Making it Better Program

Read our latest article:
"Walking the Talk"



Strategic Advisory Board

Nanette Black PHD
(Academy of Management))
Robert Radin
(Retired President American Express )
Julian Kaufman
Sr. Executive AIG)
Reg Gabriel
(CEO SKoolAide, Inc.)
John Campbell
(EVP Harley-Davidson )

John Staines
SVP Liberty Medical



At CEG we utilize a variety of diagnostic approaches to help our clients better understand their organization's debilitating issues and concerns. We have found that when we are successful at getting our clients to focus on listening and then decision-making in that order, then the results are dramatically improved. Here are some of the diagnostic instruments we utilize:

Step 1. Change Profile assessment
We use this custom survey to augment our signature change process work. In particular we often see the data that comes from this assessment as being instrumental in producing a tightly integrated set of initiatives that guide the organization in achieving it's strategies. However, good strategies are commonplace but a smooth marriage between execution and culture is rare! 

The heart of the working of a business is how the three processes of people, strategy and operations link together. We utilize the Kotter 8 step model to guide our diagnostic actions. This approach relies on a SEE-FEEL-CHANGE cadence.

The first stage of large-scale transformation should be to create a sense of urgency that the change is necessary. Urgency helps motivate personnel to overcome complacency, fear, anger, or pessimism, which result in resistance. But how to increase urgency without also increasing fear and anger? CEG suggests first developing a clear problem definition and then using visual presentations that communicate why the changes are needed. Some examples include videos of valued customers describing their frustrations with the company, examples of excessive spending during tight budgets, etc.

Step 2: Build the Guiding Team
Successful change needs effective leadership to provide the vision and to manage the process. The guiding team requires individuals with the right attitude, skills, and power. These skills include: relevant knowledge of the competitive environment and internal operations, credibility, connections, leadership and managerial skills. Useful teams require real teamwork. They 1) Share a similar sense of urgency, 2) Are guided by clear leadership, 3) Coordinate their efforts through well-managed meetings.

Step 3: Get the Vision Right
The guiding team is empowered to create a compelling picture of the organization's future. The successful vision will be bold, inspirational, clear, and credible. Though typical strategic planning activities such as budgeting and action planning fail to be motivators in themselves, CEG can provide a useful foundation for guiding the development of an effective vision. Winning visions avoid evoking resistance by focusing on a positive portrait of the future. Merely concentrating on efficiency raises the twin spectres of right-sizing and budget-cutting, which in turn raise resistance.

Step 4: Communicate for Buy-In
With a vision in place, the guiding team has a powerful tool for obtaining the buy-in of management and the workforce. Persuasive communication requires leaders to deliver the message personally, clearly, and with confidence. CEG believes that this is leadership's chance to address the emotional issues raised by change - A Kotter quote says it the best:

"You need to show people something that addresses their anxieties, that accepts their anger,
that is credible in a very gut-level sense, and that evokes faith in the vision."

Step 5: Empower Action
CEG takes the stand that empowerment is less about giving more power and responsibility and should, instead, be about reducing employees' impediments to doing their jobs right. We see four common barriers:

1) the "boss" barrier,
2) the "system" barrier,
3) barriers in the mind,
4) information barriers.

In addressing the boss barrier, we recommend assigning resistant managers to where the problems are most acute, where they can see and feel for themselves the results of the problem. Fixing the system barrier often means realigning rewards policies so employee innovators aren't punished for trying new ways of doing things. Barriers in the mind are those self-fulfilling prophecies people tell themselves about large-scale change being impossible. Possible solutions include communicating small success stories and bringing in people from outside the organization to recount corporate victories in similar circumstances. The final barrier listed was the personal information barrier where individuals in the organization are unaware of their impact on organizational change. CEG suggest using videotapes and other types of observation that allow employees and teams to view themselves in a non-threatening forum. Using the concept of see-feel-change, barriers to positive change can best be removed when the persons creating them can experience the barriers from a safe perspective that does not give rise to emotions of anger or fear, and creates the opportunity for transformation to take place.

Step 6: Create Short-Term Wins
Long-term initiatives where all the successes happen at the end of the initiative leave too much room for doubts to creep in and deflate change momentum. Good leaders will create or find short-term wins and then sincerely communicate them throughout the organization. Usually the targets for these wins are low-hanging fruit – issues that are readily addressed - or important players to the organization. The objective is to have successes that show clear progress, which is both evident and meaningful. If quick wins address employee concerns, then they: 

  1. Provide feedback about the validity of the change effort,
  2. Give an emotional uplift, and
  3. Build confidence. However, if they are blown out of proportion, over-hyped, or insincere, cynicism is deepened and the workforce's trust in management is further eroded.

Step 7: Don't Let Up
THe CEG team asserts that it is essential for change leaders to maintain the momentum created by the quick wins, otherwise urgency fades. With early successes under the belt, change participants can directly address the more difficult political and organizational issues. People need to feel motivated by the successes. They should also be empowered to take further risks without feeling that the cost of failure would be overwhelming. With momentum behind them, change leaders will have a greater ability to realign organizational process to better reflect the new strategies. The authors note that organizations can reach a point of overload, where there is not enough time to do all the old work and adopt new initiatives. His suggestion is to reduce the workload by simplifying whenever possible and cutting out anything which is not value-added.

Step 8: Make Change Stick
Often, after initial alterations are made in the organization, managers and employees have a tendency to slip back into old routines. Sustained changes in work processes require changes in culture and these changes take time. Continued successes help to make the changes stick, but it also requires committed management. By promoting individuals who reflect the new norms, management builds a leadership-base around the new culture and reinforces the type of traits they desire in their managers. Organizations can also use hiring and the new-employee orientation process as a method for emphasizing the new expectations into the culture. Sustaining change requires vigilance. By supporting employees that support the business transformation, companies reinforce the changes they seek.


  • "Turned-on people do turned-on work... Sacred trust is the fuel that powers turned-on people."
    - Tom Peters
  • "Don’t let your ego get too close to your position so that if your position gets shut down your ego doesn't go with it.”
    - Colin Powell
  • "It's easy to make a buck. It's a lot harder to make a difference."
    - Tom Brokaw
  • "Most of what we call management consists of making it difficult for people to get their work done."
    - Peter Drucker
  • "The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say 'Thank You.' In between the leader is a servant."
    - Max Dupree
What's New at CEG

CEG CEO Tony DaDante awarded board seat  at prestigious Global Cyber Forensics Investigation firm "DIGITS". DIGITS Chairman Michael McCartney comments that "the synergies between our firm and The Change Execution Group have proven themselves quite favorably.  Tony's work in designing our Strategic plan and brand along with his relentless focus on Talent coupled with the fact that we share numerous public and private customers, will position us well in leveraging Tony's worldwide reputation as a role up his sleeves, get things done leader, in the Global marketplace."
Former IBM Executive and recently appointed SKoolAide CEO, Reg Gabriel, has selected CEG to lead and facilitate the Strategic Advisory Forum in Boston. SKoolAide is one of the nations leading technology portal companies dedicated to serving students, teachers, school administrators and public and private service providers in the Higher Education Business space.
Ceg CEO Tony DaDante to  speak at Society of Food Service  Global Convention.
Attend 'Best of Organizational Development Summit' and hear Tony DaDante speak.
Boston College MBA Organization Studies Chairperson Dr. Judith Gordon engages Tony DaDante CEO of the Change Execution Group to teach Advanced Leadership courses.
CEG completes  M&A integration project with Eurest Services and Kimco Corporation of Chicago.
CEG Executive search arm fills key roles in Compass-Shell Oil partnership. 
CEG signs long term contract with BP as a preferred supplier to implement "The Making it Better" culture transformation process and to deliver a Formal Executive Education series of courses to its vendor partners CBRE, Jacobs Engineering, Compass, Eurest and Allied Barton.
Global Change Project continues in Asia at Applied Materials a world wide leader in Nano technology in it's Solar Business (AMAT).
CEG sponsors LPGA GOLF CHAMPIONSHIP in Orlando at the Grand Cypress Resort. Tony DaDante and LPGA players team up to raise funds for Breast Cancer research. Watch Golf Channel interview with CEG executives and Golf Legends

UPDATE....   CEG led team wins LPGA Pro Am that highlights Hall of Famer Julie Inkster and Samantha Marks and Sammi Lee both of whom are Junior Girls golf phenoms. Thank you to all who contributed to the Breast Cancer cure cause. 
CEG in talks with Dr.Steven Lower and distinguished leader Anthony Riccio to develop a "Making it Better"   Global Help network.
BP reports record performance after implementing the Change Execution's Group  " Making it Better" culture transformation process utilizing the John Kotter 8 step Leading Change Model.  Record results are highlighted in Safety ,Operational, Financial metrics.
CEG will be announcing Culture Change and Executive coaching partnerships with several Fortune 500 clients in near future. CEO Tony DaDante shared during a recent interview on  CNBC Squawk Box  that Global leaders are becoming increasingly dismayed at the lack of transparency and culture of fear that has been accepted as simply the cost of doing business.
CEG WINS third consecutive BP contract for its high profile Brightlights project.
CEG completes executive search project with Compass Food Group and Eurest Services in Chicagoland. Shalini Gupta selected to lead high profile "Making it Better" change process for BP.
CEG CEO Tony DaDante and a group of  his Global clients publish video on FAST CULTURE CHANGE and LEADERSHIP. To view go to "CLIENT SUCCESS STORIES" on the CEG website.
CEG awarded Leadership Development contract for Integrated business partnership consisting of BP, CBRE, Jacobs Engineering, Compass Services, Food for Thought, and Allied Barton.
CEG awarded contract by BP to design and implement a High Performance High Touch customer service brand at its flagship Brightlights business.
CEG begins production of the "Cool Friends in the Trenches" leadership documentary. Some 50 global leaders from companies of all sizes and shapes will be interviewed on the subjects of Leadership, Change and Talent. Each interview will be available to view on the CEG site.

To date the following High profile leaders have been interviewed:

1. Dan Dipofi- Owner of NHL Hockey Franchise
2. Steve Barnett and Dave Spataro , Compass Group Executives
3. Alex Darraugh- CBRE executive
4. Kevin Harris - BP executive
5. Cherie Duddridge- BP executive
6. Debbie Reimer- Crothall Food Service Executive
7.  Scheduled to be interviewed this month VP Biden, Julian Kaufman ( AIG) Alan Kaye( Mattel), Michael Burgin ( Secret Service), Tom Peters, George McNeilly (ESPN) Jeff Regner ( Harley- Davidson) Jack and Suzy Welch . 
CEG partners with Mark Bingaman, SVP Supply Chain of Ultra Clean Technology, on Strategic change and Global Talent management projects. UCT is the globally recognized leader in the outsource solution business for complex modules ranging from liquid and gas delivery systems to turnkey system integration. CEG has begun work at the Austin, Texas campus.

“Tony, I just wanted to express my deep appreciation for a powerfully transformative Strategic Forum with you this past week. The techniques and insights we derived from our sessions have already made dramatic impacts to our company's strategic initiatives. Our team was able to focus more keenly on their individual strengths and better align them with the SKoolAide vision as we prepare for the launch of our portal later this year. We fully expect to see a significant increase in meeting target objectives and successful engagement interlocks with both investors and corporate sponsors due in large measure to your change management expertise in helping us to more fully exploit the talents and skills within our leadership team. Thanks (both figuratively and soon to be literally) a Million! Reg Gabriel CEO - SKoolAide Inc.”
Top qualities: Great Results, Expert, Creative
Reginald Gabriel, hired Tony as a Business Consultant
Today CEG CEO Tony DaDante led a Strategic Team Development process at Shell Oil Headquarters in Houston. Tony worked in concert the Strategic Advisory Group from Compass Services and Johnson Controls and some thirty  five executives from each of the companies. Another session is planned.