“Leading for Change – How to Thrive during uncertain times” is the new book by Kathryn Simpson. I met Kathryn online during a webinar organised by our dear friends from B2E Consulting, at the beginning of 2021, when we were in the midst of the pandemic/lockdown etc.
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Kathryn Bio :
Kathryn is a respected and successful change leadership expert, with diverse career experience in Europe and North America. She has over 25 years of consulting and line experience with leading organisations (Unilever, Mars, KPMG and GSK). Since 2007 she has been leading her own independent consulting business, primarily working within the Life Sciences sector. By partnering with leaders at all levels within the sector, growth and sustainable success has resulted for the organisations she has worked with. She is the author of the book “Leading for change – how to thrive during uncertain times”.
She provides each organisation with the approaches they need to meet their unique situation. Tailored approaches are used to develop a consolidated understanding of their environment and the priority challenges they face. This provides the basis for facilitating customised workshops where leaders not only create a desired future but are ready to move forward and implement their ideas. Working with individual leaders or teams she advises how to bring other stakeholders with them, so they achieve success together. These practical and supportive approaches create focus, accountability and collaboration across organisations and their partners. Organisations are left with an increased leadership capability and tangible business results.
A few notes about our discussion :
The book is divided into 10 chapters. They provide us with a step by step process for change management. It is an extract of best practices, a toolbox where leaders can pick exactly what they need for the situation they are facing. The book is full of examples taken from Kathryn’s experiences. You will see how the tools were used, the results, and an analysis of each situation. Many tools and methods are mentioned, and you should definitely refer to the end of book notes to know more about each of them, and discover new books, websites etc. This book is a goldmine!
Roles of a change leader
- Act : A role model for the team
- Reinforce, positively or negatively depending on how teams are reacting and behaving.
Keep it Simple.
- Where are you going?
- Where are you now?
- How are you filling the gap?
To build the capability: Be sure that the people involved are able to follow the change.
The role of the facilitator :
- be clear on the outcome
- manage the process
- develop the agenda to get the outcome
- prepare with the stakeholders
- collect all the information, and the needs, and consolidate to make sure that everybody is listened to.
Advice for a new change leader :
- Why are we doing this?
- What will be the expected outcome?
- Where are we right now? (define it with the relevant people).
- What is the gap?
- What are the pain points of the current situation?
- What will be the benefit for stakeholders and customers?
Involvement of the people
- Focus on Why?
- What do they feel?
- Stay objective and focused.
- Collect information and narrow it down.
- Use electronic whiteboard (like MIRO, MURAL etc)
Kathryn is running a book club with her customers. It allows the team members to know more about change management and to get on the same page regarding the process BEFORE starting a change management project. They take a Self-assessment: https://kathrynsimpson.scoreapp.com/ . You can do it for yourself!
- Favourite Book: “The Resilient Leader Field Guide” by Karon West ( only available on Amazon or Indigo in Canada so far)
- Her Favourite Quote: “Start with Why” Simon Sinek.
- Tips: Create an Agenda for meetings to get the most of it. Define the tasks basedon the outcome, and break them down for an effective meeting.