Publiée le mercredi 19 décembre

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Publiée le mercredi 19 décembre

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Publiée le mercredi 19 décembre

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Publiée le mardi 17 juillet

A culturally attuned approach is required.

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Leaders across Japan’s private and public sectors are trying to reignite growth and achieve levels of performance and productivity on par with global standards. From “Abenomics” to the 2020 Olympics, the case for change in Japan is firm and visible. Ever-increasing competition and a shift of innovation away from sectors where Japan was traditionally strong (from hardware manufacturing to services and software, for example) are pushing Japanese champions to globalize their practices. Slow domestic growth and sluggish modernization of the operating model mean that multinational companies must struggle to deliver the profits they once did in Japan. Many services that have been streamlined and digitized in the West, for instance, are still human powered, at a high level of customization.

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But global companies trying to take a page from the usual change-management playbook may struggle in Japan. Domestic experience is limited, and a more effective approach has yet to emerge. Change management is a complex endeavorinspiring multiple perspectives. Research suggests that only a third of change-management programs globally achieve their original objectives. Employee resistance is a factor in a significant proportion of programs that fail.

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A few core elements of change management are universally recognized: inspirational and effective change leaders to act as role models; a change story, with real meaning, to persuade leaders and employees; new mind-sets and behavior among employees; and the orchestration of change in an expanding, self-sustaining wave throughout the organization. But our experience supporting change efforts in leading Japanese organizations (and in multinational organizations in Japan) suggests that this approach must be adapted to the country’s specific conditions.

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A change-management approach focused on “the last man standing”—in addition to the “change leader or agent” model at the core of most Western approaches—may be the one most suitable for consensus-driven organizations in Japan and other cultures. Leaders in Japan understand that change programs fail at the middle-management level, where just a few people (or even one) can impede the consensus-building process. We believe that change-management programs can increase their chances of success not by fighting a consensus-oriented culture (or by strengthening the top-down communication cascade) but by focusing greater effort on the potential blockers. A set of simple practices can increase the chances of success in major transformations.

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Here we share our observations and lessons on how to drive change in Japan. The objective is not to treat the subject exhaustively but rather to provide empirical observations from our experience.

Publiée le mardi 17 juillet

Small, independent teams are the lifeblood of the agile organization. Top executives can unleash them by driving ambition, removing red tape, and helping managers adjust to the new norms.

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What does it take to set loose the independent teams that make agile organizations hum? These teams are the organizational units through which agile, project-based work gets done. The typical agile company has several such teams, most composed of a small number of people who have many or all of the skills the team needs to carry out its mission. (Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos contends that a team is too big when it needs more than two pizza pies for lunch.) This multidisciplinary way of composing teams has implications for nearly every business function. Take IT management. Instead of concentrating technology professionals in a central department, agile companies embed software designers and engineers in independent teams, where they can work continually on high-value projects.

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While much depends on the actions of the individual team members, senior executives must thoughtfully create the environment in which teams and their managers can thrive. In a nutshell, senior executives must move the company—and themselves—away from outmoded command-and-control behaviors and structures that are ill-suited to today’s rapid digital world. They must redouble efforts to overcome resource inertia and break down silos, because independent teams can’t overcome these bureaucratic challenges on their own. They must direct teams to the best opportunities, arm them with the best people, give them the tools they need to move fast, and oversee their work with a light but consistent touch. These ideas may sound straightforward, but they go overlooked by too many leaders who’ve grown up in more traditional organizations.

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This article explores how senior leaders can unleash their companies’ full potential by empowering small teams and supporting their managers, whose roles have been redefined by agile thinking (exhibit). Let’s start with a glimpse of what that looks like in action.

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La Tribune nous reçoit dans paroles d'experts pour présenter notre positionnement de valeur.

 
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Like short skirts, innovation has traditionally swung into and out of fashion: popular in good times and tossed back into the closet in downturns. But as globalization tears down the geographic boundaries and market barriers that once kept businesses from achieving their potential, a company's ability to innovate—to tap the fresh value-creating ideas of its employees and those of its partners, customers, suppliers, and other parties beyond its own boundaries—is anything but faddish. In fact, innovation has become a core driver of growth, performance, and valuation.