Like me, Jeff Angus used to write more at his Management by Baseball blog. But his recent entry caught my eye this week, Avoiding Change Manglement, Ichiro-Style. This summary comes from the end of the article:
But a key part of this Change initiative is getting the contributors to buy in. It's not enough to have a clear stated mission, and to rework incentives. To achieve organisational change, the team has to get the individuals that make up the systems to change, too. Change is organisational, but change in personal, too, and without both, the odds of success are close to zero.
Angus likes to use baseball stories and analogies to describe what he sees in management consulting. And this particular story has some nice resonance with my own observations.
I've said it many times that "change" has to make sense to the people who are expected to change. This means all the consituencies. Many of us are familiar with the "what's in it for me (WIIFM)" idea, but there is more to it than that. Angus talks about the currency that makes people move. If the project is going to create more sales and drop more money to the bottom line, but the currency of a key group of people is technical or scientific accomplishment, the money aspect doesn't necessarily connect for them. And the change is going to struggle until they see the connection to their picture of accomplishment - their currency. (Yes, it should motivate. But how many times have you seen projects geared at improving the company bottom line that were totally uninteresting to the people at that bottom line?)