Chapter 10: Part 4 – Transforming from Kun to Peng

Timing is very important for change. This is difficult in itself. But today, the turbulent outside world often leaves us with no shortage of opportunities. Once we see an opportunity, we should decisively press the green “start” button. But we should make this “start ceremony” as “exaggerated” as possible. When pushing for change, Nadella had Microsoft’s senior management imagine a question: “At the end of next year, if we were on trial in court and charged with not pursuing our mission, would there be enough evidence to convict us?”

There is a reason for using an “exaggerated” method to start change. Although change is necessary and important, in most cases, ordinary team members will think that the current problem is not urgent. Therefore, they will not really take action and may even resist action. John Kotter, a professor at Harvard Business School, has studied a large number of corporate change cases and believes that “the fundamental problem of change is changing people’s behavior.” Kotter proposes the “See-Feel-Change” approach to change, which is obviously different from the traditional corporate “Analysis-Think-Change” approach to change.

Kotter particularly emphasizes that the first step in change is to create a sense of urgency. He tells the story of a procurement manager at a large company. Originally, procurement within the company was done by individual departments. But many problems were found, so headquarters decided to change the company’s procurement process. In order to make the change accepted by everyone, at a meeting attended by all senior managers, the procurement manager placed 424 types of gloves purchased by the company on the conference table. Some were identical but purchased at different prices. He showed these gloves to the presidents of various departments of the company. On site, when these senior managers saw so many gloves spread out on site, they were shocked and realized the necessity of change. Dealing with urgent matters first is our innate intuitive thinking pattern; it is a thinking pattern formed during our evolution. Therefore, to start change, you need to let everyone “see” the problem and magnify the “feelings” through an “exaggerated” method to turn an “important but not urgent” matter into an “important and urgent” matter.

People working in “left-brained organizations” have long suffered from it but often don’t know that the problem lies with themselves. When people can’t see that the problem is caused by themselves, it’s hard to make fundamental changes. But when we use an “exaggerated” method to expose the truth, they will realize that the problem is not with other departments or other people; it lies with themselves. At this point people will first be silent. But soon they will generate internal motivation to change themselves and their work. The method of “The Right-Brained Organization” is not to replace the original method of “left-brained organization,” but to awaken our own potential. It makes us better and able to truly understand ourselves and others.

But even so, we must still adhere to a gradual reform strategy. Firing everywhere will only leave employees at a loss. Change is a systematic project; don’t try to do everything at once; real change requires encouraging every employee to take action, but simple encouragement alone cannot make change successful. The premise is that you need to understand what their obstacles are.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *