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The Entrepreneurial Spirit of Change

Change - Blue ButtonHave you ever taken a long sigh and whispered “change” under your breath?  I think we all have.  Change can scare a lot of people in today’s workforce and I believe it’s really from the fear of the unknown.  True – that seems to be our natural makeup and reaction, but interesting things happen when embracing change.

For certain, not all change is created equally and the reasons for it might differ materially from another in each instance.  During these times, one constant always presents itself: opportunity.  I’ve noticed an interesting phenomenon where “change leaders” are born.  When it’s time for a company to move in a new direction, create or restructure divisions, or implement new enterprise technology, some impacted managers will approach the business through an entrepreneurial lens no matter how large the company.  It is this sense of “ownership” that breeds the strong and innovative leadership required to make a successful transformation.  Skill sets expand, possibilities are made aware, and entire cultures are established with the aid of visionary change agents that believe in the cause.  That being said, I have always subscribed to the philosophy that change is one of the most powerful professional development tools available to employees.

Today’s companies are changing at a pace faster than ever before, implementing ground breaking cloud technologies including lightning fast in-memory databases, social and mobile platforms, and inter-enterprise platforms.  An oft said expression: “no effective organization is an island” holds truer now than in the past.  Companies must be fully plugged in to the Networked Economy and synchronized with their supply chain to achieve optimal performance.  And achieving a high level of collaboration between trading partners usually means substantial transformation in core processes.  Unlike the distant past, buyers and suppliers are now coming together to achieve win-win outcomes on mutually beneficial collaborative platforms with change management resulting on both sides.  And this breeds a new type of change leader of one who instills the desired transformation for not only their company but for their trading partners as well.

When it’s time for execution, these leaders will need to gain buy-in, establish a learning culture, set milestones and benchmarks, adequately communicate the new processes, and maintain that commitment for better and sustained results.  For many, it’s a tall order that takes a certain mental toughness.  There are a number of ways the company experiencing transformation can outsource processes or find the warranted expertise, but the real winners will be the change agents who made it happen for their company.

About the author
Kevin Costello
Kevin Costello
President, Ariba

Kevin Costello joined Ariba in 2002 and later SAP when Ariba was acquired in 2012. As President of Ariba, Kevin was responsible for driving the company’s strategy and go-to-market execution related to its two lines of business – cloud applica... Read More >>>

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