Making profitable business change happen is hard.
Sure, there are treasure troves of books, articles, and seminars, including a lot of recent science – based studies, that we can all access to guide us as to change management best practices.
Much of it is very wise, and it is always good to immerse oneself in quality business thinking – if only to pull that one great idea that inspires new and different business action.
But really, the only essential ingredient for effective and profitable business change is plain and simple: One person who has both the will and the authority to propel and drive it.
This simple truism is easily obvious to anyone that has ever successfully sold anything of any consequence into an organization.
What good sales people intuitively understand is that there is either an individual on the other side with the willingness and ability to commit their organization to a suggested course of action, or there is no deal to be had.
This does not mean that collaboration and discussion and reporting and decision-making structures in organizations are not important, of course they are.
But for any business initiative of real consequence, there needs to be that one guy / that one gal that drives it forward, or nothing will happen.
From this flows a pair of equally simple but profoundly important business insights.
The first is for those in marketing and sales functions, i.e. those with the mandate to reach out to other businesses with the message that we, for a price, can solve your big problem / help you capture your big opportunity.
To these brave and inveterate souls, I kindly say identify that empowered, charismatic, and brave individual on the other side and sell to them and them only.
And its natural corollary, if you aren’t talking to that individual, or more often than most of us want to believe, if no such individual exists on the other side, then…
…you aint making no sale.
The second insight is for those tasked with driving important internal company initiatives.
And it is that the only person within any organization that can effect positive change is…of course you and only you.
No matter your role, your title, your responsibility, your budgetary authority.
Yes, as it was once so famously said, we must be the change we seek in the world.
And in our companies.
There are always excuses of why it can’t and shouldn’t be you.
Too young. Too old. Too new to the company. Challenges too big. Etc., Etc., Etc.
All the above may be true, but so what?
Let’s just be the change we seek.
And make the magic happen.