We are proud to announce the addition of Thorsten Querfurt to the London team as our new Head of International Region.
Thorsten has held leadership roles with prominent management consulting firms Corven Consulting and Oliver Wyman, providing strategic and operational advice to global organizations in a variety of sectors including Oil & Gas, Utilities and Professional Services. He has helped clients design and implement change management programs to improve organizational and people performance, risk management, operating models and sales effectiveness.
See below a short Q&A to find out more about his background and beliefs:
#1 What is your background within change management?
I have spent the bulk of my consulting career working with my clients in all corners of globe on their most complex change management issues.
What I have seen is that many businesses seeking to change have a tendency to first direct attention to more tangible things like processes and structures. E.g. “We have put in place a new matrix structure which will make us more accountable”, or “We have issued a new procedure which will increase the efficiency of XYZ”. What typically features further down in the priority list are the so-called “softer” aspects around culture and behaviours. In fact, these human factors are just as important as structural ones when it comes to improving performance and sustaining it. Interestingly it is also always these ‘soft’ aspects which tend to be the hardest to address.
One reason people fear change is because they focus on what they have to give up rather than what they have to gain. We humans also don’t like being told what to do and so engagement, or involvement, of key stakeholders in the context, design and delivery of the change is a great way to gain ownership and buy in.
Drawing on my experience as a change consultant, and the beliefs I have formed over the years, there are some powerful principles which have worked well and will no doubt remain essential in achieving enduring change. I’d say the top items are: Strong leadership, engagement, alignment around a clear direction and a high level of readiness to change.
#2 What role do leaders play in achieving sustainable change?
What I have learned on numerous projects over the last 15 years is that the single biggest lever and determinant of success is the quality of leadership – by far. Leaders have a clear role to play:
They must champion the change in the appropriate style - they need to display commitment to and sponsorship of both the desired outcomes and the change approach.
For change to be sustained, leaders need to ‘walk the talk’, i.e. behave and lead in line with the defined business objectives. Their behaviours and messages set the tone for the rest of the organisation.
Finally, leaders should work with their people, set guiding principles and inspire them by promoting the concept of a shared endeavour.
#3 How can Mannaz help organizations adapt to the rapidly changing world?
We all know that the world is changing at an accelerating pace. There are numerous disruptive forces at work - not least digitalisation, automation, deregulation, climate risks, globalisation, workforce dynamics or greater client demands. If companies are to take advantage of the opportunities these present, they need to change the way they work. However, the rate of change in the business environment seems to be outpacing companies’ ability to adapt. It follows that, now more than ever, the ability to anticipate and manage change is critical.
I was drawn to Mannaz for the exceptional quality and experience of our consultants. This is a key condition to delivering impactful and lasting change. Our focus is highly client-centric which means we start with looking at our clients’ business challenges, make sure we fully understand what is required, before designing tailored solutions. We work alongside our clients, transfer skills and always keep our eye on the desired outcomes. Our clients seem to agree with our ethos and so we are proud to have built trusted relationships which have spanned many years. All this makes Mannaz a highly relevant partner to help our clients flourish in an ever changing world.