Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Global CEO Survey Puts Change Leadership at the Forefront

I recently attended the annual convention for the Ohio Partnership for Excellence, the organization that assesses the Baldrige criteria for the state of Ohio.  It was a fantastic convention with many Baldrige award winners in attendance from around the country and from the manufacturing, health care, and public sectors.  One of the best presentations was by Harry Hertz, Director of the Baldrige National Quality Program.  During his key note address, he made reference to an IBM study that was just released in 2009 of 1,130 CEOs from around the globe.  This insightful survey produced what the study calls "the enterprise of the future," and the findings put change leadership at the forefront of enterprise strategy.  [A copy of this report can be found on the "Links and Files" page of the changefreak.com web site]  You might say some of the most successful CEOs in North America, Europe, and Asia are change freaks at heart (or at least recognize their need to become so)!

IBM leaders conducted 95% of the interviews face to face, which included almost equal numbers from Japan/Asia, Europe, and North/South America.  The study also sought to distinguish differences between financial performers and underperformers.  They analyzed the data carefully to identify key differences between these top tier performers and their lower performing counterparts.  The executive summary of the report is as follows:

Organizations are bombarded by change, and many are struggling to keep up. Eight out of ten CEO s see significant change ahead, and yet the gap between expected change and the ability to manage it has almost tripled since our last Global CEO Study in 2006.

CEO s view more demanding customers not as a threat, but as an opportunity to differentiate. CEO s are spending more to attract and retain increasingly prosperous, informed and socially aware customers.

Nearly all CEO s are adapting their business models — two-thirds are implementing extensive innovations. More than 40 percent are changing their enterprise models to be more collaborative. “ The rate of change has increased dramatically. Customers are demanding radical change in product innovation.

CEO s are moving aggressively toward global business designs, deeply changing capabilities and partnering more extensively.  CEO s have moved beyond the cliché of globalization, and organizations of all sizes are reconfiguring to take advantage of global integration opportunities.

Financial outperformers are making bolder plays. These companies anticipate more change, and manage it better. They are also more global in their business designs, partner more extensively and choose more disruptive forms of business model innovation.

Based on these observations, the study goes on to introduce the "Enterprise of the Future."  This successful enterprise is:
1. Hungry for Change
2. Innovative Beyond Customer Imagination
3. Globally Integrated
4. Disruptive by Nature
5. Genuine, Not Just Generous

It's not hard to identify the importance of effective change leadership in each of these elements.  Effective change management and innovation forms the core of the successful enterprise of the future!  In upcoming changefreak blog posts I will deal with each of these characteristics, and elaborate on the role of the change agent in each.

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