An Easy Way To Implement Change Within Your Organization

February 18, 2013 — 19 Comments
An Easy Way To Implement Change Within Your Organization | Joseph Lalonde

Your organization is ever changing. New technology. New employees. New techniques.

But getting the buy-in for change can be difficult. I want to give you an easy way to implement change within your organization today.

Image of Change Mural

Image by Nana Agyei

Sometimes changing course in your organization can seem impossible. The ship is already on it’s predetermined path and there’s nothing you can do.

That’s where you’re wrong. You can bring new ideas to the company and it’s easier than you think.

Who You Shouldn’t Start With

Implementing change is all about who you start with. Start with the wrong people and you’ll sabotage your chance at success.

Many times we think we need to start with our top performers. Those A-players who are knocking it out of the park.

This is where we often go astray. The A-players find it much harder to adapt to change. They’ve already got their winning strategies and they like to stick to what works.

They’ll often resist the change the company needs.

Want to get the buy-in you need? Skip the A-players.

Who To Start With When Implementing Change

So now you know that you shouldn’t start implementing change with your top performers, you’re probably wondering who should be your target.

I recommend going for your B and C-players. The ones who are not performing to the top standards. They may be struggling to grasp company concepts or just not reaching the goals set out for them.

Your under-performing employees are looking for a chance to move up. They’re willing to try out new ideas and new ways of doing business.

The hunger they have for success will drive them to the new techniques you offer.

What Happens When They Grab Onto Change?

You’ll be amazed at what happens when your under-performing team grabs onto the change you see for the company. As they begin to implement the new techniques, things begin to change.

Your under-performers begin to see success. They transition to sub-par employees to the A-team.

Along with this success, they begin to see themselves in a new light. They begin to see themselves as valuable to the company and an asset.

Your A-players will also take notice. They’ll see the changes you’re trying to implement are valid. They’ll see that they work!

And this will make them want to implement them into their routines. This will help cement the changes your company needs.

Once again, take time to give your B and C-team members a chance to grab onto the change. As they succeed, others will take notice. Other members of your company will begin to latch onto the change. Eventually, the change will be implemented throughout the entire organization.

Question: Do you need to stop ignoring your under-performing team members? What do you do to get the buy-in for change? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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  • http://sparkvoice.wordpress.com/ DS

    Employees struggling may feel overwhelmed with everything and feel even more overwhelmed trying something new.  Also, they may not have the credibility to support a change effort.

    If you’re interested in helping struggling employees, try to understand why they’re struggling.  Are they in the wrong job?  Do they need time management skills?  Do they need mentors.

    I try to share the message of change with people I have a good working relationship with.  Then I try to incorporate or adjust the idea/concept adding their point of view.  I enlist them as supporters.  These are just a few…

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      Good point DS. They may struggle with change and felling overwhelmed by it. Yet I see it as an opportunity to help them advance by showing them a new way to succeed. Another great reason to get the buy-in of your B players is that they’ll gain credibility as they’re learning the new skills the A players are unwilling to. It’s an interesting catch-22 if you ever see it implemented.

      I’m with you that we should also be on the lookout for reasons why our team members are under-performing. There’s always room for improvement there as well.

  • http://www.mondayisgood.com/ Tom Dixon

    I think your A players should be willing to embrace change, but your perspective is interesting…if they are tied to their way of doing things they may be hesitant. I do like developing the B players…who are easy to overlook. Only because I’d want you to tell me, there is a typo in your lead in. Within not withing.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      Thanks Tom. I’m with you that your A players should be willing to change, yet often they’re unwilling to. Whether it’s because the tools they’re using already works or some other reason. There’s a lot of struggle pulling out of the routine to attempt new things. 

      Thanks for catching the typo. Changing right after this!

  • http://askjeremyjones.com/ Jeremy Jones

    great info, it is about changing their view and identifying those that will make the changes.  Sharing this with my networks.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      Thanks Jeremy. I appreciate you sharing the post.

  • http://danblackonleadership.com/ Dan Black

    Great post, I never thought about the truth about A players resisting change more than B or C players. I think it can be a challenge to take risks or change when we have a proven track record of success. Recruiting B or C players allows other people the opportunity to step up and become A players.  

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      Dan, it’s an often overlooked problem as the A players are doing so well. If they’re unwilling to change, most leaders will skim over the issue rather than get the buy-in that is needed. And once the B and C players are stepping up their game with the new tools/changes, the A players then want in on the new ways of success. It becomes a win-win all around.

  • http://www.tessahardiman.com/ Tessa

    Sounds similar to starting a grassroots movement…I like it!

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      That’s right Tessa. It’s finding the group that will grasp the new vision/tools and run with them. Once others see the results, they’re much more likely to accept the change.

  • http://twitter.com/LeadingEveryday Juan Cruz Jr

    I try not to ignore my underperforming team members. I spend time and energy to ensure they are performing at the level they are expected, or I need to move them on. When It comes to change buy-in, I make sure the team understands that we are all together in it. I personalize it so that team members don’t think it only affects a subset of the team. As a team we go through everything. 

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      Juan, that’s terrific. What do you do if the whole team isn’t on-board for the changes that are happening? Do you move them on or do you work on getting them to buy-in?

  • http://www.danerickson.net/ Dan Erickson

    I agree about reaching the lower and lesser performing members, but I would also point out that true change always begins within ourselves.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      True Dan, we need to implement the changes we want to see in the organization within ourselves first.

  • http://jonstolpe.com/ Jon Stolpe

    We’re trying to implement changes in our department that will drive more focus on quality – quality product, quality design, quality customer service….  I seems that change it challenging.  Getting buy-in starts with me.  Am I leading and acting with quality?  When leaders model the desired behavior, the buy-in is a bit easier.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      Your comment ties in with Dan Erickson’s. He mentioned we need our buy-in first before any change will be made.

  • http://www.skipprichard.com/ Skip Prichard

    Good thoughts. I think the acid test, before you pick a B player, is to determine whether the person wants it bad enough. “The hunger they have for success will drive them to the new techniques you offer.” That assumes the hunger. I’ve found some B/C players are at that level precisely because they don’t. If that’s the case, move on….

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      Good point Skip. We’ve got to carefully choose who we pick to help implement the change.

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