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The Smart Techie was renamed Siliconindia India Edition starting Feb 2012 to continue the nearly two decade track record of excellence of our US edition.

September - 2012 - issue > In My Opinion

Leading through Change

Gautam Thakar
CEO-shopping.com
Sunday, September 9, 2012
Gautam Thakar
Shopping.com (NASDAQ:SHOP), an eBay company, pioneered online comparison shopping over a decade ago and today remains one of the leading shopping destinations for a comprehensive set of products from thousands of premier brands and trusted online stores. Headquartered in Brisbane, California, Shopping.com has expanded their operations globally and is now able to offer their shopping services and tools in several different languages and countries worldwide including the U.K., Germany, France, Australia, Ireland and more to come.

I have worked in or led strategy changes a few times in my career now and believe that some key principles can dramatically increase the odds of successful change management.

Every company and culture is different so this is intended to provoke insights to help leaders on a similar journey of change rather than be a formula for all situations. Many of these are based on experiences in smaller companies (200-400 people), but the principles cut across all types of organizations. Shifting strategy is hard work. It requires that a company change a business model, a customer set, a product line, and go to market strategy or its people. So what can CEO’s, leaders or managers do within their own areas to make this painless? More significantly, even make it an energizing process?

1. Be Authentic: treat people the way you want to be treated.

It sounds clichéd but is hard to do. The CEO of a global company I worked, at changed the business target audience from “mass market” to “top 10 percent “of consumers. He couched it as a prioritization exercise instead of calling out a strategy shift – with the good intention of avoiding churn in the organization. However as the change in priorities led to a product portfolio revamp and a dramatic shift in marketing budgets, it was hard to defend that this was not a strategic shift. Your people are smarter than you believe.


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