Management Success Tip #148: Be Inspired By Big Cities’ Success: Bring The Right Mix Of People To The Table

Image courtesy of Ambro /

Ben Hecht posted a fascinating blog on how big cities think about large-scale change. He described, in considerable detail, the process used by big cities that were successful in implementing complex, large scale change.

Hecht pointed out, in one sentence that caught my attention like no other, that “Much of what weʼve learned is relevant to leaders of any type of organization or partnership that want to catalyze change in the face of complex challenges.”

Indeed. Take but one aspect of the process, what Hecht calls “Get the right players to the table.” He states that “Change happens only when the right mix of partners, with the right experience, knowledge, and power are at the table…Too often, actors that were fundamental to achieving the desired results were not yet involved in existing efforts — thatʼs why the efforts werenʼt working. We asked cities to start from the results that they wanted to achieve, and then to determine who needed to be at the table in order to achieve them. Often, this meant bringing people together who were not used to working together.”

What a powerful lesson that can be applied to any size business! Look at your team, or the people you’ve assembled to work on a project, and ask yourself, “Are these the people who need to be involved given our goals?” Open yourself to bringing people together who do not usually work together: techies with creative types, designers with employees in manufacturing, Boomers with Millenials.

Your employees will be invigorated by the diversity of their team, and you will have greater success.


Management Success Tip #65: Don’t Buck Resistance to Change, Use It!

Image courtesy of mrpuen /

You’ve come up with the latest greatest improvement to your product or service, and most of your employees are excited about it. Sure, it involves change, but heck, moving forward always does. So when you come up against those employees who are digging in their heels, resisting the change with all their might, you want to say “Just do it!” and leave it at that.

Totally understandable. However, you’d be doing yourself a serious disservice. Every time an employee tells you why he or she is resisting the change, that employee is giving you very valuable information about how to make the change process more efficient, more successful. People resist because something doesn’t sit right with them. Pay attention to what the resistance tells you and act on it.

If the resistance comes out of “I’m worried I’ll get behind in my work while I’m trying to get up to speed on the new software, and I’ll get penalized when bonus time comes around” then address that. If it’s “I’m used to my old team, we work really well together, I don’t know these new people, I don’t trust them.” Then address that.

Invite discussion, brainstorming, input from the employees involved. Take their resistance seriously. Your employees will feel valued, they will know that their distress matters to you. Then use their concerns to help you find solutions. It’s rare that the resistance one employee voices isn’t felt by a whole host of others who just aren’t talking about it. Then not only will you and your managers see resistance in a new light, you’ll make good use of it in successfully furthering whatever change you wish to implement.