Leading Change into the Future of Work


The concept of change, whether it be big or small, in our personal or professional lives, can often be overwhelming. In fact, many of us are downright resistant to it. At our recent Talent Summit, HBM employees heard a presentation on “Leading Change into the Future of Work,” by Peter Boumgarden, PhD. Peter is a professor of Practice of Strategy & Organizations at Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis.  He contends that the most significant challenge in driving technological change in manufacturing is understanding change and building support for making changes. During the presentation, attendees were encouraged to look at the unique ways they can enact change from where they sit within their own organizations.

Leading through change requires developing a sophisticated influence process that leads through any resistance that might naturally occur when bringing about change. Peter likens leading through change to playing a chess match. First, identify the players in the match, or in this case, key stakeholders. Next, assess their position and determine the most appropriate tactics for each stakeholder (logic, incentives, emotion, etc.). Then “play out the match” by using the particular influence strategy or tactics you’ve determined will achieve the best result. Peter provided scorecards as a practical tool for assessing the best way to proceed when evaluating opportunities for change.

In a world that is changing seemingly by the minute, being nimble and identifying changes that are needed, and then leading your organization through those changes, is an imperative skill. HBM attendees left with the session armed with tools to help them be effective leaders.