Organisational Change Management Volume 2

Finding Partners

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. Finding partners is sometimes easier said than done. Most people, including supporters, are happy to let you take on the challenge alone.

"...your own group wants to see how secure the footing is before they follow. Why should they risk their necks? And if you disrupt the status quo too much, other factions can push you aside more easily if you are by yourself..."

Ronald A. Heifetz, et al, 2002

. Sometimes people resist including senior managers who may push their own ideas, compromising yours. Furthermore, connecting with others takes time, slowing you down: working with a group may dilute your leadership

. On the other hand, partners provide protection and create alliances. They can strengthen both you and your initiatives.

"...with partners, you are not simply relying upon the logical power of your arguments and evidence, you are building political power as well. Furthermore, the contents of your ideas will improve if you take into account the validity of others' viewpoints - especially if you can incorporate the views of those who differ markedly from you. This is especially critical when you are advancing a difficult issue or confronting conflict of values.

Finding the right partners can be tough. Why? Partnering on an issue means giving up some autonomy, causing both you and your potential partners some degree of reluctance about getting together. Moreover, developing trust takes time and the perseverance to move productively through conflicts. But without working together, your efforts incur greater risk.....Finding real partners - both inside and outside the organisations who share the same goals - takes considerable time and energy......recognizing that getting the right people on the team is number one priority and responsibility......understand that partnerships are not unlimited, unconditional, or universal..."

Ronald A. Heifetz et al, 2002

. Furthermore,

" survive and succeed in exercising leadership, you must work as closely with your opponents as you do with your supporters......too often we take the easy road, ignoring our opponents and concentrating on building an affirmative this as anxiety..."

about dealing with your opponents

" a vulnerability on your part and as a signal about the threat you represent to the opposing factions. These are clues to the resistance you will face, made worse if you do not engage with the opposition.....People who oppose what you are trying to accomplish are usually those with most to lose by your success. In contrast to allies who have the least to lose......your opponents deserve more of your attention, as a matter of compassion, as well as a tactic of strategy and survival......while relationships with allies and opponents are essential, it's also true that the people who determine your success are often those in the middle, who resist your initiative merely because it will disrupt their lives and make their futures uncertain......don't underestimate the power of doing what's familiar......wary people in the middle - the people you want to move. You need to ensure that their general resistance to change doesn't morph into a mobilisation to push you aside..."

Ronald A. Heifetz et al, 2002


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