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Management Development

Podcast: Leading organisational change

Darren Evans
Published: January 16, 2024
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An In Good Company podcast with Darren Evans, CEO, Calder Stewart

Change in unprecedented times

Leading organisational change is one of the most searched for terms on our website. But it's rare to get to speak to the person at the very top of an organisation, someone who holds ultimate responsibility for making this happen. How would you navigate change in unprecedented times? Could you do it in a way that would grow the collective organisation and bring people together?

Latest listen

Darren Evans was faced with this exact remit, when, less than six months into his role of CEO at Calder Stewart, New Zealand's leading property and construction solutions provider, the pandemic hit. This podcast is bursting with energy, insights and tips on how to lead effective change, what leadership is required across an organisation, and how to make that a reality. It also broaches the biggest topics in town, from environment to DEIB. It’s a must listen. Scroll down for the full podcast, or scan some snippets here...

The reality of leadership post-Covid

'When there's a crisis, people rally around, but when there's lots of crises coming, which is what the world has been post-Covid, that's probably the bigger challenge from a leadership perspective. One single crisis is easy. A multiple of ongoing crises is harder to rally people to. We asked our team to (metaphorically) climb Mount Everest and now we've come down and are kicking around base camp. Motivating and keeping people engaged through this next period of time – when we’re not planning another single climb – is the biggest challenge. It's the ongoing fatigue of leaders, and of leadership and the constant firefighting.'

When is the right time for organisational change?

'My pitch to the board was really simple. This is a crisis we're going through. We don't know when or where it's going to end, but it's about rebuilding the organisation on the other side. So what better time to invest in your leaders? If you’re going into an uncertain future and challenging times, that's when you need to reinforce the leadership and toolkits of your key people so that they can rally and grow the people in your organisation. Don't wait. Don't do it before. Do it to get out the other side.'

How to create an environment where people can achieve their full potential

'Think like a conductor of an orchestra. You don’t have to play a single note of music, but you empower different sections of the orchestra to lead within their team, to come together to create a vision or a symphony from the collaboration. Think of a vision, a series of sub-projects and the outcome that could be shaped collectively. To give an example of that, our latest leadership development programme has been focused on our low carbon future. We tasked our great leaders to break into three groups and go out and talk to our customers, suppliers, subcontractors and partners. To look at what processes could connect us through that whole value chain and come back collectively to say, "here's the plan that we need to put into place to build a strong future in a low carbon world for our organisation."'

Listen to the podcast on Spotify

Watch our interview here:

Hit the button below to read about Calder Stewart’s award-winning leadership programme.

Case study

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020: Learning from experience with David Williams, Impact

Coming up

022: Disruption for positive change with Laura Chase, WeAre8

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