Getting promoted from within is often trickier than is readily apparent.  Getting promoted from within during a turn-around is far trickier still.  It’s important to strike the right balance between continuity and change.  With that in mind, RIM’s new CEO, Thorsten Heins, needs to change his current thinking on that balance.

Going to be continuity – not

RIM BlackBerry 8700c
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The Wall Street Journal reports Heins as saying he largely plans to continue the company's current strategy. "It's going to be continuity, but it's not going to be a standstill."  This is what we’d expect IBM’s new CEO Ginni Rometty to say as she takes over the top job in a company doing well.  RIM is in trouble. Heins’ sudden promotion is a discontinuity itself.  Heins and his team need to build on that.

Thus Heins needs to do:

  1. Confirm the current context and culture
  2. Determine what changes he and his team need to make
  3. Put in place and implement a message, story, and communication plan to
    1. Turn supporters into champions
    2. Turn watchers into supporters
    3. Neutralize his detractors

Continuity in an organization that has fallen behind technologically and disappointed so many users so many times recently is not an option.  Change is imperative.  And it starts with changing Heins’ platform for change.

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