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This Focused Performance Weblog started life as a "business management blog" containing links and commentary related primarily to organizational effectiveness with a "Theory of Constraints" perspective, but is in the process of evolving towards primary content on interactive and mobile marketing. Think of it as about Focusing marketing messages for enhanced Performance. If you are on an archive page, current postings are found here.

Thursday, June 12, 2003

Change Agent -- A Fast Company article about HP's Worldwide Personnel Manager Barbara Waugh quotes her...
"You don't manage change. You help to create the conditions for it. You help people to do what they already want to do."
This is an appropriate stance for one in the "change agent" game, UNLESS the people you're helping are top management, who should be thinking big. With that in mind, I'll agree with the offered prescriptions based on her lessons learned --
1. Think small. "Help happen what wants to happen. Assume resistance is a valid response and don't try to change it. Over a short time, small scale short-term efforts, fueled by the passion of the people leading them, result in large-scale long-range transformation."

2. Focus on the task at hand. "As human beings, when we're gathered together to do something and we don't know what it is, we don't know how to tell if we're doing it or not, and we are going to go crazy. Set your charter to do things that can actually be accomplished with the people you have, with the resources at hand. That doesn't mean you have to dream small. But dreams are the context for your task, not the task itself."

3. Place whatever you're working on in its next largest context. "Look at each part in the context of the whole, that whole in the context of the next larger whole."
[...to which I might add...AMEN!!!]
4. Be the change you wish to see. "If we want to see more risk-taking, we must ourselves take more risks. If we want people to dream bigger dreams, we must ourselves dream bigger dreams. If we want the whole person to come to work, we must bring all of ourselves to work."

5. Don't just talk -- listen and question. "Not knowing what should happen can be more important than knowing, it can give others the room to create and generate new ideas."

6. Think ahead. "Track what a project allows for and then what that allows for and so on: The bottom line impact of many projects based on people's dreams doesn't show up until the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th derivatives of the projects."
-- with the minor proviso about number 1. To provide strategic direction and alignment for small efforts, the results of number 6 -- thinking ahead -- must include thinking big.

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