Stacking the Deck: How to Lead Breakthrough Change Against Any Odds

Stacking the Deck: How to Lead Breakthrough Change Against Any Odds

David S. Pottruck

Language: English

Pages: 256

ISBN: 1118966880

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Change is a constant, and leaders must do more than keep up—they must innovate and accelerate to succeed. Yet people are often unnerved by change. As a leader during a time of transformation, you may stand up before teams that are indifferent, or even hostile, and need to convince them that change is necessary and urgent. More than money, time, or resources, the ability to lead these people determines your ultimate success or failure. What does it take to be an effective change leader and increase the odds of success?

Stacking the Deck offers a proven, practical approach for inspiring meaningful, lasting change across an organization. Stacking the Deck presents a nine-step course of action leaders can follow from the first realization that change is needed through all the steps of implementation, including assembling the right team of close advisors and getting the word out to the wider group.

Based on Dave Pottruck's experiences leading change as CEO of Charles Schwab and later as chairman of CorpU and HighTower Advisors, these steps provide a guide to ensure that your change initiative and your team have the best possible shot at success. In addition, established business leaders who have led extraordinary change initiatives demonstrate the steps in action. These executives include eBay CEO John Donahoe, Wells Fargo former CEO Dick Kovacevich, Starbucks chief executive officer Howard Schultz, San Francisco Giants CEO Larry Baer, JetBlue CEO Dave Barger, Asurion CEO Steve Ellis, Pinkberry CEO Ron Graves, and Intel's President Renee James, among others.

Leading an organization through major change—whether it's the introduction of a new product, an expansion to a new territory, or a difficult downsizing—is not for the faint of heart. While success is never guaranteed, the right leadership, process, and team make all the difference. For all leaders facing major change in their organizations, Stacking the Deck is an indispensable resource for putting the odds in your favor.





















the process, and build commitment and momentum for more extensive changes. STEP FIVE ACTION ITEMS CREATING A WORKABLE PLAN Define where we are (WWA) now, specifically in terms of economics, competitive position, employee performance, future expectations, and the like. Identify where we want to be (WWWTB) after the breakthrough change, with as much of the same specificity (from item 1) as possible. There may be several possible WWWTB outcomes. Engage the team in dialogue about this. Consider

indicators can you measure and report on daily, weekly, monthly, and beyond? Define where you want to be in relation to the leading and lagging indicators at given milestone dates (for example, a 10 percent increase in new customers n months out). Are there big data initiatives in the company that you can tap into and employ? Does vintage analysis aimed at customers or employees make sense for this project? What specific data will you analyze in this fashion over time? Do we have any data sources

people who have been working in one area for years to a different task or venue. New challenges demand constant adjustment to make sure that everyone is contributing their best to the team as a whole. This means keeping yourself and your team healthy and dynamic, ready for the inevitable surprises, roadblocks, and new challenges that pop up on the road to breakthrough change. Now you have your plan, your analytics, and your team. It's time to implement pilot tests of your breakthrough change, as

near fatal heart attack. To everyone's surprise (including my own) I was promoted to fill his position as president and chief operating officer. Initially, I felt quite capable of handling this elevated assignment. After a few months, however, it was apparent I had assumed a whole new level of leadership responsibility for which I was not just underprepared, but unprepared. As one of my remediation strategies, I went looking for a speechwriter to help me sharpen my communication within the

else than in our people?’ We debated it, looked at alternatives, and in the end we all agreed that the situation and the opportunity to generate passion and commitment justified the expense.” As the conference began, in October 2008, Starbucks was “running negative 8 percent comps and our comparable sales statistics were getting worse every week and every month.” Starbucks had never had negative comp store sales in its history. Howard “knew that when we got to negative 14.5 percent, we were

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