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Guerrilla Tactics for Change Champions

You see tremendous opportunities for improving how things are done. But you may feel outnumbered and not fully equipped.  What to do?

Here are some suggestions to consider to increase your leadership impact and get the change moving towards success.  Which ones are most helpful to you?

 Pain Sensing
To what degree are the top executives and the organization's staff aware of, and tired of, current conditions? Without pain or a big external threat, most change efforts are doomed.

Key Stakeholder Analysis
Who will be impacted by this change -- departments, unions, job titles, etc.? Talk to representatives of stakeholder groups to learn how they see they will benefit from the change or lose from it and how you can increase what they get and reduce their losses.

Sizing The Opposition
Who is "for", "against" or "fence sitters" about the change? Develop strategies to use the supporters to win over the fence sitters. Deal with the opposing stakeholders later.

Leverage Opinion Leaders
Who are the formal and informal leaders in the organization who have positional or personal power to help make some of the changes? Develop strategies to gain their support and leadership.

Critical Mass Estimation
What percent of people do you need as a critical mass to sway the rest of the organization? Often it is only 30% or so that is needed unless the change is very negative for many people.

Force Field Analysis
What forces are the drivers or enablers for the change? What are the forces against change who want the status quo? Find ways to leverage the positive forces and reduce the negative ones.

Radio Station WII-FM
Everybody's tuned in to WII-FM -- "What's In It For Me?". When asking people to participate, make clear what's in it for them.

External Comparisons
Are there companies who are not competitors that are doing better?  Show your executives the data. Take them to these companies to shake them up a little. Seeing is believing.

Indirect Influence
Who could influence a resisting executive decision to get on board? Find someone inside the company or at another company who has the influence you need.

Elevator Speech
Do you have a one-minute pitch ready about the benefits of the improvement effort and metaphors for the situation and the desired future? Make the benefits relevant to who you are speaking with and make the "From - To" clear.

Buddy System
Can you find a champion at another company who has made a similar change? You'll get a listening ear, support, new ideas, a sanity check and advice.

Using some of these success factors will greatly increase your leadership impact and reduce frustrations.
Change leaders are badly needed in companies.  For the good of your company and your career, go forth and be the change leader you want to be.


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Neil Love

Career, Leader & Organization
     Success Advisor


Neil's Bio

As a Leader & Organization Success Advisor, Neil has helped over 350 executives and managers at 90 companies improve their group's performance, leadership impact and career advancement.  Starting as a design engineer and customer engineer,  his career evolved to VP Leadership Development positions at GE and USF&G and Director Business Transformation positions at VMware, Amazon Lab126, and Cisco Systems. Neil has MBA and BS Electrical Engineering degrees and is a Certified Leadership Advisor.

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Leader Advisor and Career Advisor serving San Jose California, Silicon Valley, San Francisco, Northern California and the surrounding areas.