Making elephants dance

One of our three candidate picks for CEO would be a leader who has made elephants dance and has the gravitas that would make Wall Street swoon.”
Carl Howe.

The comment above is in relation to finding a replacement for Steve Ballmer as CEO of Microsoft. That doesn’t have a whole lot of relevance to OSS, but I love the part about making elephants dance, which does have a lot of relevance to OSS.

When comparing the size of the OSS integration team with the size of the CSP, there’s usually a huge gap. For example, one OSS implementation team I worked with had around 10-15 members compared with nearly 100,000 staff that made up the CSP that was investing in the OSS. The OctopOSS reaches out into many parts of the CSP’s business, so the organisational change management process is often more challenging than the OSS itself. It truly is a case of teaching the elephant to dance.

Unfortunately it’s an oft-overlooked activity. OSS implementation teams usually consist of technical and process people but rarely do they include organisational change management experts. This is invariably left to the customer, the CSP, to handle the change and they’re often unaware of how much change the OSS will have on their organisation.

A basis of OSS change management suggestions are provided here and you undoubtedly have your own approach to stakeholder and change management.

When implementing your OSS, what techniques do you use the make the elephant dance?

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