Friday, August 12, 2011

Tactics for Change: Isolate and Influence

Go after the key influencers in your department and make them champions, unofficial or otherwise. You know who these people are: when they speak others listen. -- Scheming Virtuously: A Handbook for Public Servants

If you are trying to marshal support for organizational change, you obviously need a strategy, but you also need tactics. While strategies will differ from organization to organization, tactics can often be adopted across a different strategies.

In short, I can't write your change management strategy, but I can offer you some advice on what tactics to consider when trying to marshal support.

Sequence is important

When shopping for support you should approach the early adopters first while isolating the roadblocks, keeping the latter out of the equation for as long as possible.

Do the leg work

Find the people in your organization that see the value of what you are doing. Moreover, try to get a few of the key influencers who can help bring people down off the fence or exert pressure on those typically saying nay.

Move in on the Naysayers

Once you have a critical mass, approach the naysayers. Show them what you are proposing, show them your support base, and ask for their participation. The more pressure you can bring to bear on the naysayers, the less likely they are to continue saying nay.

Use the fear of being last

Often no one wants to be first in the public sector, but even more often, no one wants to be last.

For more tactics for public sector change, download the newly digitally remastered

Originally published by Nick Charney at


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