According to Dr. Michael Mercer (a thought leader in the management and human resources industry) there are three main ingredients that are required for profitable organizational change;

Positive & Active Leadership heading up the change
Proactive Handling employee problems during change
Positive self-management as you lead organizational change

Dr. Mercer feels that “If any ingredient is handled poorly, then the change inevitably fails to achieve the profitable results.” (Learn more from his book: Absolutely Fabulous Organizational Change.) Using Ingredient #1: Positive & Active Leadership heading up the change. Mercer believes successfully leading profitable organizational change requires five actions.

Action 1: Make Sure Your Organizational Change Fits into Your Corporate Culture

The only organizational changes that succeed are those that fit into the company’s culture! Brilliant plans that do not fit into your organizational culture will not achieve bottom line results!! Organizational culture are the actions and values the organization cherishes.

Action 2: Creating a Big, Exciting Vision

Mercer believes that “A company’s vision is not it’s puffy, cliché-filled mission statement. Instead, its vision is a huge, super-compelling goal the organization aims to accomplish.”


Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company’s vision: Our key goal is to be the premier worldwide provider of luxury travel and hospitality products and services.

Robert Mondavi Corporation’s vision: Our key goal is to be the world’s preeminent fine wine producer.

These visions enthusiastically divulge what the company’s executives and employees work toward every day. Mercer states that these strong vision statements help explain why these companies produced incredibly profitable organizational change.

Action 3: Goal-Setting

Goal-setting provides steps to build the staircase leading to profitable organizational change. Productive employees require measurable targets with deadline dates. As Henry David Thoreau wisely remarked, “In the long run, people hit only what they aim at. Therefore, they had better aim at something high.”


At Egghead.com, president and COO Jeffrey Sheahan and CEO Jerry Kaplan cleverly package four weekly activities to assure teamwork and goal achievement.

Lunch Meeting of Egghead’s Top 5 Executives. This meeting focuses on strategy.
Weekly Key Data Pack. Each manager submits a 5/15 Report. This report takes a manager 15 minutes to write, and it takes Sheahan 5 minutes to read. Each 5/15 Report details how the manager is progressing on measurable goals.
Senior Staff Meeting. Participants are all middle managers who report to Egghead’s top five executives. Each one announces how he or she is doing at achieving the measurable goals.
Social: All employees meet for a 20-minute stand-up meeting. People publicly praise employees who accomplished wonderful things.

Action 5: Lots of Celebrations

In all organizations, team members emotionally bondand feel thrilled to collaborate when they celebrate big successes.


IBM’s Accounts Payable organization carried out a gigantic organizational change that saved $1-billion in three years. Each key success during the change immediately was followed by a celebration of everyone involved. Each celebration added fuel to the team’s enthusiasm to create hugely profitable enhancements.

Celebrations included:

1.Giving project member a high-quality e-business shirt at a party
2.At another party — with disk jockey and karaoke — cartoon caricaturists drew each employee’s face onto a mock-up cover of Electronic Commerce magazine –

Celebrations, special clothing and custom items give team members visible symbols proving they belong to a special group of high-achievers.

This article revealed five actions used by leaders of highly profitable organizational change. This is not all! These outstanding leaders also used the other two ingredients of Dr Mercer’s 3-ingredient method: (a) managing employees who resist –or undermine — organizational change and (b) being a superb role-model for their employees.

References: http://www.drmercer.com/artman/publish/article_4.shtml

Leave a Reply