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Empathizing with People

By John McCormick  |  Posted 10-03-2007 Print

CIOs don't typically lead corporate transformation, but they're well positioned to help guide business process and improvement changes, says Michael Hammer, original champion of the business reengineering movement. Hammer labels the CIO the enterprise's c

How important is making sure people are ready to adapt to the change? Obviously, that plays a huge role in any process.

HAMMER: It does. The problem is, a lot of organizations don't want to bother with it. They think it's easy. They think it's not important.

What it really requires is sort of empathizing with people in the organization and what they're experiencing, communicating with them much more than you think you need to, listening to their concerns, giving them support during a transition, showing them you're absolutely committed, readjusting the reward system to encourage them. And, it's very doable. It just requires serious commitment.

Giving them the tools so they can do their jobs better.

HAMMER: Precisely. Training, education and tools.

If you talk to a group of CIOs who want to be catalysts for business process management, business process improvement, what are the two or three things you would tell them to do?

HAMMER: No. 1, educate yourselves about it. Make sure you really understand it, not just know a few catchwords.

Secondly, start working on getting the senior executive team comfortable with the concept, which often includes taking them on a visit to other companies that are doing well with it.

And, certainly, start pilot projects right away, because you need pilot projects to demonstrate to the organization that this stuff really works.


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