Change Implementation Techniques for Creating a Sense of Urgency

Technique 2.31 General Questions

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Some questions that need to be asked to help identify a sense of urgency

1 General

. Why is the nature of competition changing so drastically? And what should we do about it?

. What exactly is the new network economy? How does it work? And why will it be so fundamentally different from the industrial economy?

. Will it be better to be big and powerful or small and flexible in the global economy? Should companies be broadening their product lines in order to serve the world? Or should they become more specialized and focused?

. Will technology make geographical locations increasingly irrelevant? Or will it make particular locations more important for particular industries in the next century?

. Why will global economic battles of next century be so different from the previous economic battles? How important will Asia's role be in the battle? Will the modernisation of Asia shift the world's centre of economic, political and culture gravity from the West back to the East?

. Now that the old fight between communism and capitalism is basically over, will the new fight emerge between the different forms of capitalism? Does the concept of capitalism have a bright future at all? Or has economic progress turned out to be an empty promise?

. As technology democratises not just the workplaces, but our societies and our world, does it mean the end of government as we know it? Are we heading into a world that is essentially ungovernable, out of control?

2 Organisations

. How do we go about changing our mental models into ones that are more systemic in nature, so that we can learn to look at the whole organisation and not just at some part of it that needs to fixed?

. What kind of role will technology play in the business transformation process?

. How do you go about creating a radically decentralized, networked organisation? And does federalism provide us with the useful model for making it work?

. What is it that truly binds a networked organisation together? Is it merely information technology? Or is it something deeper and far more meaningful?

. How does an organisation make the shift from just spreading information around a network to building new knowledge? Is it really possible to set up a "learning infrastructure"? And if so, will organisations begin to look more like universities than business institutions?

. What sort of principles will guide the successful 21st century organisation? Should top management give their people a meaningful share and voice in the ownership and the running of the organisation? And what does it take to build a "high trust" culture?

. As organisations and their networks become increasingly complex, how will we control them? And should we even try? Or will companies instead develop a bottom-up kind of control such as that found in a flock of birds, or swarm of bees?

. If the traditional concept of management is reaching the end of the road, will there be any role at all for the managers and for hierarchy in the future organisation?

. Will the shift to a new management model be a global phenomenon? Or will there be different rates of progress in different parts of the world?

3 Leadership and strategy

. Are organisations spending too much time managing the present and not enough time creating the future? Why is it so challenging to think strategically about the future? And how do you create the incentive within an organisation to do so?

. What should an organisation involve in the process of developing and implementing strategy? What should be the role of senior management in this process?

. How strategically focused can a huge organisation be? And should small organisations take a more flexible view of strategy than their bigger competitors?

. How important will technology be to creating a competitive advantage in the future? Will it have a long-term effect on strategy, or be more a tactical element?

. How can organisations balance the need for radical change with the need for strategic continuity? When does is it actually become necessary to change your competitive strategy?

. How can organisations make the most of emerging opportunities? And how can they de-risk these opportunities?

. What will be the essential differences between 20th century leadership and 21st century leadership? Will it take a special kind of leader to succeed in the global economy? And what impact will information technology have on the way leaders lead?

. Why is it so important to be "leader of leaders"? And how can we encourage leadership at all levels of the organisation?

. What can leaders do to ensure that their corporate culture will be a strategic asset rather than a change anchor?

. Is it the organisation's responsibility to give people a purpose in life?

(source: Rowan Gibson, 1998)

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