To Implement Change, You Don’t Need to Convince Everyone at Once

Many say that people fear change, but everywhere I go in the world speaking, advising executives and conducting workshops, I find most are excited about it. Senior leaders tell me about their inspired visions for their enterprise, but complain that they can’t get employees to buy in. Middle managers gripe that they have transformational ideas, but can’t get the bosses to go along.

The problem is that while people are passionate about their own ideas, they tend to resist other people’s initiatives, especially when they feel change is being imposed upon them. That’s a key reason why the vast majority of transformations fail, because in their desire to create a “sense of urgency” and make change seem inevitable, leaders try to convince everybody at once.

Even for relatively small- and mid-sized enterprises, that’s a mistake. Starting with a big kickoff campaign is more likely to activate resistance than it is to win over a majority. It’s also…

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This article was written by Greg Satell and originally published on