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Accelerating Performance by Sharon Toye, Colin Price

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CHAPTER 12Change the People or Change the People

Wes, an old friend of ours, managed a branch for a major computer company some years ago and had to let a salesman go. The young man just wasn’t producing the numbers, despite numerous attempts at training to address some of his deficiencies. Wes liked the young man but reluctantly ushered him out of the company.

Fast forward two years. Wes was walking down the street in Los Angeles, when the biggest stretch limo he’d ever seen pulled to the curb next to him and stopped. Out jumped the former salesman, who bounded over and gave Wes a bear hug. The former employee said, “Your letting me go was the best thing that ever happened to me. I’d always thought I could be a studio musician, but I never tried until I lost my job. Now, things are going great.” He added, “Here, I’d like to introduce you to the singer and the producer on the album I’m working on now.” So Wes went over and leaned into the limo, where Michael Jackson and Quincy Jones sat in the backseat.

The unfortunate fact is that, while the last chapter laid out the ABC model for how to change the people and get them to behave differently as part of a transformation effort, there is another form of “change the people” that needs to come into play, too: You have to move out people as soon as you get the sense that they will be drags on your attempts at acceleration and replace them with people who will drive your organization forward. You hope that those who leave will thrive, ...

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