Change Management

CEO’s prescription for sickly hospital

June 30, 2011
When Wright L. Lassiter III came on board as CEO of the Alameda County Medical Center, and its flagship, Highland Hospital, it was losing millions of dollars each year. What followed was a turnaround so successful it now serves as a model worth emulating.

Young CEO turns around Bausch & Lomb

May 31, 2011

For more than 150 years, Bausch & Lomb led eye health innovation. But in recent years, the company began to stagnate. To shake things up, Bausch & Lomb hired Brent Saunders as CEO. Beginning with his first day, Saunders recognized that actions speak volumes. Here’s how he walks the talk:

The key to Aetna’s big turnaround

March 18, 2011
You can’t force people to change how they feel about their work. What you can do is focus on specific behaviors that solve real problems and deliver real results. Bit by bit, people begin thinking differently. Take the case of Aetna, which achieved one of the most successful turnarounds in U.S. corporate history.

‘Outsider’ spinning new wheels at GM

February 17, 2011

Proclaiming he’s “not a car guy,” Daniel Akerson is the outsider who became CEO of General Motors Co. in 2010. And an outsider’s approach is what’s needed, say many, in running a company scarred by financial trauma and too attached to old ways. Here’s how the veteran of Nextel, MCI and Carlyle Group is turning his newcomer’s perspective into an advantage:

Get people moving with the right words

November 23, 2010

People have one of four communication styles, and if you’d like them to join you in bringing about change, you need to talk in a way they’ll understand. Here’s a gloss on the four styles and how to frame your thoughts when working with them:

First, get others on board

September 13, 2010
Before you try turning your organization around, make sure leaders throughout the ranks are fully on board. Without their support, you may not achieve the performance goals you seek.

How Western Union missed the boat

September 13, 2010
How to seize opportunities? The best we can do is make informed guesses and take our chances; the main obstacle being that poor leadership tends to perpetuate itself, eroding an organization’s capacity to act. Western Union provides a striking example: It turned away Alexander Graham Bell’s offer to produce the telephone.

A flexible strategy at Office Depot

April 12, 2010

Strategic planning has always accounted for changing circumstances. But leaders have now shifted their planning habits to allow for on-the-fly adjustments. For example, Office Depot began updating its annual budget monthly at the start of 2009. “This downturn has changed the way we will think about our business,” says Steve Odland, Office Depot’s chairman and chief executive.

GM, retooling its leadership

January 11, 2010

Looks like General Motors plans to become even more aggressive in attempting a turnaround with the resignation of Frederick “Fritz” Henderson. The carmaker’s board sees Chairman Edward Whitacre, interim CEO and a former chief at AT&T, as a proactive outsider who has more experience with government oversight, mergers and acquisitions. GM also is looking outside for a new CEO—a dramatic cultural change.

Change management: Finding and leading your tribe

December 11, 2009

It’s not hard to find tribes. They’re all around us: in church, at work and in the community. They’ve existed for probably thousands of years, but thanks to the Internet, tribes—from red hats to coffee drinkers to sports fans—are now easily identified and led, says marketing guru Seth Godin. To lead a tribe, ask yourself three questions: