inevitable, terrifying, and fraught—particularly “breakthrough change,” otherwise known as the kind of change that will make everyone very uncomfortable and some of them unemployed.

    We’ve all come across the many business books that attempt to tell us how to become a change agent. But what we haven’t read much about is how, exactly, we should lead change within an organization. There’s been tons of blue sky, and not so much boots on the ground.

    Which is why I liked David Pottruck’s new book, Stacking the Deck: How to Lead Breakthrough Change Against Any Odds, so much. First, a disclaimer: I have known David since 2005, when I spent several months trying to convince him to talk about what it felt like to be publicly fired (he was co-CEO of Charles Schwab), and how he recovered his personal and professional balance afterwards. Incredibly, he agreed, and the resulting piece showcases a rarity—a humbled, vulnerable executive.

    The good news is that Pottruck recovered, and he has since founded and invested in several companies. All the while, he continued to teach an executive education class at Wharton on breakthrough change—something he had done successfully at Schwab and elsewhere. The book comes out of his teaching, but is supplemented by extensive interviews he conducted with current top executives such as Intel President Renee James, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, JetBlue CEO Dave Barger, and others.

    The book is broken down into two parts; one the “Stacking the Deck process,” in which Pottruck offers nine specific steps to create and lead the change process in your

    organization; and the second, a higher level look at the kinds of skills needed to motivate and inspire your team. The key point, he says, is a simple one, but it bears repeating: “Leading change requires leading people. Any transformation you propose, small or large, will ultimately not succeed if you don’t have the leadership skills to drive the process forward.”

    Pottruck is very specific in his how-to (each chapter ends with a one-page action plan to help bring each step to life), but he also brings much of the responsibility back to the leader. It is the leader’s job to understand just how stressful this process is, to celebrate victories when they occur, to develop an overarching vision that allows people to foresee the endgame, and—perhaps most important—how to determine which kinds of people should be on the change team. Metrics are important, but they can be overused, Pottruck says. “Remember that leading a breakthrough change is fundamentally about creating and managing both the actual momentum and the perception of momentum.”

    What I enjoyed most about Stacking the Deck was Pottruck’s discussion about how a leader can communicate to inspire—and how, more than anything, authenticity is what matters. He uses a touching example of a speech from Howard Schultz, who, in his first week back at CEO of Starbucks, with sales collapsing, burst into tears while apologizing for the company’s performance. “I hadn’t gone in there planning to cry, but I was apologizing that we as leaders had let them, the workers and their families, down.”

    Had Schultz faked that emotion, the company might never have made it to the turnaround. But he didn’t—and then, once having established the connection, he was able to rally his store managers to be accountable for their stores’ performance. Writes

    Pottruck: “Communicating about change is less about motivation (the exchange of behaviors for rewards) and more about inspiration (appealing to an innate desire to be a part of and contribute to something really important).” It’s a great lesson—and goes a long way toward explaining why so many change programs ultimately fail.

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