More About Change

Q: After reading your newsletter regarding “Change” it occurred to me that mine is not the only company that this is happening in. I began to wonder how the resistance to change is overcome. Can you tell us how we might prepare the company, from the CEO on down, for proposed changes and to garner their support? And, what level of management would be best suited for this task?
RW, Overland Park, KS

A: Overcoming the resistance to change begins ONLY at the highest level. If you are a business owner, “C” level executive, President, Executive Vice President I subscribe to you today that you are solely responsible for the following general categories within your company:

Communication, Leadership, Confidence, Motivation, Dedication, Responsibility, Definition, Honesty, Professionalism, and oh yes Communication! Yes I realize this is not the normal rhetoric you’d hear from a consultant, but think about it…..If you demonstrate these items in your business and professional life, what could be the outcome?

It all begins at the top. Companies that start and stop change and/or growth, confuse the employees, customers and vendors. If you are guilty of that, please believe me that your credibility outside of your three square feet of personal space has been tainted. Communicating one message while implementing another is totally counter-productive and not to mention a very destructive method of running a business.

To answer your question fully is almost impossible from this keyboard. But the long and the short of it is there MUST BE A COMMITMENT that doesn’t waiver. The “executives” have got to walk the walk and talk the talk and they can’t deviate for the sake of the personal agenda a a chosen few. Commitments of change need to be in writing and everybody needs to know the plan. This will help keep the plan on target until the goals are reached. If the plan seems to be getting off target, communicate to get it back on line. Did I mention that talking as a form of communications is okay?

Employees must be counted in and they need to believe in their executives so that they can feel safe, comfortable and buy into and take ownership of the plans of change as well. Support is earned when all parties realize that the executives ARE DEMONSTRATING through their actions their COMMITMENT and DEDICATION to the plans of change as well. Communication, Communication and more Communication is the key. The people around you are probably not prophets, they’re not mind readers …COMMUNICATE in a positive manner so that when we are all in the same sand box the entire team knows the goal is to build a castle.

I received many Emails from last week’s newsletter. As an update; In example # 1, my friend did get the call and he has been hired as the new Director of Economic Development. I am confident that community made the right decision and they will begin the defined and dedicated growth process necessary to again make them a thriving historic community. Change is absolutely in the making!

In example #2, several people wrote to me that they wondered if I was speaking about them as they had experienced similar experiences. That response didn’t surprise me and I can only hope that my message gets out and our workplaces become a much better place for it. I hope that owners and managers realize the intrinsic damage they are capable of cause to their employees and other people around them. But more importantly, to realize just how great their organizations could be honest communication, legitimately define a plan and commit to change. Step out of your role and look back at your company. Don’t rationalize your actions, play the devil’s advocate. Criticize yourself. Get an outsider to evaluate you as a manager and if you’re doing all right, then kudos to you. But if you have any deficits or weaknesses like 99.9% of us do, then work on fixing them. Become a leader through your actions not because of your title. There truly is no other way.


George F. Mancuso

George F. Mancuso, CPC