An inconvenient truth!
Results. Nothing less.
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Most senior managers know how to
plan business-critical programs – but
have difficulty when it comes to
closing the gap between “knowing”
and "getting things done".
So, what is going on?
Most change initiatives are launched
with a PowerPoint presentation.
Questions either skirt around the
issues – or aren’t asked at all.
After all, who wants to tell
their boss that they don’t think
his idea is sensible?
As a result, people ask safely
The really crunchy worries and fears are often
driven underground – only discussed in
hushed tones in hallways and during fag
As a result, passive resistance
There are 4 common
ways people undermine
1. Fear Mongering
Fear mongering is designed to raise
anxieties to extreme levels.
Any thoughtful assessment of a proposal
becomes either difficult, or impossible.
Patterns usually start with an “undeniable”
fact, followed by a tale of frightening
consequences that pushes almost
2. Death by delay
Discussions and intervals between
meetings are so drawn out, buy-in can’t be
achieved by a critical deadline.
Death by delay is very powerful and
easy to set up.
With delaying tactics, attention can be
diverted to some other pressing issue.
Building momentum toward buy-in slows to
where it can’t be recovered.
Death by delay is an easily available
weapon, simple to use and very
It’s possible to kill ideas simply by polluting
Adding “beside-the-point" facts and
convoluted logic makes intelligent
dialogue out of the question.
Some people are skilled at drawing others
into discussions that are so complicated – that
any reasonable person would simply
surrender and walk away.
Even the simplest plans can be pulled into a
maze of complexity where anyone can get
Occasionally, verbal darts don’t shoot at the
idea – but at the people behind the idea.
Watch out for condescending looks, seemingly
innocent questions, bogus concerns about
competence and character.
Strong buy-in is rarely achieved if people
feel uneasy about those behind the
transformation strategy proposal.
But the "ridicule tactic” is high risk – and used
far less than other tactics.
Mostly because it can backfire painfully on
What can be done?
If you find yourself in this position,
there are 3 simple, rational guidelines
to keep in mind:
1. Never attempt to defeat irrationality
It only makes you frustrated and the other
person defensive. You won’t make headway
unless you understand the deep-seated
motivation driving the other person. No matter
how many well-constructed arguments you
2. Focus on discovering and understanding
the other person’s rationale.
If your antagonist is driven by unconscious
motivations, you need to figure them out.
You won’t break through until you
understand where resistance to logic
Pull the curtain back, and look at the
"questions that haven’t been raised".
3. Never underestimate the potential in
Disengaged staff grind down the spirits of
How can you get things back on track? It
all starts with individual managers.
Many transformational changes are
inflicted on people. They are told that
some awful crisis is on the way and what
is expected of them.
So, get ahead of the game. Test your
effectiveness by generating more
constructive actions that involve
Managing teams would be a lot easier
if there weren’t any people involved,
But it wouldn’t be
early as interesting.
Mentor has a proven approach that ensures
you succeed with your toughest execution
Our direct, gritty, truth-telling approach helps
companies deliver their toughest execution
challenges. We’ve seen it all – everything from
helping greenfield startups launch, to working with
large global companies delivering business-critical
programs worth hundreds of millions of pounds.
Visit mentoreurope.com to find out how we get results.