Thursday, July 17, 2008

Leading Change

There is a lot of talk about the need of change, but much less about

How To Lead Change

John Kotter presented his model of Leading Change in Harvard Business Review in 1996. In 2006 he slightly updated the model in his book Our Iceberg Is Melting - Changing and Succeeding Under Any Conditions.

I created a presentation about the model, which is rather simple and universal. It can be applied to any change - global or small.

Our Iceberg Is Melting - Changing and Succeeding Under Any Conditions


1. Create a Sense of Urgency.
Help others see the need for change and the importance of acting immediately.

2. Pull Together the Guiding Team.
Make sure there is a powerful group guiding the change— one with leadership skills, bias for action, credibility,
communications ability, authority, analytical skills.


3. Develop the Change Vision and Strategy.
Clarify how the future will be different from the past, and how you can make that future a reality.


4. Communicate for Understanding and Buy-in.
Make sure as many others as possible understand and accept the vision and the strategy.

5. Empower Others to Act.
Remove as many barriers as possible so that those who want to make the vision a reality can do so.

6. Produce Short-Term Wins.
Create some visible, unambiguous successes as soon as possible.

7. Don’t Let Up.
Press harder and faster after the first successes.
Be relentless with instituting change after change until the vision becomes a reality.


8. Create a New Culture.
Hold on to the new ways of behaving, and make sure they succeed, until they become a part of the very culture of the group.

Can you think of a change process where this model is not valid?

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Work-Life Balance

A week ago in Friday I heard about World's Best Presentation 2008 Contest and figured out that I would like to participate.

I have worked like crazy this week on the presentation, on marketing it, and on running the office in my job.

Now I need a holiday!

Luckily my holiday starts now.

Jack Welch
wrote a chapter about Work-Life Balance in his book Winning:

In the '60 and '70s all my direct reports were men. ... I never once asked anyone, “Is there someplace you would rather be – or need to be – for your family or favourite hobby or whatever?” ... They did not attend ballet recitals on Thursday afternoons, or turn down job transfers because they didn’t want to disturb their kids' sports "careers." ... In general it was assumed that wives stayed at home to make everything run smoothly.

All that started to change in the '80s, when women started moving up in the workforce. … I started to hear a lot more about work-life balance. ... Managers started describe the pressures they felt trying to manage travel and transfers in two-career households.

Debate about the topic became more intense in the early '90s. These conversations forced me to confront ... the conflicts involved in managing two full lives – the one at work and the other after hours, be it caring for kids, volunteering at homeless shelter, or running marathons.

Basically work life balance has become a debate about how much we allow work to consume us. You can be like me and my type, and make work your major priority. Or you can attempt a kind of literal balance, with work and life each getting 50 percent of your time, or you can go to surfing 80 percent of your time and work 20 percent. There are as many work life balance equations as there are individuals.

Achieving work-life balance is a process. Getting it right is iterative. You get better at it with experience and observation, and eventually, after some time passes, you notice it’s not getting harder anymore. It’s just what you do.

This is surprisingly valid to my situation this week. I presented the world my view of women's right to education, which will eventually lead to them moving up in the workforce, also in the countries where wives still today stay at home to make everything run smoothly. This week I have made work my major priority – it was easy since my family was on the other side of the world (but I hardly had time to sleep). Tomorrow I will fly to them and start my holiday.

Due to my holiday and travel, I will not update this blog before beginning of August, but will follow the comments. And follow the contest. While posting this, my presentation is leading the Education category. I can take a holiday now, and let social media take care of the rest.

“Is there someplace you would rather be – or need to be – for your family or favourite hobby or whatever?”

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

How Do We Educate Our Children?

I believe that the

Foundation for Lifelong Learning is laid at school

Living abroad, we often have to answer the question:

"How do you educate your children?"

Some times people want to know about education when living in a foreign country, but most often about education at our home country. To answer that question I made a presentation, which is my entry to the World's Best Presentation Contest 2008.

If you like it, please exercise your right to vote and spread the word.

Thank you!


I made this presentation based on some 20 years of education, and some 15 years of lifelong learning, and with the help of some books I have been reading lately

About creating and presenting a message

Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip Heat and Dan Heat

Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery by Garr Reynolds

About distributing the message

Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything by Don Tapscott and Anthony D. Williams

The Word of Mouth Manual by Dave Balter and Seth B. Minkin

And as word of mouth is free, the book can be also downloaded for free as a pdf from - spreading important ideas and changing minds.