Magazine article Strategic Finance

Managing Change

Magazine article Strategic Finance

Managing Change

Article excerpt

Change in organizations can be frustrating, difficult, and painful. It's also necessary. As financial leaders, we must balance the human element of change with analytical requirements. The Pivot Point: Success in Organizational Change, by the father-daughter team James and Victoria Grady, gives financial leaders a parable-based look at how people respond to change.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

The book's introduction immediately details a telling statistic: 68% of organizational change initiatives fail. That sobering statistic leads to several factors that affect employees who are part of change efforts:

* Change is out of their control.

* Employees are pressured to change without feeling valued.

* Employees can feel distrust toward the organization.

* Employees feel like they're only resources or tools to make the change happen.

Unlike most organizational leadership books, The Pivot Point was written as a parable that focuses on six people stuck at a Washington, D.C., hotel conference as a hurricane passes through:

* Dr. Bankston, a university professor and author who was scheduled to speak at the conference before the hurricane canceled it;

* Jake, an IT director for a government agency;

* Liz, a medical director at a hospital;

* Joan, a rising star in a small business;

* Edward, a young project manager; and

* Hilde, a German operations executive in a business where the owner may retire soon.

The group members represent the different challenges and fears people experience during major organizational change efforts. The individuals face their own fears and uncertainties within their own organizations. Even if you haven't faced these specific situations, they're undoubtedly familiar. The Pivot Point is such a good read on change management because you can put yourself in the characters' shoes and ask how you would handle your own situation and why. …

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