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Managing to Make a Difference by Larry Sternberg

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Chapter 66Replace Employees Who Are Blocking Change

There are situations in which senior leaders have decided that rapid, major change is required for the survival of the organization. These types of situations are qualitatively different from situations discussed in previous chapters. These are not situations in which change can be accomplished gradually or incrementally. You do not have time for that.

Rapid change requires that certain people leave the organization, either because they willfully resist it or because the change eliminates their jobs. It is unpleasant. It is painful. It is regrettable. But it is reality. This applies to employees at every level. If a particular employee cannot or will not adapt and enthusiastically support this kind of change, he or she must be replaced. To achieve rapid culture change, leaders and managers can't be patient.

If the need for rapid change requires changes in personnel, you, as a manager, will likely be at the tip of the spear. Make those personnel changes with compassion, but do it swiftly. Drawing out the time frame increases the pain and stress for everyone. Also, the turnover you are creating intentionally, cascades through the organization and creates additional, unwanted turnover. The more rapidly you begin with the intentional turnover, the more quickly you will be able to see all of the dominoes that fall as a result and take action to get the right people in place.

These departing employees are, in a sense, casualties ...

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