Leaders who enroll employees to lead implementation will free up their time for more important work.

Last week, we talked about building a more collaborative environment to empower employees and create less dependence on hierarchy. This week, we build on this to share ideas for enrolling employees. When employees are directly involved in the execution, they are more likely to successfully implement and sustain the new environment.

In my new e-book, Activate: 15 Steps to Profitable Strategy Execution, we discuss creating transformational capacity by understanding and leveraging resistance, and by creating employee teams to drive the implementation of your strategy. Last year, I shared my proven approach to resistance. In this post, I share that resistance is not only good, it is necessary.

Depending on the nature of your strategy implementation, you may want to consider one or both of the following approaches to enrolling your employees.

Functional Readiness Teams. Organize employees into functional teams responsible for the implementation of the change in their area. These teams include subject matter experts and creative problem solvers. They meet regularly to discuss the change impacts within their function, act to coordinate needs specific to their area, and identify and elevate risks and issues that might impede their success.

Change Action Network. A Change Action Network is made up of frontline employees from each of the impacted functional areas. They meet to discuss the changes in their respective areas, particularly those that might have an impact on other functions. They then identify actions they need to take to adapt to risks and issues within their respective functions.

The Change Action Network may be made up of individuals serving on the Functional Readiness Teams. This way individual members serve both the cross-functional (horizontal) and functional (vertical) elements of the change. This accelerates the dialog necessary to drive change.

You might think this sounds like over-engineering your implementation team. In one enterprise implementation in which I was involved, we implemented both team structures. The Functional Readiness Teams did a great job preparing their function for implementation, and even took the lead on resolving issues at “go-live.” The Change Action Network was instrumental in communicating changes across the organization – both within their own functions and across the organization. It was one of the most successful projects for the company.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this article. Please go out to LinkedIn to add your comments.

Dedicated to your profitable transformation,


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