5 Key Elements of Change Management


Recently, I was involved in a successful new system implementation project launch. The project had an impact on an entire department. Countless men and women toiled their days and nights leading up to the launch. Naturally the post-launch excitement across the organization was quite palpable. In layman’s terms, the launch happened exactly as we planned – seamless!

Amidst all the euphoria, someone asked me how we managed to pull this off, what type of internal resistance we faced and how did we overcome it – all very fitting questions given that our launch schedule was very aggressive and set to have global impact. Even folks who were part of the project team were initially hesitant when the timelines for launch were first introduced. So when this question was posed, it did not surprise me.

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Why Mentors are Important in Your Career


A few months ago, John Donahoe (eBay CEO) wrote a LinkedIn article that talked about how instead of trying to learn a lot from a few people, he had to learn a little from a lot of people.  It is definitely worth a read.  Check it out.

Specifically in that article, when I read the following sentence it resonated with me at many levels:

“I realized the perfect Yoda-like mentor didn’t exist, and no one person had all the wisdom I was seeking….”

In his post, John references mentors and managers interchangeably.  In my opinion managers can be mentors. But mentors does not have to be your managers.  Luckily I had the good fortune of having some great managers and mentors.  Spanning approximately two dozen years working for small to big companies, I have had nearly 20 managers in my career so far.  Most of them turned out to be great mentors.  Also in my career as a project manager and then as program manager, I was fortunate to interact with some amazing leaders who I consider to be my mentors as well.
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Is There Such a Thing As Too Much Talent?

SF 49ers


As I was crying into my beer on the devastating loss my favorite football (American) team, San Francisco 49ers suffered this past Sunday, I came across this article “Excess of Talent Has Spoiled San Francisco 49ers Offense”.  For those of you non-football fans, here’s some context:

  • 49ers are considered to be one of the elite football teams in the National Football League.  In the past 3 years, they were among the top 4 teams in the league (out of 32).
  • Last Sunday (Nov 2, 2014) they suffered a humiliating loss against a low-ranked team St. Louis Rams.  In the last year, I’d say this is probably the second most disappointing loss. (First being the NFC championship loss this past January).
  • This season, they are off to a so-so start.  As of this writing, they are at 4 wins and 4 losses this season.  Pathetic.  Some teams (read: Oakland Raiders) may be wondering What’s wrong with 4-4?.  But, 49er fans *ahem* have higher standards you know.

As I was reading this article, it got me thinking “Is there such a thing as too much talent?”.   What if this applies to organizations?  What if this applies to MY organization?  Is too much talent detrimental to winning games or winning in the business?
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The Scout In Us

Like boy scouts we are driven by badges. Our lives are filled with badges.

I got my MBA. I’m married. Husband. Father.

Ran 5k.  Ran a Marathon.

Manager.  Sr. Manager.  Director.

We aspire to collect as many badges as possible.  It’s a great motivational tool.  It inspires us.  Drives us to work hard.

Winning a badge doesn’t mean much if there isn’t a sash to display them.

Family get togethers were a good sash.  Bumper stickers that says “My child is a honor student” are a good sash.  Facebook is the latest sash.

Problem is, in our quest for the next badge we forget our obligations with the current badge.  We become helicopter parents.  We start to coast at work.  We don’t realize why we got the badge. Ultimately we fail to cherish what we have.

While it’s important to strive for the next badge, it’s more important not to lose what you have.

For one, not too many have what you have in the first place.  Ask any cub scout.