BUSINESS: Change Management (07)

Making change last by promoting empowering / intrapreneurship approaches

Understanding of a development / change process

Our understanding of a change or development process refers to our organisational perception.

Anchoring the change in the culture

Sustainable change often demands interventions on the behavioral dimensions resp. in the "deep-structures" of an organisation.


Source: G. Müller-Stewens / Ch. Lechner

NEWS: about the MyDoom’s attack of Google

The VP of Operations of Google – Urs Hoelzle – blogged yesterday about the MyDoom attack which impacts Google a bit.

Interesting effect and good preparation of the search engines’ ops responsibles!

[From Internet Storm Center]

The latest version of MyDoom, which started arriving in people’s mail boxes in force Monday morning, uses search engines to find more recipients for its message.

Like other viruses, MyDoom-O will search the infected system for valid e-mail addresses. However, MyDoom-O uses a new twist to find additional e-mail addresses. It will search four different search engines (Altavista, Google, Lycos, Yahoo) for additional e-mail addresses within the domain of e-mail addresses found locally (e.g. if it finds, it will search for additional addresses that end in

Google and Lycos experienced significant problems as a result of the large number of queries caused by MyDoom infected systems. However, there is no evidence that this DDOS effect’ was the purpose of the virus.

NEWS: turbulence in the French blogosphere (follow-up)

As mentionned in my post from last Sunday, the acquisition of the French blogging tool maker U-Blog by Six Apart has generated some turbulence in the French blogosphere for the last days – and outside! Stephanie published the story in English to try to give some visibility to this process in the English-speaking world. I added also some comments here.

We had some discussion with Karl about our different perceptions and definitions of the term capitalism. In a few words, Karl is linking capitalism with “firing people”. I explained here (in French – the 92th comments ;-) that I’m not interested at all in such kind of capitalism! I believe that there are ways to link the tough aspects of business with a true human touch, which could bring something positive to the development of people. I am also convinced that companies, their Excutives and their employees have a social and political role to play within our society. In this way, my feeling is that Loic is strongly fighting for his team and his ideas, also and specially during the last tough days, which is to my mind a very positive sign of his commitment.

Then, Jeff Clavier also reacted here (partly in French). I find his comments and his inputs very useful, and not just because they are going in the same way as my own ones ;-) Jeff is French and is working in the Silicon Valley, so he has a kind of “view from outside”. What’s interesting to my point of view?
– Jeff is stressing the fact that it is a very challenging task for a small start-up to deliver a proper communication to all the stakeholders during an acquisition phase. You have to take into account so many different stakeholders and communication channels that it is very difficult at the end to be good in all the aspects, also because you have limited resources and a company to run at the same time!
– He talks about a typical French process: “the storm in a glass of water – la tempête dans un verre d’eau”. You perhaps know that we, as French, like to discuss, argument, and so on, instead of acting. Jeff writes also about the other negative perceptions concerning the French people outside France. I deeply agree with him, although it is perhaps hard for my compatriots to believe us…

Last but not least, Loic Le Meur, the former CEO of U-Blog and now Executive VP of Six Apart, quoted by post here and summarized his last experience in a post called Entrepreneurs do make mistakes, learn from them and react. PR and blogs and how your Company should deal with them. A must-to-read! Loic really tries to analyse the reason why he did some errors, recognizes them, and tries to maximize the learning effect. Great, and not only because Loic quoted me ;-)

Two German bloggers also commented the post of Loic and my post: dogfood (in German) who analyses the differences between the French and English posts of Loic concerning this story, and M. Breuer (and a former post) who talks about the transformation of an entreprise from an “early-adopters stage” to a “business-as-usual” one (in German too).

Generally speaking, this kind of discussions are perhaps somewhat representing some “normal change processes”, with all their typical emotional and resistant phases. I posted quite a lot the last time concerning this subject (see here and here).

NEWS: turbulence in the French blogosphere

I have posted a news for about 10 days about the acquisition of a French blogging tool maker called U-Blog by one of the major actor world-wide in this field – Six Apart.

The last days, the French blogosphere was shaked by a lot of very emotional and agressive discussions concerning this acquisition. Some U-Blog’s clients claimed that Loic Le Meur, the CEO of U-Blog and now Executive VP of Six Apart, did doomed the strong community around U-Blog and killed the platform with this acquisition. Loic bought U-Blog for a while, developped it, and managed to organize the integration of U-Blog within Six Apart – which is, to my point of view, a great management and entrepreneurial success for Loic and his European team. If you are interested in, you can find more detail about the story here. The story presented is ok, I do not fully agree with all the comments and interpretations of the author, Stephanie. I published more or less the same comments presented below on her blog here.

Here my impressions and comments:

  • i think that this story is a typical french one. why? we are confronted here with some strong but existing and real french stereotypes: french people do not like entrepreneurs, they do not like successful managers, they do not like (and/or trust) people who are communicating in english, the level of understanding of the business reality is incredibly low…and french people do not care about that! our remaining arrogance?
  • nothing, i mean – really – nothing can excuse impoliteness, impropriety, or libels in a discussion such like this one. i find personally loic very patient in this field with some of his clients.
  • we see here clearly a side effect of using the blogs as a base for business communication. a few unsatisfied people can have a huge impact on the overall customer community and its feeling. some posts are acting as “unguided missiles” in the blogosphere. on the other hand, is the propagation of information really working in another way in the “real” world?
  • i don’t think that loic is not understanding his clients or that he is not communicating well. i personnaly think that he is investing too much time and energy with this little number of unsatisfied customers! Before taking them seriously, they have to have themselves realistic expectations. by staying on this very emotional, agressive und unconstructive level, it will be so or so impossible to find a solution. it is not possible to satisfy all customers. by loosing the focus on serving the majority of your clients and investing time in trying to satisfy the unrealistic expectations of the minority, you could kill your business. The kind of motto “the client is – always – king” is quite dangerous to my mind.
  • I would like to say that I know Loic only from his blogs. I have nothing to do with U-Blog, Six Apart, MovableType or TypePad. I’m actualling blogging with Blogger (oups, sorry for that, Loic ;-), my own hoster and blogkomm.

    So, what do you think?

    BLOG: on heavy rotation

    I bought last week my first live DVD of R.E.M. – Perfect square. Again, a very good one ;-) These kind of live music DVDs are really a great media support for big music fans & consumers as I… The live was filmed during a concert in Germany (Wiesbaden) in July 2003. The DVD also includes a very interesting documentary about the 3-days concerts of R.E.M. at the Stirling Castle in Scotland performed in July 1999. Great local accent :-)

    Great live performance and version of the following songs:

    – Drive

    – Orange crush

    – Everybody hurts

    – Country feedback

    BUSINESS: Change Management (06)

    Handling emotions and resistance

    Work with resistant, not against it!

  • Most people react to change emotionally and resist it
  • Reasons: fundamental change processes affect the basic needs of employees
    • regognition and esteem
    • security
    • stability and safety
    • work that makes sense
    • possibility of proposing and experiencing one’s own idea
    • possibility of living up to one’s own image

  • The connected emotions create opposition to the change
  • Four basic principles could be applied to handle emotions and resistance:

    1. There are no change without resistance

  • if there is no sign of resistance during change, then nobody believes that it will ever take place
  • therefore: it is not resistance, but the lack thereof that should be the cause for concern
  • 2. Work with resistance, not against it

  • take off pressure: give resistance some room
  • put feelers out: enter into dialogue, look for causes
  • 3. Trust, fairness and security are the decisive values that break down resistance

  • the reasons behind resistance are emotional
  • resistance always includes a coded message
  • 4. Re-negociate the "psychological contract"

  • increase pressure will only lead to more counter-pressure
  • include time-to-think go over it all again
  • —————

    Source: G. Müller-Stewens / Ch. Lechner