Build the team.
In the last article I spoke about the need to take time out to think and conduct analysis of the current situation and future possibilities. It enables you to create a urgency for change.
Step 2 involves the creation of a team to help in the transformation. A team helps generate ideas and they will help influence others and ‘sell’ the idea.
Professor John Kotter describes this team as a “Guiding Coalition” in his book “Our Iceberg is Melting“.
The team should be made up of people who are advocates of the change and people who have influence but they are not always the most obvious people.
For example when the “New Labour” party brand was established in the mid 1990’s, the guiding coalition of influencers couldn’t just be the people who came up with the strategy to move towards the center of British politics. This paradigm shift to the center, called the “Third Way”, would not necessarily sit well with Britain’s traditional and core Labour vote, especially the Trade Unions. Therefore the guiding coalition (at this stage Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, Peter Mandelson, Anthony Crossland and Alastair Campbell) also needed someone to influence the Unions. In stepped John Prescott (at the time deputy leader of the Labour Party and a former Trade Union activist). He was seen as key member of the guiding coalition and the political links to the more traditional labour vote.
So in summary your team needs to be made up of people who:
- Are in a position of Influence
- Are Advocates of the need to change
- Have Expertise
- Have Credibility
The people who can really help you ‘sell’ the plan may well be the people you least expect and the first leadership challenge you may have during organisational change, is to influence them first.
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