Chapter 10 - The Kiss of Yes

NOVEMBER 2, 2011

Chapter 10 - The Kiss of Yes

Speaking of employees, they have their own set of questions:

“Why do we have to do it this way?”

“Why does this concern me?”

“Why should I care?”

“Is this all worth it?

“What’s in it for me?”

There are many moving parts here. Get it right and the rewards are great. Make a major mistake in this area and you could be toast. Recent history has shown that corporate train wrecks are never pretty even if there is usually something salvageable from the wreckage.

“We can expect resistance and it can take many forms, both subtle and the not-so-subtle. “Human beings’ innate resistance to change is the most perplexing, annoying, distressing, and confusing part… (but) resistance to change is natural and inevitable. To think that it won’t occur… is a fatal mistake. …

Most dissenters won’t stand out and shout at you that they hate what you’re doing to them and their comfortable old ways. Instead they will nod, smile and agree with everything you say – and then behave as they always have. This is the kiss of “yes”. - Michael Hammer, Re-engineering the Corporation

And you need to remember that if it’s an employee who’s in trouble rather than the company or the project, it can become just as complex.

Few people (long-term employee’s?) will understand their old way of “doing business” is often what led to problems in the first place.

“Adaptive walks” to reach a different, more sustainable fitness peak are the norm. Moreover, while we think of “frozen accidents” or lock-in as a byproduct of the high tech economy or information products, it can also apply to situations that are often repeated (iterated) from project to project or from employee to employee.

“Lock-in” can be positive for the project or other concerned parties, but it can also be negative leading you to drift further off course every day.

Again, internal structure and attitude are crucial. Being the right way makes doing the right thing so much easier.

Poorly communicated proposals and goals do not travel well.

Flexibility may be a prized talent for the successful company of the 21st century, but ambiguity is not.

The Kiss of Yes