Posted: Fri 22nd Apr 2022
Paddy McDermott is a Galway based advisor with Enterprise Nation. With it he brings a wealth of both corporate and SME experience to his offering.
With over 30 years of experience in the multinational sector, Paddy has worked through many acquisition processes and has seen his fair share of ‘change’ – an experience he is now happy to share with start-ups and SMEs through his Bax & Max consultancy practice.
He is also a mentor on the national start-up accelerator programme, NDRC and likes to do his own share of investing too.
What draws you to start-ups and small businesses after working in a corporate environment?
I like to help companies to evolve and develop. A lot of the stuff that I do with developing companies is more so experiential - getting set up for change, or their pitches for investment - I understand what motivates investors.
You’re an advisor with Enterprise Nation, why did you join the small business network?
They are very progressive with how they're approaching things. In many cases, it's very easy for companies to put their name in the hat but with programmes like Go and Grow Online (Paddy covers the Change Management module on the programme) it will increase the PR level around your business.
Your Go and Grow Online module is on Change Management, what is Change Management?
Change Management is putting a structure to the changes within your company, so that you don't fail.
How do people fail when it comes to change in their business?
The thing that people find most difficult about change is, they don't always understand their own reaction to it. It's the lack of self-awareness, as regards how little we like to change. There's a tendency for everybody to want to revert to type as soon as possible.
If you want to change, you’ve got to really understand why there's a need to change, because you need to really ‘feel’ a need for change. If you don't structure change, you never really know where you are.
What should people keep in mind before implanting change management?
Things people need to watch out for is the impact of change on the workforce. It's important to understand how people feel about different things that you're going to change. Very often people do things to people without necessarily understanding how they feel about it.
If you want something to be maintained you certainly need to understand, and you need to communicate it.
The first thing to do is to survey the ground and ensure that everybody understands, and everybody agrees that there is a need for this change that you're talking about.
The second thing is you’ll need a strong cohort in place - people to manage the change - people that have the capabilities to do that. A very clear picture should be developed by the cohort of what the future is going to look like.
Those are the types of things that you’ve got to focus on at the outset.
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