Change of

Senior Leadership

Author’s Corner

In this white paper, Richard Black, Director Engineering Operations, reveals the top four strategies for adjusting to a client’s new senior leadership.

Please click on the video to the right to learn more about Richard, the importance of change, and his paper’s main points.

To discuss this white paper in more detail, please contact the author using the information provided at the bottom of the page.

When a client company has a change of senior leadership, it can have positive and negative repercussions. Changes in senior leadership affect business goals in areas such as company growth and expansion, workforce management, and administrative support or operations.

The best business interest for all involved is to make the change have positive outcomes by close harmony between the service provider and client.

Causes of a client’s change in senior leadership

There are numerous reasons that a client has a change in senior leadership. Some are outlined below:1

  • Business slowdown either gradual or abrupt (note the impact of COVID-19 and the stay at home policy)
  • Business growth as product(s) become more successful
  • Relocation of the business to be nearer the marketplace
  • New product developments enhancing the business (e.g. Scan to BIM)
  • Merger or acquisition using synergies in both businesses
  • Investment from venture capital or private equity firms
  • Retirements and promotions

How to embrace the change

Once the change is made, the client senior leader and the service provider senior leader need to get together to ensure they share a compelling, clear purpose. This involves the answer to the question “Why?” It is natural for both parties to be reluctant to change, which can easily be overcome by understanding the benefits of working together to achieve a common goal..

Look ahead and see opportunity. This is the role of senior leadership, but they must carry the rank and file with them. Make seeking opportunity part of the regular conversation. The service provider will ask “What do our clients want from us?” and “What new trends will impact our relationship?” Providing space to experiment, a new leader will often bring new ideas and you do not want momentum to be squelched by being immovable. Advertise successes; nothing breeds success like success. Show that the status quo is not enough anymore.

Seek out what is not working. During the change, there may be unfavorable actions and poor processes that can be changed by both parties. Apply guidance to the incoming leader to steer them to make the right choices.

Promote calculated risk taking and experimentation. Do not ask “why,” ask “Why not?” Bear in mind that dozens of experiments fail and without those failures you could not obtain success. Look for boundary-spanning partnerships. This way, the new senior leader becomes part of a united team, which is greater than the two halves.

Adopt four strategies

1. Stay purpose-driven. Adopt a one-track mind to get your best results.

2. Make communication constant. Great communication is always required to create great relationships.

3. Invest in all the people. Show them that you care about developing them to their own full potential.

4. Persist until you succeed. Persistence is the trait of successful people and you should always stay the course.

Adopt four strategies

Control the Stress Level of the new leader

Figure 1. shows how stress levels within a Senior leader can be reduced by:

1. Constant communication.

2. Use of a known, proven process

3. Properly ordered meetings and required attendee listing

4. A skilled and practiced team

5. An experienced single point of contact

6. Constant advice, best practices, and back up

7. Development of trust between all parties

Remember the change curve

Remember the change curve

Figure 2 illustrates everyone’s reaction to change. There is a need to both shorten and flatten this curve by embracing the change and reaching the end result sooner.


Change initiatives are generally implemented for the good of a company, but the results of change can be unpredictable. While most organizational changes are brought about after considerable research and discussion, be wary, as it is still possible for a company to be worse off after a change.

Change is necessary for a company to move on and grow, but with change also comes risk. Changing a senior leader is a high-risk strategy because it may carry negative repercussions. This is where a close association, planned strategy and a proven process, all based on trust, can reduce that risk and highlight the positive synergies of the change instead.


Meet the Author

Richard Black - Director Engineering Operations

Richard Black serves as the Director of Engineering Operations at Vee Technologies. He collaborates with customers in the development of new designs, product requirements, and improvements to existing designs. Richard also manages the overall customer relationship with a focus on adherence to design schedules, technical requirements, and quality. Richard has over 20 years of experience in the automotive industry and has been awarded five design patents.

Change of Senior Leadership