Are you picking the right champions to spearhead your change effort?

One of the best strategies to get a change effort to catch on in organizations is to prove the applicability and success of the change in one team. Done well, the results are measured to then serve as a wonderful promotional tool for other teams.

In our experience, there is something you need to watch for though. Ask yourself: “Is my effort designed for people who want to change or does it take into account the fact that most people don’t want to change?”

One of the biggest mistakes we see leaders make is they choose the most open, cooperative managers, those who “get it,” to be champions.

Focusing on the ones who do want, and are capable of, change often keeps the success of change locked in the home of those in the organization who “get it,” while the people who need to make adjustments most stay untouched by the effort. When cooperative champions achieve success, we start broadcasting it. But here’s the catch: the people who don’t want to change are still not going to buy it; they will still be thinking “that won’t work” and they will not make needed adjustments.

Take, on the other hand, the most inflexible team and get them to report success after getting them to adopt the new adjustment. First, you won’t even need to broadcast this – you’ll find everyone already knows about it – but it will genuinely convince others who don’t want to change to give it a try. AND, since you already succeeded with the toughest group, you now know how to do it with everyone – a strategy which doesn’t work the other way around.

Join us on January 20th in Denver:

Reut Schwartz-Hebron, The Colorado HR Association, January 20th 2012

2012 Human Resources Conference…Smart HR

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