Jumping the Chasm

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“You can’t jump a 20 foot chasm with two ten foot leaps.” – American Proverb

As a leader you have some big chasms to leap. The proverb makes a case for big bang change. Go full blast, do it all at once, rip off the Band-Aid.

The main problem with big bang change is we still have to deliver our core business. Without this realization, problems come up when you under resource the big change.

We do things like assign people to the change project who still have their current responsibilities. Or we assign them and don’t back fill. Frustration sets in all around. We get behind. We skip important change leadership steps as a result, at the worst possible time.

This is subtle. We often discuss perception in this space. Perception is key here too.

It’s a function of depth. Do you make the big pronouncement about the big bang change and then leave the “how” for later? Do you stop at the rah-rah part? Do you demand success and pressure the change leaders to perform?

Or, do you lay out the approach? Do you select the path? Do you keep the long-term vision alive while focusing on the first bridge across the chasm? Do you plan, working on the second bridge while the first is still under construction?

I think you can cross a great chasm in multiple leaps if you build those interim bridges, thinking strategically.

The hard part is to keep the focus at the appropriate level. It’s easy to get bogged down on that first bridge and lose the real purpose.

Show the way. Appreciate the difficulty and the challenge. Jump the chasm. Be smart.

To do this week: What is your chasm? How are you approaching it? Do you need to shift any of your approaches?

Don’t forget your sunscreen (useful for extreme heat or cold).

Let me know how it’s goes. Click the “comments” box below to participate in an on-going discussion via LinkedIn.

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On December 18, 2018
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