It is a commonly held misconception that the primary reason that Chief Executives get fired is because of “current financial performance.” This is incorrect. According to a four year study of more than 1000 board members from 286 global organisations that forced out their CEO, the most common reason (accounting for 31% of all dismissals),
was “poor change management.”
Business leaders today are operating in a world that is volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous, so it should perhaps be no surprise that failure to manage change successfully should be the undoing of so many. Project management skills have therefore become an invaluable asset for all executives, and now a new book, How to get fired at the C-level, reveals the practical steps that all leaders can take to successfully implement change.
The author, Peter Taylor, is known as The Lazy Project Manager. As the leader of a global project management office (PMO) of 200 project managers overseeing nearly 5,000 projects, he is perfectly positioned to offer expert advice on how people at the top of an organisation can influence the way change happens across the business.
How to get fired at the C-level explores the challenge many leading executives face – the need to divide their time between strategy creation and implementation. Many under pressure executives fail to apply the appropriate level of attention to implementing critical organisational change, and delegate leadership to lower management so the C-suite can get on with their ‘day jobs’. This book shows practical ways to not only significantly reduce change failures, but also dramatically improve the capability, speed and success rates of delivering strategic change across an organisation. For example, achieving successful change by investing in a chief projects officer.
“The idea of a chief projects officer (CPO) is not new but it has begun to emerge recently, with more organisations investing at this level in one person to represent change programmes at the highest level. If you think about CEOs being most often fired for mismanaging change then it really is a ‘no-brainer’. If your portfolio is a large one the role of CPO is often more significant than you might think,” says the author. “When project management, projects and change are elevated to the C-level of importance, one of the distinct advantages is they can no longer be viewed as optional, distracting, annoying, special or unimportant by other business functions. A CPO, or whatever title you may wish to bestow on this position, should make the management of change initiatives across an organisation easier. Equally it should reduce that organisations exposure to the impact and potential realisation of major risk, and can drive lower costs through economies of scale. All of which should deliver better results across the board, with higher engagement of all stakeholders and impacted employees.”