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From the Masters

The following is from Change is Good…You Go First:  21 Ways to Inspire Change by Tom Feltenstein and Mac Anderson

As the old proverb goes… “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Your first step in the change process should be to re-recruit your best people. That of course starts with the managers of each department. Although the culture of any company starts at the top, it is the managers who will make it, or break it, especially in times of change. Their attitude, their commitment, and understanding of the change mission will be key to your success.

Don’t make the mistake of assuming they’re on board, because it can be very costly and disruptive if you guess wrong. Even before the mission is clearly defined, bring them in, one on one, to get their input and their feedback. Get them involved in the planning process. But remember, there will be disagreements regarding your strategy and execution. And of course, that’s where leadership comes into play. Bill Cosby said it right…”I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everyone.” In other words, if the manager disagrees with the final plan, you need to know up front. At this point, tough decisions must be made. They’re either committed to the team’s new plan, going forward, or you need to find a new manager sooner rather than later.

Phase II of recruiting your best people will be up to each manager. Once you have mapped out a plan, with each manager’s input, you must toss the ball to them to have similar conversations with their best people. A rule of thumb is this: but of every 10 employees within a department, there is usually 1 that will have significant influence over how the others will think. Each manager must identify those individuals and clearly communicate the changes that must be made. They must also explain the benefits to them and to the team. The manager must make these people a part of the change process and depend on each of them to help monitor the team’s progress, going forward. This investment of your time, and of each manager’s time, will go a long way in helping to insure your success.

If you’d like more lessons on inspiring change within your organization, purchase “Change is Good…You Go First” at the Inspired Faith Gift Store from Beliefnet.

Reprinted by permission of Simple Truths (c) 2011. In order to protect the rights of the copyright holder, no portion of this publication may be reproduced without prior written consent. All rights reserved.

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