Leading Corporate Wide Changes


Leading a corporate-wide change initiative is a testing and trying time for a leader. It not only requires a lot of strength, but also good business acumen and emotional intelligence & awareness.

“There are many aspects a leader needs to consider when causing a corporate-wide change initiative in order to be successful. Otherwise, lookout for a lot of pain and frustration.”

CEOs and other high-ranking leaders often have to lead corporation wide changes. Some changes can be brought about as a result of corporate earnings or customer reports. Some of these changes are happy and some are not so good.

But most of the time, people outside the process easily pass judgments on these changes and form negative opinions that spoil the environment. And employees of the corporation going through changes are often times not satisfied with the way changes are being handled.

This can negatively impact morale, motivation, and performance.

Change: M & A’s

An example of a corporate-wide change is mergers and acquisitions

These are becoming extremely common in today’s economy. Many companies in high-tech industry have expanded their portfolio by mergers and acquisition. However these mergers are not that easy to handle. This is especially if a big corporation is acquiring another big corporation.

There is so much at stake, the brand recognition, people’s reactions to job security and not to mention how stock market handles the news. A leader needs to rely on an extremely skilled mergers and acquisition team as well as advisers from all departments of the organization to execute on this change.

The messaging about the change has to happen at the right time and in front of the right audience. The tone of the messaging has to be right as well as the content of the messaging.

“This is not the time to make hasty decisions; they have to well-thought out and properly executed.”

Change: Handling Layoffs

Another example of corporate-wide change is handling layoffs

This is a scenario no leader wants to handle. This is certainly the worst kind of change. But it is a reality in the economic times we are living in, so leaders need to keep abreast of how to handle such things.

Leaders often don’t want to have to layoff employees but sometimes it is necessary for business. In this scenario both external messaging as well as internal messaging is important.

What is even more important is whether the employees being laid off is being handled with respect or not. Leaders need to make sure that these employees are given the right time frame to accept the change and given the right resources to deal with the change.

“How the messaging is delivered to the employees can make a big difference in how they deal with this kind of change.”

Change: Pay Structure

Another corporate-wide change is employee compensation structure change

This type of large-scale change is less common, but still quite prevalent. This kind of change is mostly handled and communicated by head of the Human Resources department. The compensation change can be positive or negative, but in either case, it is a sensitive change and needs to be handled with lot of care.

Transparency in communication is very necessary for this kind of change. Reasons and details of the change in compensation structure needs to be communicated to the employees at the appropriate time.

“A leader who is more tuned to his or her employees can make the transition and change easier to handle.”

Success emanating from these corporate-wide change initiatives depend directly on the leader who is responsible for taking charge. They must be thoughtful, honest, open, and forthright in all their communications. Without this, inevitable pain and frustration will occur.

But when a leader does it right, some very beautiful things can happen!

So, have you had to deal with leading a corporate-wide change initiative? How did it go? What tips can you offer to help others who will face this in the future? Have you experienced a corporate-wide change that impacted you? How did that go? I would love to hear your thoughts!


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Aditi Chopra is an experienced leader in the software industry
She is a consultant, writer and a leader
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Image Sources: 5forcesofchange.com


2 responses to “Leading Corporate Wide Changes

  1. Thanks for the insight.

    One thing I’ve done as a leader and business owner is “check my ego at the door”

    Becoming a “team player’ is very powerful!!




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