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Gain support from department heads

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in Leaders & Managers,Leadership Skills

Change is incredibly hard for some people, so you need advocates for any new plans you propose. Start with your management team. Before you launch a large-scale change initiative, such as rebranding, take this tip from Paul Anderson, CEO of leading global resources company BHP Billiton.

Ask your department heads to create a two-page report answering the following questions:

  • Who are you?
  • What are you responsible for?
  • What are our top priorities?
  • What decision and plans would you make if you were me?

After managers complete the assignment, meet with them individually to discuss their answers and to inform them of the changes you have in mind. Talk openly and honestly about what those changes mean for their departments. Ask for their advice on what actions you can take to ensure that the changes are executed properly.

In that setting, where just the two of you are talking, department heads will be more likely to open up and share their concerns. Giving them a voice in implementing the change improves your chances of gaining their buy-in and avoiding mistakes and oversights.

— Adapted from “Does Your Company Have an Attitude Problem? 4 Ways to Change It,” Will Yakowicz, Inc., www.inc.com.

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