Judy Dobles, General Management Consulting

YOUR TOUGHEST BUSINESS CHALLENGES SOLVED.

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  • This is one of the hardest leadership lessons to learn. It is also a source of huge frustration for individuals. The solution is found in two places. The first: understand change management. To accept a new thought an individual must first “give up” on their current understanding. A leader has to provide a compelling way for individuals to do that while saving face. The rule of thumb for adopting a new idea – you have to hear it 7 times, 7 different ways before it starts to resonate with you. Or consider the Formula for Change, found at

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Formula_for_Change

    The formula is a recognition that change cannot happen without a dis-satisfaction with the current state, a desired clear vision of what is possible and practical steps that can be taken now.
    The second: acknowledge that no one can be right 100% of the time. That means you must seek and value other’s input. It means that the individuals closest to the situation have the best insight to offer.
    In the end, focus on the other person. Share the data in a clear, crisp way. Describe it in terms of the business. Keep opinions out of the discussion. Know that it may take some time to digest a new thought or approach so be tenacious.

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  • Read an article in the local newspaper about college orientation at Pittsburgh. The message to the students was, you are all smart, but, here you will have to study and work hard to do well. Reminded me a lot of work.
    In the workplace there are also a lot of smart people; with many great ideas. Almost always their ideas are absolutely spot-on. However, they get lost in the delivery. Work is a team sport. To move new ideas ahead you have to engage both the hearts and minds of everyone on the team. The absolute worst thing you can do is push an idea through positional power. You must sell it using your personal power and credibility. Regardless of your position and “rightness” of the concept or idea you must sell it.
    Here are the steps to take.
    [1] State the current situation and why it is not working
    [2] Get feedback; ask for input on what others think
    [3] Ask how it can be improved within reasonable boundaries (example – cannot spend $50K on a $1K problem)
    [4] Suggest several options and your recommendation
    [5] Ask if people agree with your recommendation and leave an opening for further discussion if not.

    The benefits of this approach are three-fold:
    [a] The current situation is clarified
    [b] Your initial idea/solution is always improved
    [c] You get buy-in
    There is no “I” in team. By involving others you end up with the best solution.

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