Most managers, when contemplating changes I thin the organization spend most of their time and energy on strategy. They develop detailed implementation plans. Then they are surprised when the plan fails. They try to determine where the strategy failed.
The major reason for failure is the one thing they spent time developing, strategy. If we do a root cause analysis, it becomes evident the reason the change initiative failed is because we didn’t take the people who will actually implement the changes into account. Have they bought into our vision? What is their level of buy in? Will they make the effort to successfully implement their part of the initiative?
Most people fall into one of three categories. It is important to understand where they fall and most importantly, how to manage them.
Disciple. These are the people who have fully bought in. They are committed to the change and will do everything they can to ensure successful implementation. Because of their positive can do attitude, We tend to favour them by reaching out and supporting them.
Fence Sitter. These individuals attitude range from mildly enthusiastic to indifferent. They haven’t made up their minds yet. They are concerned about the impact on their part of the organization. They have an impact on successful overall implementation. They can speed it up or slow it down. They look to their managers who have influence on their attitude and willingness to buy in. Because of their attitude, we tend not to pay proper attention to their concerns. This will pull them towards the more negative side of the spectrum.
Negative Sceptics. Theses are the people who just don’t care. They will resist doing anything. They engage in very negative behaviour. They refuse to cooperate. They infect their departments with these same negative attitudes. We ask ourselves: Why? The answer is simple. They do it because it works. We make all the excuses for their behaviours and attitudes. We fool ourselves that they are needed. We allow the behaviour to continue.
What’s the real reason? The answer is simple. We are refusing to do our job and hold them accountable. The problem is not them, it’s us.
The most unpleasant part of a managers’ job is holding people accountable. The most important part of a managers’ s job is to hold people accountable.
In a subsequent article we’ll outline a simple five step process to help you.