Leading Strategic Change, Innovation & Transformation: The 10 E’s of Successful Change Leadership

Corporate Trainer, Facilitator and Coach – Christopher P. Meade, PhD

StrategyAlive™ –  Leading Strategic Change and Innovation Workshop

The 10 E’s of Successful Change Leadership

Maps and compasses are important when traversing unfamiliar terrain and entering into new territory. The same is true in business. Maps are still helpful in a world that is filled with so many unknowns, daily market adaptations and disruptive break-through innovations. Having clear strategic direction that is clear, focused and calculated (intentional) while at the same time is nimble, market sensitive and able to pivot in a moments notice (emergent) is crucial to bringing value-adding vision, alignment and mission execution to fulfillment. To echo the old Apple adage, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication” is truer than ever in the world of leading strategic change. StrategyAlive.com is a clear and simple 10-step strategic mapping process that generates innovative solutions to move an organization, cause, initiative, product, or even person, forward. It leverages the change process in a way where true transformation takes place. It’s more about thriving than surviving.

Strategic Common Denominators

Following a holistic strategy road map gives us a common framework to communicate, innovate, plan and implement with others in our teams and organization. It helps identify root problems and generate value-adding, future-oriented solutions. Utilizing strategy maps (and thinking) that are deliberative, planned and clear, yet still flexible enough to pivot on a dime in order to ride the wave of seemly serendipitous opportunity, can help catapult us beyond our current reality toward experiencing a better future and world. and aid

Strategy Alive.com™

Using the metaphor of a bridge that spans and connects two sides of a river and enables people to cross over, so too StrategyAlive is a strategic “bridge building process” of sorts. It too connects and bridges two worlds or realities so others can cross over successfully. As you will discover, Strategy Alive is both a framework and set of practices that move us from “here” to “there.” This bridge or change platform is held together by strong pillars that are time-tested and herculean.

A Bridge From Here To There 

Although when complete this bridge is a fully integrated construct, in the beginning it was first architected, thought by though, piece by piece, process by process, survey by survey, conversation by conversation, piling by piling. As we might suspect, anchoring the strategic pillars into place are the prerequisites to any hope of successful bridge construction and people crossing. Strategy Alive will explore the 10 core “bridge-building pillars,” that when embedded into the change process, will enable leaders to not just manage change, but create an opportunity to generate transformation.



The 10 E’s of Successful Change Leadership:

  1. Embrace Change: Change is the new normal. It’s the one thing we can count on. Disruptive innovation is a strangely wrapped gift of opportunity.
  2. Envision The Future: Before we can build a better product or service, we have to be able to see it in our mind’s eye. Greatness starts with a clear vision of the future and how we can provide new value for others.
  3. Empowered Leadership Team: The day of the lone ranger leader is gone. Leadership teams that architect trust, share accountability, rally around a purpose that matters, pursue clear goals, will empower and catalyze an organization like nothing else can.
  4. Explore External Context: The S-Curve suggests that all systems left to themselves eventually look inward, slow-down, plateau and eventually die. Innovative leaders establish systems that keep an organization open to new ideas, new energy, new value and new mental models. One approach is to embrace outside-in strategies that utilize design thinking.
  5. Explore Internal Capabilities: Often clues to a successful external strategy can be found from understanding cultural DNA that’s already embedded in an organization. These differentiators are the unqiue strengths, capabilities, core competencies, processes, systems, intellectual property, business model, the company’s WHY, etc. that already exist. Before you borrow or buy, look to see what you already have that you can optimize and capitalize upon.
  6. Establish Resource Allocation: The secret to fruitfulness is not in adding but in pruning, but pruning toward a vision. Necessary endings are part of business, life and nature. Whether it be a product or service that has served it’s time to a system, process or way of seeing that needs to be reinvented, having the courage to bring the necessary ending the precursor to new beginnings and fresh opportunities. When we lack the guts to do this, we just keep adding because often we are afraid of conflict. Creating resource alignment is the way to streamline an organization aerodynamically so it can fly higher, faster, and eliminate unnecessary drag.
  7. Execute Strategic Action: A vision without a plan is just another good intention. This is the place where you bring all the pieces of your due diligence together. The old sage one said, “Write down the vision so all who read it can run.” The strategic plan is the playbook, the action-guide, the scorecard. It is the bridge builder’s map and compass.
  8. Encourage The Heart: Inspire others with courage, confidence and strength of purpose. The word encourage comes from the Old French word encoragier, meaning “make strong, hearten.” This is the difference-maker when we talk about change management versus business transformation. In order for transfomation to take root, personal renewal must take place at the same time. The best leaders are dealers in hope. Hope generates encouragement and encouragement fuels engagement. And engagement supersizes the vision. And in its wake, transformation takes place.
  9. Evaluate Results: The things we value are the things we measure. Inspect what you expect. That’s why what you pay attention to gets better. Pay attention to your health, you get healthier. Pay attention to your relationships, they get better. Pay attention to your business strategy, your business gets better.
  10. Evolutionary Process: Transformation is an ongoing process, from horizon to horizon. As the human body in a children grows, so too must the structure change. If it doesn’t that child will be in pain and eventually die. Life and business are in constant flux, and change in life cycles.

Work On Your Business And Not Just In Your Business 

It’s been said that 95% of all small business owners go out of business within the five years unless they change to a new business life cycle. Bottom line: They need to learn how to think and act more like a manager than just an owner. Managers have employees and create effective systems and efficient processes so they can scale and delegate, etc.).

These well-meaning business owners often say, “I know this is the right thing to do, but I’m too busy working in my business to spend the needed time to do all of that rejiggering on my business model. I don’t have the time to create, document, organize and learn all of those things. If I do then my sales will drop and I’ll go out of business.” Too often, they know what to do, but just can’t figure out how to do it. What’s ironic is they are right. They are too busy. It is not an easy endeavor. And ultimately, it is why most they do out of business. It’s almost never because these small business owners are not smart, hardworking, talented, visionary, or committed. Simply put: They go out of business because they spend too much time working in their business and never carved out the needed time to work on their business.

Living In A State Of Constant Bet

Strategic and innovative leaders know this too. We too can get so busy and preoccupied with working in our business, in our strategy, in our own mental models, that we don’t give the necessary time to work on our business, on our innovation, on our strategy and on their own leadership development. The best leaders not only know this but carve out and protect the needed time to work on it. They know the leading strategic change, innovation and transformation is an ever-evolving, ongoing process of discory, exploration, refinement, and action. They live in a state of constant beta.

Strategy Alive  – Leading Strategic Change and Innovation Workshop:

This Leading Strategic Change and Innovation workshop is an excellent corporate leadership training course, professional development module, executive education component, and/or team-building event for your organization or work-team. This workshop can be completed over a 1-day (full day) or 2-day experience with your leaders and managers at your organization, an area hotel, or offsite. Supplemental training materials are provided to all participants.


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Caroline KeeganDr. Chris Meade’s enthusiasm and expertise in leadership application can propel your team to new heights. His presentations will capture the attention of any work group and generate sustained dialogue resulting in new ideas and improved teamwork.  I attribute much of my leadership exploration and development to his thought provoking books and classes. The opportunity to be part of Chris Meade’s audience is one I hope for your organization. Caroline Keegan, Business Manager

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Department of Veterans AffairsThe training experience was very positive for us because you had such great insights. It was an enriching experience learning about ourselves as well as others on our team.  We appreciated the way you created an active learning environment. We highly recommend this training for other employers and their employees. Your workshop was an incredible learning experience and we had a lot of “take aways” as well as some thoughtful reflection. We appreciate your openness and passion.  Thanks again for your wonderful training! Tammy Skrinski, Christie Neal – Veterans Service Representatives

Strategic Change and Innovation Facilitator, Corporate Trainer

Dr. Chris Meade - Leadership AliveDr. Christopher Meade is a skilled and experienced strategic change and innovation workshop instructor, corporate trainer and certified coach. He specializes in training managers and developing healthy, high-performing teams and leading stratetic change and business transformation.  Some of his recent clients include: Nike, Microsoft, Salesforce, Walmart eCommerce, U.S. Department of Treasury and Veteran Affairs, Ohio University, SCL Health Services, and the Department of Health and Human Services. Chris’ expertise is in front of the room leading team trainings, workshops, keynotes, and management retreats with corporate and government clients across all industries. Chris is an author, entrepreneur, MBA professor, executive leadership coach, former business school dean, corporate trainer, and a motivational keynote speaker. He speaks and trains regularly at conferences, conventions, management retreats on strategic change, business transformation, and disruptive innovation throughout the United States.