If you want to change an organization, you start by changing the patterns in which people talk together, the things they talk about, the frequency of their contact and the makeup of those who overhear them.” —Art Kleiner, Who Really Matters
I would add: Start doing those things before you need acceptance for a new initiative.
Change Chips Are Earned Up Front
Most change models start at the point where someone shares a new vision or plan, then asks for enthusiastic support. But we’re all poker players (whether we know it or not). We spend time unconsciously earning or collecting chips based on the frequency and quality of our interactions. When it comes time to ask for something, that stack of chips can mean a make-it-or-break-it hand. It looks like this:
So What Does This Mean?
If we’re in a position to initiate something new or different, the time we’ve invested building solid relationships can determine our ability to gain support and moment. The leader who spends time playing corporate video poker may revel in his individual genius–but lacks the relational chips needed to convert that genius into action.
What are you doing today to build the stack necessary for a successful change?
Are you “starting change before it starts?”