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LILA - Change management: New leadership principles and implementation approaches

From EPSA - European Public Sector Award

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Diploma winner

The current economic crisis is the most rapid change ever experienced in the societal and economic system, which demands a new understanding of change management in administration.

In the ‘Versicherungsanstalt Eisenbahn und Bergbau’ (Railway and Mining Insurance, henceforth VAEB), a new model of change management has been developed, in order to enhance the viability and sustainability of the VAEB. The primary goal was to find a common understanding of the necessity of change. Thus, the ‘figure of eight’ (∞) as a symbol of change management has been adapted and called ‘The LILA Management Principle’ (LILA= Lernen in der Liegenden Acht), in the sense of lifelong learning and change, with the ‘spiral development’ in the sense of ‘bringing life and viability into change management’. Furthermore, by using this figure of eight symbol a concept of change management could be developed with four easy-to-remember dimensions covering the whole complexity of change.

The new VAEB change management principle consists of four dimensions:

  • Q1-MIND - recognition of the need to rethink the organisation, the business model, the vision and mission. As a result, the ‘Viable System Model (Stafford Beer)’ was implemented in parts of the VAEB as a totally new principle of organisation structure, and a self-organising, independent ‘maverick team’ was initiated in order to question the strategy, the organisation and the management of VAEB;
  • Q2-HEART - corporate sustainability needs a new attitude of leadership based on new ethics, a set of values, a new understanding

of responsibilities, a new form of cooperation and hence, a higher social capital. Thus, new minimum principles of membership were developed in a bottom-up process;

  • Q3-MOTION - introduction of new activities to revitalise the workplace, stimulating new forms of communication and viable dialogues on values and principles with management and employees in new forms of communication, such as ‘world cafés’ and ‘one room conferences’, reaching approximately one third of the whole VAEB staff;
  • Q4-PATTERNS - identification of new insights and patterns to promote a happier, more effective and appropriate organisation.

By implementing the new change management process it was possible to develop a common understanding of change, to discuss change from a totally new perspective and to enter into a dialogue about the content and the process of change.

Consequently, in order to strengthen the first ‘cells of development’, higher budgets are needed to fund development for the new ‘Maverick Team’, and a roll-out plan for the first ‘health-care-cells’ needs to be developed. Additionally, leaders are trained in the new values and principles of leadership and management. However, the key to the success of the LILA principle is the continuous repetition of the whole process: Q1-Mind, Q2-Heart, Q3-Activities, Q4-Patterns.

Award info
Award category: leadership and change
Award type: diploma
Award year: 2009
Project type
Sector: Public health and social welfare/affairs
Type of activity:
Keywords: Leadership, good governance, sustainability, learning organisation, cybernetics
Short English description: Thus, the ‘figure of eight’ (∞) as a symbol of change management has been adapted and called ‘The LILA Management Principle’ (LILA= Lernen in der Liegenden Acht), in the sense of lifelong learning and change, with the ‘spiral development’ in the sense of ‘bringing life and viability into change management
Further information
Organisation: Versicherungsanstalt Österreichischer Eisenbahnen und Bergbau (VAEB)
Other applicants:
Homepage: http://www.lila-management.com
Level of government: national level
Size of organisation: >100
Number of people involved:
Country: Austria
EU membership: EU member
Language code: en
Start date:
End date:


LILA - Change management: New leadership principles and implementation approaches (48.1971795, 16.3578864)
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