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Starting change in the right place (iStockphoto/iStockphoto)
Starting change in the right place (iStockphoto/iStockphoto)

Making a change? Start in right place Add to ...

If you want to be more successful at change initiatives, focus attention on the employees who have the most influence over the daily work that needs to be modified, rather than trying in a scattershot approach to get everyone on board initially, three consultants suggest in the McKinsey Quarterly.

Marco Gardini, Giovanni Giuliani, and Marco Marricchi of McKinsey & Co. point to a national bank in Europe that developed a new organizational model but failed to implement it, because it used the traditional approach of mass communications to staff and a series of executive road shows.

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Realizing behaviour hadn’t changed, the consultants shifted focus to employees who could implement the changes most quickly. They looked for people who had a direct, substantial impact on the desired results; those connected to a large number of subgroups in the bank; and those whose could actually decide how people get things done.

They worked first with branch managers and then built out to others to get the changes going. In utility plants, the consultants note, maintenance supervisors are the people to focus on; in retail apparel, it’s the store manager.

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