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7 Oct 2013

Change Management, The Secret (Pt 2): Minority Power

This entry is part 8 of 8 in the series Change Management Strategy

Reverberations Throughout Workforce

Reverberations Throughout Workforce

In Part 1, we learned relationships are the secret to change. If we ponder all the one-on-one relationships we must leverage to effect change, change can seem daunting. In reality, we don’t need to get “everyone on board” to catalyze change.

The article “Dr Seldon, I Presume” (The Economist, February 23, 2013 edition) cites the work of Boleslaw Szymanski of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He studies how societies change their views and finds that a small, passionate, highly committed minority can convert everyone else. The size is usually less than ten percent of the group.

Remember though, his studies focus on societies, not on organizations in which leaders already have the authority, hierarchy, communications and resources that social groups might not have. In these cases, the catalyzing group is even smaller, the point of the post that began this series. That post though focused on the organizational implications of minority power, primarily the need to find and consolidate that group.

This post expands beyond that by addressing, “What do we do next?” The answer is this group now invades the status quo by expanding relationships. During this invasion, leadership keeps the group cohesive by reinspiring passion for the change’s mission and by restoring commitment to its success. This passion and commitment will also help the group expand its relationships.

The leadership and the group will use classical relationship building and morale building techniques in spontaneous ways to tap into the enterprise’s formal and informal networks. These will comprise the intangible, emotional, relational aspects of the individual interactions while the change’s mission, as expressed in communications with associative keywords, will comprise its tangible, rational, objective aspects.

With this in mind, what kind of change could your relationships bring?

Checklist for a successful change initiative.

Series Navigation<< Change Management, The Secret

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