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Delivering Change to the Last Mile

The facilitator begins by asking the incumbent how the role represents his daily behavior and also what he feels are his strengths and weaknesses to the new role. She then asks, "What do you need from your manager to be successful in your new role?" Next, she turns to the manager and asks similar questions. The output of this session is a document with all agreements and a date for the next meeting to check and reset agreements.

Delivering the last mile won't succeed by headquarters decree. It occurs on the battlefield with hand-to-hand combat. The principles are:

  1. Start with a B. Starting with perfection is too complicated.
  2. Let incumbents/teams customize the new process to meet their individual skills and customer needs, then follow-up until the behavior changes.
  3. Involve key stakeholders throughout the project. Management by policies does not work. Management by managers is better. But the best is management is by peers.
  4. Give lots of recognition. You remember freshman psychology. Any movement toward the right direction is rewarded. It works with animals. It works with children. And it works with adults.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.

Hall is managing director of Human Capital Systems (www.humancapitalsystems.com), a firm that designs systems for improving workforce performance. He is also an instructor in Duke Corporate Education's teaching network and author of The New Human Capital Strategy. Hall was formerly a senior vice president at ABN AMRO Bank in Amsterdam and IBM Asia-Pacific's executive in charge of executive leadership and organization effectiveness. During his tenure, IBM was twice ranked No. 1 in the world in Hewitt/Chief Executive magazine's "Top Company for Leaders." Hall completed his Ph.D in industrial-organizational psychology at Tulane University, with a dissertation on people management practices of Japanese corporations.
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