Summary of Leading Successful Change

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Change experts Gregory P. Shea and Cassie A. Solomon have helped promote successful change in financial services, professional services, manufacturing, health care, telecom, information services, education and government. They discuss – sometimes a bit repetitively – the two essential requirements of organizational change and the “eight levers of change.” They clearly explain the best way for organizations to plan and manage change using their “work systems model,” which relies on creating change scenarios and demonstrating new behaviors. getAbstract recommends their approach to executives at companies of any size.

About the Authors

Shea and Associates president Gregory P. Shea is an adjunct professor of management at the Wharton School of Business. Cassie A. Solomon is founder and president of The New Group Consulting.



A Typical Failed Change Initiative

Halloran, a specialty chemical firm, faced a major problem. Its overly complex global supply chain kept the costs of raw materials high and prevented the firm from staying competitive. Halloran’s purchasing chief, Tom Keating, planned to reduce the cost of raw materials by outsourcing the company’s logistics to Straight Arrow, an independent contractor.

Straight Arrow intended to set up numerous warehouses to serve Halloran’s manufacturing plants worldwide. It would secure most of Halloran’s raw materials from China, take responsibility for inventory costs and guarantee Halloran a perpetual three-month supply of raw materials.

Once the change initiative was underway, Keating and a senior executive from Straight Arrow began a “global road show” to explain the program to Halloran’s plant managers. Keating believed the demonstration showed Halloran’s commitment to the new plan and that effective communication of the details would ensure successful implementation.

A year and a half after the program launch, Keating and his purchasing team sponsored a retreat to discuss the state of the initiative. Despite its initial ...

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