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Dec 9, 2017

McDonald’s Black Friday Marketing: Epic Fail or Nifty Strategy?

The chain apparently neglects to include promo content in Black Friday tweet. Was it a marketing blunder or ingenious tactic? You decide.

Last Friday, McDonalds tweeted from its @McDonaldsCorp account:

Black Friday **** Need copy and link****”

Interestingly, it seemingly failed to include any promo content in the tweet, leaving readers to wonder was this an epic fail in the marketing department or a deliberate action intended to drum up interest and buzz for the brand. I suppose, the mystery of it all could even inspire some to stop by a McDonald’s store to find out what the promo (if it existed) was all about.

A quick look at the twitter account over the weekend showed that the tweet was still up and that it was garnering quite a bit of attention with over 1.4K in comments and over 66K “likes,” which represents an exceptional response compared to McDonald’s other recent tweets that tend to garner responses in the hundreds, at best.

Deliberate or Opportunistic?

I don’t really want to get to the bottom of it. My guess is that it was a mistake made by some inattentive intern or recent college grad working deep in bowels of the social media unit of McDonald’s marketing department. And, when the error was detected (via the thousands of comments received right after the text hit the street), McDonald’s chose to keep it up because of the interest that it was generating – apparently applying the old adage: “Any publicity is good publicity.”

But, what does it matter? It worked. The tweet generated interest. People were reacting to McDonald’s. Whether the comments were positive or negative (and there were both), there was a buzz. So, regardless if the tweet was deliberate or a mistake that was handled in an opportunistic way, there are a few lessons to glean from McDonald’s Black Friday Marketing approach.

A Few Takeaways For All of Us

What can we take away from all of this? Here are a few thoughts:

  1. Look to make lemonade out of lemons – let’s assume that my hunch is correct and McDonald’s made a mistake with this tweet, they didn’t panic. Instead, they rode the wave and made the best of it. As a consequence, guys like me are still writing about it today.
  2. Overreaction to an apparent mistake can be a mistake – had the Company deleted the tweet or, even worse, issued an apology and extended an offer as a means of compensating those confused and frustrated by the tweet (I am intentionally being melodramatic here), it would have probably ended the buzz right on the spot, and we wouldn’t be debating the mystery of it all days later.
  3. Taking calculated risks can pay dividends – let’s assume, I’m off beam with my guess and McDonald’s had deliberately tweeted a tweet with no promo content, it would mean that they were willing to take a risk (e.g., losing some customers because of an erroneous tweet) in the hope of generating some additional interest in the brand. The risk paid off, the tweet is still getting attention.
  4. Vulnerability can be used as a tool – if McDonald’s did tweet with intent, they showed that being a bit vulnerable (i.e., big companies can make a Twitter mistake) can be used as a tool to engender attention. So, showing some vulnerability is OK for your brand.
  5. Match your response to your brand – McDonald’s brand messaging connotes fun and a low-key dining experience. It’s response to this tweet mystery (there’s been no response from the Company at the time that this article was written) is low-key and the lack of a response just makes the whole thing more fun. I guess we can say, McDonald’s is just being McDonald’s, which is a good thing.

To close, McDonald’s is a solid company and a great brand. Whether their tweets are always spot on or recycled gibberish, doesn’t really matter. They still deliver a consistent experience at an unfailing value every time you visit one of their stores. Having an online presence in the fast food industry are table stakes. You best have one. If you can make the shopping / ordering experience even easier through the use of online tools and apps, even better. Accordingly, at the end of the day, a tweet (even one that harvests a lot of attention) isn’t going to make or break the company – it’s just good marketing. Drop me a line, if you’d like some help with your marketing strategies.

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NOTE: This article originally appeared in Inc. on November 27, 2017.

Nov 21, 2017

Time for a Brand Overhaul at Harley-Davidson

With sales slumping at Harley-Davidson, this iconic American brand needs to recast itself and redefine what it will become in the years ahead

Harley-Davidson announced its third quarter results last month and the news wasn’t great. Harley’s worldwide sales was down nearly 7%, while American retail sales slumped by over 8%. This all translated into about a 40% drop in profits as compared to the year-ago quarter. Prompting its CEO to comment in its earnings press release:

“The continued weakness in the U.S. motorcycle industry only heightens our resolve and the intensity we are bringing to the quest to build the next generation of Harley-Davidson riders…As the motorcycle industry leader – with dealer strength and rider passion and loyalty like no other – we believe we are uniquely positioned to build ridership and strengthen the sport of motorcycling.”

Clearly, HD’s future rests with that “next generation of Harley-Davidson riders.” The company will not continue to dominate by simply to rely on its current aging customer demographic (of those 45 years and older) to bolster revenue. Many of those people have bought their last Harley.

So, what can Harley do to invigorate brand appeal among Millennials — who are choosing to put their motorcycling dollars into purchasing new Ducati’s, vintage Honda’s (because they are inexpensive and reliable) and other value-laden offerings from the big four Japanese manufacturers?

Here are just a few ideas:

  1. Stop putting heritage before innovation: Millennials don’t care about buying their grandfather’s bike. In fact, they would prefer to set their own trend with completely new designs and styles. Re-imagine what a motorcycle should look like. Think video games and futuristic action movies for inspiration.
  2. Offer safer, first-time rider designs: The lightest offering in the Harley fleet is a 500CC bike that weighs-in at about 500 pounds – that can be a bit intimidating for a first-time rider. Develop some lightweight bikes with smaller frames and engines that a Millennial can learn on and they just may give the brand a try. Like all other HOG enthusiasts, if you catch them while they’re young, they’ll remain loyal as they grow into more competent and confident riders that, in time, buy bigger bikes.
  3. Add more bang-for-the-buck: Yes, you can get into a base-level, stripped down, no bells or whistles Harley for under $10,000. But, that same $10,000 can goes a whole bunch further with any of the Japanese brands – leaving some room in the budget for a comfort seat upgrade or a new leather jacket.
  4. Earn their attention: There’s little a Millennial can’t do with a cell phone and two, good thumbs. Go where they are by establishing a stronger social media presence. BMW, for example, commissioned 60 Instagrammers to tout the brand by posting their BMW motorcycling adventures as a means to establish appeal to the next generation of rider.
  5. Hype the experience: The prospective Millennial buyer is all about collecting varied and stimulating experiences – that’s why they study abroad, seek temporary employment to travel and surf the Internet to learn more about the great big world and what is has to explore. Help Millennials to understand the rich experiential element that riding has to offer and they may be convinced to give it a try.

To close, Harley-Davidson has overcome adversity in the past. As a rider, I believe that they will overcome adversity again. But, it will take some deep reflection and a willingness to change with the times. If your company needs a brand overhaul, reach out! I bet I can help.

NOTE: This article originally was published by Inc. Magazine on 6 NOV 17

Oct 24, 2017

Free Advice For Uber’s New CEO

With board-level voting rights on equal footing, it’s time for it’s CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, to lead the firm to a new tomorrow

In June, under immense pressure from incensed investors who didn’t take kindly to Uber’s unrestrained “Bro” culture, Travis Kalanick stepped down as its CEO. Able to retain his seat on the firm’s 11-member board, Kalanick was able to maintain extra voting power granted him in the Company’s original by-laws. This extra voting power could have been used to help him to control the company’s future direction. But, last week Uber’s board voted to shred that extra voting power – putting every board member’s vote on an equal footing.

Clearly, the company isn’t out of the woods, yet. Just last month, London city officials said they would not renew the company’s license because of the Company’s lack of corporate responsibility. Clearly, Kalanick’s successor, Dara Khosrowshahi has his hands full as he charts a course for the future while working to overhaul Uber’s sad corporate reputation and internal company culture.

As a guy who has made his living for over 30 years helping executives to transform their company cultures, I am compelled to share some free advice with Uber’s new CEO. While the ideas are by no means earth shattering, they are fundamental to driving the kind of sea-level change needed at Uber:

  1. New Leaders need to create and share a vivid and compelling vision in order to engage and inspire their organizations.
  2. An outside-in perspective can inform what the “new normal” can and should be. Seeing the world from the viewpoint of those that an organization serves will enable break-through thinking and lead to the delivery of exceptional products and services.
  3. Communication is the key to engagement. Your people need to know where you are, what you want and how you expect them to get there.
  4. Be sure to put the right kinds of communication mechanisms in place to keep your staff properly informed. How can you expect solid communication, if you don’t enable it through the implementation of the necessary tools and devices?
  5. Being “in it together” is the only way to drive widespread transformation. People want to be part of something bigger than them. Make a “cause” out of your transformation effort by helping people understand what’s in it for them and they will pull together to make it happen.
  6. Measure results, not effort to change behavior. It doesn’t matter how much effort one expels to achieve success. It’s the success that matters. Measure outcomes and people will change their individual behaviors as necessary to achieve the results expected.
  7. Consider the next generation of employee as you imagine the future. You must take into account the values and expectations of the next generation of employee in order to ensure that you crafted a culture that will attract and retain the talent you need to achieve your vision. If you don’t someone else will!
  8. An active leadership style enables you to know when to “push” and when to step back and observe. You don’t always need to be in the front of the room – that kind of behavior can stifle the growth and maturity of your staff. Rather, be involved and understand exactly what your team needs from you in order for them to be successful.

To close, there’s no doubt that Mr. Khosrowshahi has quite a challenge ahead of him at Uber. But, by all accounts, he’s up for the task. But, of course, he doesn’t have to take the journey alone. There are people out there that can help (and would welcome the challenge of rolling up their sleeves, right beside him) to do the work needed to put Uber back on track. If you think that your company could use a company culture overhaul please reach out.

Sep 6, 2017

The ROI of Culture Transformation

Answer these 8 simple questions about your business and you’ll discover the value in investing in transforming your Company Culture.

Culture transformation is a “hot” topic in boardrooms these days. But, leaders are unclear about how to measure its return on investment (ROI). Clearly, measuring the results of culture improvements, per se, is a bit sticky. This is so because your company culture underpins everything you do. From outward facing activities like product development and service delivery to internally facing processes including measurement and reward and hiring practices are a reflection of your company culture.

So, how do we measure the return on a culture transformation investment? While there’s no simple formula, here are some questions that can be asked to make the decision to invest in improving your company culture a whole lot easier:

  1. What’s The Value of Strategic Alignment? Getting your culture aligned with where you want to take your business is absolutely critical to achieving your vision for the future. After all, you won’t realize the vision if your company culture can’t support it.
  2. What’s The Value of Improved Teamwork? Getting your people to work as one is invaluable to the success of a business. Your culture must be set-up to do that. If it isn’t your performance will undoubtedly suffer.
  3. What’s The Value of a High Trust Work Setting? All good things are based on trust. If your culture is built on trust, your business is well positioned to overcome all of the obstacles that will confront it in its journey to strategic accomplishment.
  4. What’s The Value of Improved Communication? Communication is the centerpiece of every business. Outward communication drives prospective customers to your door and supports them once they’ve made the choice to become one. Internal communication keeps your people informed so that they can perform at their best. Your culture better support solid communication, if it doesn’t it may be time to invest in cultural transformation.
  5. What’s The Value of Improved Customer Intimacy? It’s tough to stay in business without satisfied customers! Your culture should be built around understanding their needs and wants, and then, delivering impeccable service so that you become the provider of choice.
  6. What’s The Value of High Resiliency? Running a successful business is a tough and tumble undertaking. Your company culture will determine its ability to withstand and overcome adversity.
  7. What’s The Value of Being a Talent Magnet? You want exceptional people? Build a company culture that makes you the employer of choice. Great cultures attract great talent. Be sure your culture is outstanding.
  8. What’s The Value of Greater Innovation? Your products and services best be amazing, if you intend to continue to grow your business. Here’s where innovation comes in. By creating a culture that continuously innovates you improve your ability to be amazing.

To close, company culture is the foundation of every business. If you optimize the culture and ensure its alignment with the achievement of your strategic objectives, your business performance will improve. Place a value on that and compare it to the cost of cultural transformation and you’ll have you ROI. It’s really that simple!

For more on culture transformation, please reach out to me directly. I look forward to our collaboration.

NOTE: This article was originally published by Inc. on 14 August 2017.

Aug 20, 2017

How to Become a Leader’s Leader

Here’s a leadership self-assessment worth taking to discover where you sit as a leader

The 20 questions that comprise this diagnostic are organized across 4 unique dimensions – Personality, Proficiencies, People and Presence. I call it the “4Ps Leadership Snapshot.” The assessment is quite easy to administer. While this survey can be leveraged in a variety of ways, including within a “360-evaluation” format, by reporting-line manager to subordinates, or simply used as an interview script by a hiring manager / hiring committee, it’s worth taking on your own to identify your leadership strengths as well as to recognize some areas for improvement.

The scale that you use is up to you. High, Medium and Low works just fine. But, you can spruce it up to any way you like using a numbered and / or a weighted scale as you see fit. Regardless, take it and it will give you a snapshot of where you are as a leader and will provide a perspective on where you can work to do better.

The 4Ps Leadership Assessment Snapshot:

Personality – How you’re wired.

1. Inquisitiveness: Is curious and interested in new ways of “thinking” and “doing”

2. Resolve: Has a willingness to push against status quo and maintains convictions to drive needed change

3. Emotional Intellect: Makes time to know and truly care about other people and their concerns and aspirations

4. Vitality: Is energetic and passionate about business and its evolution

5. Initiative: Is sincerely interested in producing new content that shapes new ways of thinking and doing

Proficiencies – What you do well.

6. C-Suite Impact: Possesses advanced consulting & advisory skills that have influenced action at the senior client executive level

7. Market Expertise: Is knowledgeable and is current on industry trends, disruptions, needs and can translate that understanding into big ideas that create value

8. Value Proposition Positioning: Has the ability to demonstrate how to solve client challenges within a senior leadership setting.

9. Communication: Is an outstanding communicator, skilled at messaging in both verbal and written form.

10. Teaching: Can demystify complex concepts for improving client executive understanding of them

People – How you get the best out of others.

11. Relationship-Building: Is exceptional at developing new relationships based on trust and confidence

12. Team-Building: Actively develops the capabilities of their team by leveraging the strengths and aptitudes of its individual members

13. Community-Building: Fosters an environment for sharing and developing ideas among their teams that can be used to extend market reach and industry influence

14. Coaching and Feedback: Is committed to providing advice and feedback to team members that enables improvement in individual performance

15. Diplomacy: Able to achieve desired outcomes through negotiation and tact

Presence – Your ability to generate respect and project confidence.

16. Executive Authority: Has exhibited Board and C Suite executive presence and is comfortable leading at that level of an organization

17. Results Influencing: Demonstrated ability of translating big ideas into differentiated product and service offerings

18. Market Presence: Highly credible and influential within the industry

19. Business Building: Track record of driving new net business into their organizations

20. Talent Development: Has the ability to attract, develop, retain and leverage superstar talent.

To close, my firm’s use of this diagnostic indicates that there is a high correlation between the archetype leadership attributes brought forward in the 4P Leadership Snapshot and success as a leader. While self-assessments can be skewed (some people tend to grade themselves uncompromisingly, while others are more apt to be soft graders when it comes to evaluating one’s own performance), this tool should still be able to help you to see what you do well and where you need some work. As always, if you’d like to some assistance in bringing this type of diagnostic to your organization, please reach out. And I’ll work with you on How to Become a Leader’s Leader

NOTE: This piece was originally published by Inc. on June 19, 2017.

Jul 7, 2017

Strategy is about setting direction and managing change

Strategy is about setting direction and managing change.

Listen-in on a wonderful conversation that I had with Kevin Eikenberry about my latest book, It’s Good To Be King and what it means to be a remarkable leader.

The Remarkable Leadership Podcast is a weekly podcast with Kevin Eikenberry, speaking to leadership experts and leaders in a wide range of industries around the world. Kevin hand-picks guests to help the audience see the world differently, lead more confidently and make a bigger difference for those they lead. Topics include leadership, teamwork, organizational culture, facilitating change, organizational learning, and human potential.

Jun 2, 2017

How Leadership Fables Make You a Better Leader

Read a leadership fable if you don’t want to be overburdened with heavy business jargon and over-complicated management ideas

Can a leadership fable make you a better leader? The short answer is Yes! If you don’t want to be overburdened with heavy business jargon and advanced management concepts, a fable can make you a better leader. Consider these management fables:

  • The Servant

by James C. Hunter

Crafts a tale about a Monk and a businessman to help the reader learn how leadership is about serving those you lead.

  • Who Moved My Cheese

by Spencer Johnson with Kenneth Blanchard

Presents a story of mice in a maze to drive home the point that attitude matters most in times of great transition.

  • Our Iceberg Is Melting

by John Kotter and Holger Rathgeber

Employs penguins on an iceberg as a device to suggest an approach to manage change.

  • The Five Dysfunctions of a Team

by Patrick Lencioni

Uses a fictitious CEO to help the reader learn how to overcome obstacles to success.

Each of these books offers great advice through vivid storytelling and easy-to-read and easy-to-relate-to narrative.

Indeed, fables can simplify what textbooks make complex. This style of storytelling can be particularly valuable for young professionals who are early in their leadership careers as well as everyday people who just want to be better leaders in their personal life.

That’s why I wrote, It’s Good To Be King.

I wanted to simplify the message so that leaders of all kinds — whether in business or in the community — can learn and become exceptional leaders. In fact, the book contains over 60 leadership tips which summarized for easy consumption and quick reference at the end of each chapter.

Here is a small sample of the kinds of tips that you’ll find in It’s Good To Be King:

1. New Leaders need to create and share a vivid and compelling vision in order to engage and inspire their people.

2. An “outside-in perspective” can inform what the “new normal” can and should be. Seeing the world from the viewpoint of those that an organization (or the group) serves will enable breakthrough thinking and lead to the delivery of exceptional results.

3. Communication is the key to engagement. Your people need to know where you are, what you want and how you expect them to get there. Be sure to put the right kinds of communication mechanisms in place to keep your group properly informed.

4. It’s almost never too late to right the ship. Even when the situation looks dire and the challenges insurmountable, there may be a path to success that can be discovered through creative thought and perseverance.

5. Taskmasters will devastate self-starters and those with the aspiration to contribute within a collaborative work setting.

6. Being “in it together” is the only way to drive widespread change. People want to be part of something bigger than them. Make a “cause” out of your transformation effort by helping people understand what’s in it for them and they will pull together to make it happen.

To close, regardless of the context in which you lead – at work, in the community, where you volunteer–a fable can make you a better leader. Pick one up, read it and you’ll surely agree!

 Note: This piece was originally published by Inc. on May 8, 2017.
May 15, 2017

So, You Want to Be a Disruptor?

Here are some key questions to answer that can enable the breakthrough thinking needed to re-imagine your products, services and industry

Mesmerized by industry innovators like Google, Apple and Uber, business leaders of all sorts want to become “disruptors” within their respective industries. Easier said than done!

Interestingly, the key to unlocking the kind of breakthrough thinking needed to support an aggressive agenda of innovation lies with the leadership and culture of the organization. These are the only elements that can be leveraged to differentiate a firm from its competitors and enable the possibilities required to disrupt an industry.

Why does it come down to leadership and culture? The answer is simple, leadership drives behavior, behavior establishes culture. It’s that simple! So, here are some basic questions to begin to ask yourself about your organization. The answers to these questions will establish the platform from which to disrupt.

On Leadership

1. What are the leader attributes required to drive transformation to achieve your Vision?

2. Which of the attributes do you believe are strengths among your mid-tier management?

3. Which of the attributes do you believe are weaknesses among your Leaders? How would you begin to transform the weaknesses into strengths?

On Culture

1. How is the current culture (beliefs, behaviors, assumptions) facilitating or hindering movement of your teams towards achieving transformation objectives?

2. How are definitions of responsibility, decision-making, and structure facilitating or hindering movement of your teams towards your Vision?

3. How do you navigate competing internal priorities and drive innovation?

On Transformation and Change

1. Do you feel your organization is agile enough to be competitive? Can you move at the speed required to drive change with velocity? If not what needs to be done to increase agility?

2. What is your approach to drive transformation for enhancing the customer experience?

3. What is your strategy to move your team to optimize its interactions with its internal customers?

On Talent and Development

1. Do you think that attracting, inspiring, retaining and deploying top talent is a priority for the firm? What are you doing to facilitate that?

2. How do you develop your team, engage and develop junior levels, show you care?

3. How do you mentor staff to build high performing and diverse teams?

On Client Relationship, Opportunities and Innovation

1. How do you innovate at the firm?

2. How does the firm influence its industry? What more should be done?

3. How do you inspire entrepreneurial thinking and behavior?

On Breaking the Current Paradigm

1. What 3 things should the firm stop doing to enable to achieve your vision?

2. What 3 things should firm do to enable its leaders to accomplish transformation objectives?

3. What keeps you up at night when thinking about the state of your organization? What are you doing about addressing those concerns?

To close, it is important to recognize that these questions are only the beginning for your journey towards creating a culture that can innovate and disrupt. The “fun” begins when an organization commences the hard work to transform. As always, please reach out to me directly if you would like a sounding board to assist you in your efforts.

NOTE: This piece was published by Inc. on March 27, 2017.

Apr 4, 2017

10 Tips for Everyday Leaders

Here are 10 leadership tips derived from my latest book

My latest book, It’s Good To Be King, just came out last week.

If you read it, it will help you to become a better leader.

If you’re a regular reader of my column, you already know that I aim to demystify what many management gurus make complex. This book is no exception. But, it is a departure from my standard fare.

It’s Good To Be King, is a leadership fable. In fact, you may want to consider it a bedtime story for modern day leaders. It is intended to be read and enjoyed by all kinds of leaders, including those who lead others in business, their communities, places of worship and volunteer organizations.

At the end of each chapter, I include some highlights (or takeaways) that you can derive from the allegorical story. There are over 60 tips intended to help everyday leaders. Here are 10 Tips for Everyday Leaders that you’ll find in the book:

1. Leadership makes or breaks every group and organization. Even prosperous enterprises cannot afford to rely on past success to assure enduring achievement.

2. Sometimes the need to lead is thrust upon you. When this happens, you have a choice: rise to the occasion or let someone else take charge and live with the consequences of that decision. Either way, a leadership void will always be filled.

3. Dedicate yourself to being open to learn new things. Sometimes leaders forget how to listen and learn. Don’t fall into that trap. You don’t have to have all of the answers all of the time.

4. Welcome those who can coach and teach. Even world-class athletes have coaches. Surround yourself with people who can make you better. Stated another way, accept your Yoda!

5. A foolish student laughs at knowledge. Begin to look backwards to inform your outlook for the future.

6. Gain a full understanding of where your organization or group is today and how it got there, so that you can define a path forward that is right for the current situation.

7. Leadership styles don’t discriminate. Poor leaders come in many shapes and sizes. Regardless of appearance, a poor leader will wreak havoc on any group or organization of which they are allowed to lead.

8. Deceitful leaders will destroy all trust within an enterprise or group. Once trust deteriorates, the culture becomes cut-throat as each team member begins to only focus on their own selfish interests.

9. Narcissistic leaders will ruin any esprit de corps that exists within a group. When the sense that we’re all “in this together” disappears, the best, most capable staff members begin to disappear, too.

10. The most talented among us want to be part of a team that shares the wealth. Be sure to the kind of leader that shares credit and promotes their team.

To close, this is just a small taste of the kinds of stuff that you’ll get out of the fable that underpins the book. If you lead others, in any capacity, you will get something out of the book. It’s an easy and enjoyable read – one that I hope delights and enlightens. If you do grab a copy, please let me know what you think of it. Your feedback is sure to inform what I write about here.

Mar 2, 2017

How to Manage Business Transformation and Keep Your Sanity

Transformation work should be managed as a portfolio of projects and programs

Transforming a business is a lot like changing the tires on a truck while it is slamming down the highway at 90 miles an hour. The business world doesn’t stop just because you need to optimize your operations. No, your business still needs to be able to quickly respond to customer demands with high quality service delivery even when it’s in the midst of great transformation.

In fact, your business must be positioned to implement new capabilities and modify operations on a dime, regardless of what is going on behind the scenes. But, during times of significant change, it is not unusual for work (particularly that which crosses organizational boundaries) to get “hung-up” by resource constraints and political red tape. After all, no one wants to be the one that winds up with the short end of the stick!

How to Manage Business Transformation and Keep Your Sanity?

Clearly, organizing work into a portfolio of projects and programs reduces the obstacles to quick response by offering a different perspective on the way transformation results are achieved. Resource issues and ownership challenges are resolved during the project planning stage, when the executive leadership is present and involved in priority-setting and project sourcing. Done right, transformation project teams will be cross-functional in structure and share common “team-based” goals.

Of course, there are implications for driving change in this way, including:

1. An awareness program will be necessary to expose all of the firm’s personnel to this new way of organizing and performing transformation work within the business. Indeed, the approach will need to be demystified in order to eliminate any possibility of misinterpretations or perception of threat.

2. Portfolio-Based Project Management “Next Practices” must be selected and put into place in order to ensure the smooth implementation of this concept. You will want to be sure that the best approaches to transformation are being adopted to ensure the best possible results.

3. Staff must be properly trained in project management (and their role in project team participation). Like any new skill, your team will need to be taught the basics before you can expect them to perform.

4. The business should be deliberate in establishing a common project management language. In this way, your people won’t miss a beat as the concepts are being institutionalized.

5. Once in place, project management skills must be further developed and nurtured in order to fully realize the potential of this transformation management approach. Indeed, it just the beginning of this new philosophy. So, be prepared to continue to educate and coach.

To close, this new transformation model represents a dramatic departure for most businesses in the way in which the work environment is optimized (i.e., most businesses are organized by function and it is those functional boundaries that dictate the way that work is partitioned, assigned and adjusted over time). But, managing your transformation as a portfolio of projects may be the best way to drive change, while maintaining your sanity.

As always, please feel free to continue to drive the discussion by offering your ideas and comments below or reach-out to me directly. It’s an important topic that deserves more attention.

Copyright 2016 James M. Kerr       info@executive‑checklist.com       800‑944‑4662