by Grady McAllister
Lab International (1993), Two Greenwich Plaza, Suite 100,
Greenwich, CT 06830
Reinventing the Organization is the second film in the
series The Power of Change . Dr. Gerald Ross and
Michael Kay of Change Lab International discuss how an organization
can change to meet the new marketplace.
about change and making it happen are two very different things.
Michael Kay describes the change this way:
that have really changed--as opposed to those who merely say
they have--have one thing in common: Everyone from the CEO
down to the mailroom has reinvented their job and committed
to a clear strategy for serving the customer.
many companies want to enter the land of change without changing
their mode of travel. According to Gerald Ross, in many
cases when companies introduce quality, for example, they
won't change the accounting system or they won't change the
compensation system or the other supporting systems. As the
result, the change peters out because it's a new idea applied
to an old system.
says, "They are taking out defects that nobody cares about
from products that nobody wants to buy." They should be linking
the quality issue directly to the customer. In larger organizations,
people work in separate functions such as sales or research
and development. They focus on their own part of the company.
Ross says that tends to push people apart:
a situation like that, they can not rationally discuss the
different functions may feel "some deep-seated anxiety" and
"long-held animosity" toward each other. Kay says the key
is to move outside the problem. This means "to plant
a flag outside the organization that everyone can rally around."
Ross adds: "It's much easier to have people align themselves
around a flag that is outside the system." For a company,
the most effective flag is the customer.
often try to do too much too fast. To employees, it
looks like just another program or fad of-the- month. Ross
senior management team goes off on one-week retreats to rethink
the business. The person on the shop floor is lucky if they
get a one-hour video on quality or whatever the topic is.
And then we wonder why the organization hasn't transformed
itself. You need to allow the same amount of time to everyone
to rethink his or her job. This puts everyone's purpose into
alignment. Instead of compliance, there is enrollment
in a shared vision.
keeping people involved, says Ross, you can "embrace the tiger
of resistance." Kay concludes the video with this rhetorical
challenge for leaders:
they going to continue to commend dependence or are they going
to become leaders of free people?
review of Part 1 in this series is also available on this
Vasthead is the professional web site of
Grady McAllister of Houston, Texas.