How to succeed when trying to change a organisation or company seems to be closely linked to the leader's networking strengths. See: Survey: Informal Networks Linked to Success of Change Initiatives, and:
93% of completely successful change initiatives were led by leaders with very strong or strong personal networks. Not one change initiatives described as less successful was led by leader(s) with strong or very strong personal networks.
Maybe not a big surprise (good and great leaders have always been good with people), but in a world where social networks - both internal and external - have become a driving force in many aspects and especially in how we are doing our work and collaborate, social "weak" leaders and managment are "doomed" to fail.
But the same survey also found that formal networks still are very important :
However, survey respondents overwhelmingly reported that those formally involved in change initiatives were more helpful than those outside the formal change teams.
One of the conlusions made by those analysing the findings is:
Change initiatives are dependent on leaders for moving the project forward, making decisions, and giving personal advice. The catch is to make sure that those leaders are accessible to others on the change team and available to help. Implied in survey results is that leaders are needed to play an active role on change initiatives, not simply sponsor projects from afar. HR can help by encouraging leaders to limit the number of change
Is this related to SharePoint 2010? I absolutely think so! Implementing SharePoint 2010, and maybe expecially its new social computing capabilities, will demand a (big?) change in how people in small and large enterprise collaborate. And as most of us don't really like changes, it will be challenging from top management to the people on the floor.