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Make Change Work: Staying Nimble, Relevant, and Engaged in a World of Constant Change by Randy Pennington

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CHAPTER 2

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FASTER, BETTER, CHEAPER, FRIENDLIER

Even if you are on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.

—Will Rogers

A HARD DOSE OF REALITY

“There is a rumor going around that if this doesn’t work, we’ll go back to the way we did things before.”

Marcus, the senior leader in charge of implementing the change to a shared services organization, smiled and said, “I’ve heard that rumor, too.”

A flash of hopeful anticipation enveloped the room as employees hoped to hear that a retreat was possible if this change didn’t work.

“And I can tell you,” Marcus continued, “that’s not going to happen. We aren’t going back. If we don’t get this right, they will find people who will. We will either be outsourced or replaced.”

BURN THE BOATS—THE CUSTOMERS ARE IN CHARGE

Listening to my client’s response reminded me of the ancient Greek army commanders when they landed on an enemy shore. Their first order was to burn the boats as a physical sign that they weren’t going back.

Your customers—both external and internal—are in charge. They know that a viable alternative to your product or service is a phone call or mouse click away. Technology and globalization have given them the power for which they have always longed, and they aren’t giving it back.

They want it faster, better, cheaper, and/or friendlier. You either meet those expectations or run the risk that they will find someone ...

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