How to Make Change Happen in Your Company – Sow Seeds of Discontent

MoltingRecently I visited a west coast software company named Saba. The Chief Marketing Officer of the company (at the time) told me “We’re all family and we all work together and support each other.” Certainly an “We’re all the same team” mantra.

An admirable goal – no doubt. But if you want to improve your business though real change, it’s the wrong attitude.

The Heath Brothers, authors of great books such as Made to Stick and Switch, use extensive research to debunk assumptions.

As the New York Times bestseller, Switch (page 247, Rally the Herd) states

Counter-intuitively, you’ve got to have an identity conflict. For a time, at least, you’ve got to permit an “us vs. them” struggle to take place. We know this violates ‘we’re all on the same team.’ Think of it as organizational molting.

What is the take-away for business leaders? Here’s what you need to do to create a change mantra in your business:

  1. Find some reform-minded thinkers in your company. (Find the attitude in the photo)
  2. Keep the group very small – not more than 5.
  3. Give them a quiet place to meet – most likely off-site.
  4. Support them and their conclusions. (This requires real leadership)

What do you think? How would you enlist people to effect change? We love comment and sharers.

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