A truly successful firm is not only characterized by its ability to make money, be sustainable or engage its people, but by its ability to renew itself ahead of the competition. On June 29, top management team members from CellMark, Systembolaget, Apoteket and Bilprovningen engaged with the Center for Higher Ambition Leadership Europe to discuss tools and methods for transformation and change, and to discuss challenges based on findings and from projects on trust, engagement and performance in three of the partner companies.
Companies with higher ambitions beyond only making money attract resources and people, breed engagement and trust, and are more effective, entrepreneurial and profitable.
CHL Europe’s purpose is to help the leaders in such companies build higher performing organizations and a better world, by using and developing world leading knowledge and practice.
Most companies fail in their renewal efforts, often because they lack the necessary trust and engagement of their people. Tobias Fredberg, professor in Organization renewal at Chalmers University introduced a set of ideas of how these issues can be handled in organizations. Three of the partner companies had engaged with people from CHLE in a study on trust, engagement and performance in their respective organizations. A substantial part of the day was dedicated to discussing how to create a basis of positive change in a company – trust from management, passion for the organization, and fulfillment of goals such as financial targets, innovation and quality.
After lunch Lena Larsson, CEO of BB-Gruppen, and previous CEO of Stampen Local Media, gave an appreciated and inspiring presentation about her reflections on methods for driving transformation.
In connection to Lena’s lecture, Flemming Norrgren (professor in project management) introduced The Strategic Fitness Process (SFP), a change architecture that allows organizations to combine speed and empowerment when managing transformations. Tobias Fredberg discussed a method for driving fast change in so-called “breakthrough projects” that have been researched by the CHLE team.
The SFP was created by two of the Center’s founders – Michael Beer and Russell Eisenstat. It has been used in hundreds of firms all over the world. It creates a framework that helps firms to clarify the few, real priorities that will move the system, align the leadership system around the direction, create engagement for change through a two-way communication process (Fish bowl) where truth can speak to power but also offers great opportunities for leadership teams and individual talent to develop their change leadership capabilities. Systembolaget which recently has done a SFP shared their experiences.
“It must be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to plan, more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to manage, than the creation of a new system. For the initiator has the enmity of all who would profit by the preservation of the old institutions and merely lukewarm defenders in those who would gain by the new ones. (Macchiavelli 1513)”
The Partner Day became a rewarding meeting with exciting discussions and interesting reasoning. Focused on acting now and how, not when or if, showed that all the Partners, irrespective of line of Business made a great exchange of experiences.
CHLE Next steps will be meetings with each Transformation partner in August. CEO Summit in Zurich November 8-9. 2018 will begin with a CEO Summit in Boston January 5-6, followed by CHRO Summit in March and closing the Partner year with a TMT Meeting in June.
The participating partners were Systembolaget, CellMark, Apoteket and Bilprovningen.