David Michels: Engage to Win

Successfully engaging the organization is the top factor in business transformations.


David Michels: Engage to Win

While executives know they need to foster engagement to spur change, they’re often tripped up by some common mistakes. David Michels, who leads Bain's Results Delivery® practice in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, outlines three challenges companies face when creating and executing an engagement plan.

Read the Bain Article: Engage to Win

Read the transcript below.

DAVID MICHELS: How effectively you engage your organization turns out to be the No. 1 success factor in business today. That was the overwhelming feedback from a study that we did just this year of several hundred companies that have recently gone through a business transformation. Now that wasn't always...the case. So why is that now?

Well, we're entering into a new era of business, a much more dynamic era, in which agility and flexibility are much more important, and change is really the only constant. That puts a premium for executive teams to really focus on what we call the inside game of business—unleashing the discretionary energy of their workforce, winning the hearts and minds of their employees, in essence increasing the metabolic rate of the organization to manage and to drive change faster than competitors.

In fact, we see that business transformations are twice as likely to succeed if there's an effective and solid engagement plan in place. And yet, there's many, many pitfalls that executive teams tend to fall into. The three most common that we see is, first, the tendency to wait for too long before you communicate, when in fact all of our work with our clients suggests that early-on engagement is really important.

The second is the tendency to underinvest in explaining the "why" a company needs to change and what that really means for its employees. And the third is the tendency to default to one-way communication versus fostering a real two-way dialogue. Strategy isn't dead by a long shot, but the topic of engagement has become very much alive. And executive teams are smart to take heed.

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Engage to Win

How a strategy is executed is critical to its success.


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