Wednesday, May 26, 2010

STARS - transition management

The STARS model is a great guide for a transition strategy. It's hard to know when you need to make a transition in your company, but a greater challenge is to know what type of strategy to use when making the transition. I found a very interesting article in the Harvard Business Review (January 2009) by Michael D. Watkins named "Picking the Right Transition Strategy". The article's emphasis is with the "state" of the company.
Once you understand the state of the organization or initiative you've heading up, you can more effectively apply certain fundamental principles (several of them listed here) to ease your transition and increase your odds of long-term success. Your business situation should shape how you apply those principles.
Using the author's STARS model, leaders can figure out which state the company is in and, more important, how to tailor their strategies for organizational and personal change accordingly.

The STARS model stands for the five different states of a company:
  • Start-Up
  • Turnaround
  • Accelerated Growth
  • Realignment
  • Sustaining Success

Start-UpTurnaroundAccelerated GrowthRealignmentSustaining Success
Assembling the capabilities (people, financing, and technology) to get a new business or initiative off the ground
Saving a business or initiative widely acknowledge to be in serious troubleManaging a rapidly expanding businessReenergizing a previously successful organization that now faces problemsComing in on the heels of a highly regarded leader with a stellar record of accomplishment
Building the strategy, structure, and systems from scratch without a clear framework or boundaries

Recruiting and welding together a high-performing team

Making do with limited resources
Reenergizing demoralized employees and other stakeholders

Making effective decisions under time pressure

Going deep enough with painful cuts and difficult personnel choices
Putting in place structure and systems to permit scaling

Integrating many new employees
Convincing employees that change is necessary

Carefully restructuring the top team and refocusing the organization
Living in the shadow of the former leader and managing the team he or she created

Playing good defense before embarking on too many new initiatives

Finding ways to take the business to the next level
You can do things right from the beginning.

People are energized by the possibilities.

There are no rigid preconceptions.
Everyone recognizes that change is necessary

Affected constituencies offer significant external support

A little success goes a long way
The potential for growth helps to motivate people

People will be inclined to stretch themselves and those who work form them
The organization has significant pockets of strength

People want to continue to see themselves as successful
A strong team may already be in place

People are motivated to continue their history of success

A foundation for continued success (such as long product pipeline) may be in place

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