Mobilizing Support


Mobilizing support for change requires a blend of logic, emotions, and values. The change managers should:

  1. Developing clarity about the target audience: in an effort to achieve acceptance of any change idea, it is very important to clearly understand who the relevant stakeholders are, what are their identities, their aspirations, their values, and their influence in the organization. The target audience is never homogeneous group. These would be people who may be ready to support the change ideas quickly, people who oppose change no matter how sensible the ideas are, and people who are willing to listen but should not be taken for granted. A change manager should identify the real interests of these sub-groups and should tailor the communication and persuasion effort accordingly. In other words, the change manager should be sensitive to the fact that there would be multiple views and perceptions in an organization and it is important to be clear as to what these are.
  2. Getting people involved: When a change manager begins the change campaign by making a strong presentation and supporting it with huge data, there is a danger that employees at the receiving end may become mere spectators and skeptics. At the same time, it is not realistic to expect that people would volunteer themselves to engage in defining a change initiative. What is most useful in such a situation is ‘foot in the door’ approach. This involves asking people to make a small initial commitment, which may be in the nature of asking their views on the present situation and discussing possible courses of action. Over a period of time, these small commitments could be extended to sustain larger change objectives. This approach is particularly useful to attract skeptics to the change program.
  3. Crafting the message: A primary process in the influence effort is not change in attitude towards an object, but change in definition and meaning of the object. Once meaning changes, attitudes change accordingly. A change manager should present the idea in such a manner that it evokes sufficient curiosity among members to explore it further. The message should be simple, but clear enough in its scope. Rather than a conclusive statement, it should invite people for a dialogue. People tend to be more attracted towards stories and symbols than hard numerical data. A change manager should be able to make use of these soft dimensions of relationships to gain attention to the change idea.
  4. Timing the campaign: Many ideas are rejected because they are presented at a wrong time. A change manager should first use informal meetings to generate the need for improving present levels of performance and make people receptive to new suggestions. Change ideas should be presented only when people are willing to engage in a dialogue process. This is very similar to a gardener first preparing the soil before sowing the seeds.
  5. Sustaining the momentum: Mobilizing support for change is never a one-time activity. It takes considerable amount of time to get people involved and committed to the change idea. It should be best for people with high expertise and credibility to lead the change. People listen to those who have expertise while framing their position. Then those people should be identified who favor the change idea and they should be helped to articulate their views in public. People tend to stick to their positions that are made in public

My Consultancy–Asif J. Mir – Management Consultant–transforms organizations where people have the freedom to be creative, a place that brings out the best in everybody–an open, fair place where people have a sense that what they do matters. For details please visit www.asifjmir.com, Line of Sight

Distinctive Competence


Distinctiveness is a relative concept – an organization is distinctive with respect to a benchmark established with reference to aspirations. For example, an organization may aspire to become the largest organization of its type in a region. Thus, one aspect of distinctiveness will be related to other organizations within that region, as this is their benchmark – not elsewhere in the world. However the benchmark for distinctiveness may change as the business model or livelihood scheme is explored – aspirations may become more ambitious as the group discovers that its distinctive competences are more distinctive than they had thought. Alternatively, sometimes a group realizes that they are not exploiting their distinctiveness as fully as they might, because they have not appreciated fully the nature of their distinctiveness.

The opposite may also occur. Here, a group discovers that much of what is distinctive is also useless in relation to their current aspirations. Many distinctive competences of an organization grow over time and the organization becomes so proud of them that they forget why they needed them. Distinctiveness is therefore relative to a benchmark, usually with respect to other organizations, existing or potential, as defined by the aspirations, rather than to any absolute criterion. This means that aspirations can subsequently be changed to become less demanding if increasing distinctiveness is difficult to come by. Exploring distinctive competences and aspirations must therefore be done together.

My Consultancy–Asif J. Mir – Management Consultant–transforms organizations where people have the freedom to be creative, a place that brings out the best in everybody–an open, fair place where people have a sense that what they do matters. For details please contact www.asifjmir.com, Line of Sight

21st Century Company


  • Does your company have a compelling reason for existing?
  • What would the world lose if it ceased to exist tomorrow?
  • Does your company have clear and agreed vision, goals and values?
  • Who within the company has thought through what the vision and these goals and values mean for its relationships with people, whether as customers, suppliers or business partners?
  • Is there an overview of what the company is trying to achieve in terms of various objectives?
  • Are all the objectives expressed in terms of measurable outputs?
  • To what extent are you and management colleagues frustrated with what has been achieved in the area of corporate transformation?
  • What are the symptoms of non-achievement?
  • Is there a process in place within your company to root out the underlying causes of gaps between aspirations and achievement?
  • Is the complex nature, and full extent, of the corporate transformation challenge fully appreciated?
  • Has thought been given to whether particular change elements are missing from the transformation jigsaw puzzle?
  • How genuine is the desire to change in each functional component and business element of your organization?
  • Is there an agreed vision of a more flexible and responsive end point organization?
  • To what extent have the changes which have been introduced into your company to date influenced attitudes, values and behavior?
  • Have relevant roles and responsibilities been allocated, and the required resources been lined up;
  • Are people equipped, empowered and motivated to do what is expected of them?

My Consultancy–Asif J. Mir – Management Consultant–transforms organizations, makes them relevant, and suggests solutions for succes. For details please contact Asif J. Mir

Targetting the Gap


Gap exists between aspirations and results or the desired or target state and what actual accomplishment is. Organizations must see how such gaps are bridged. They may often be accomplished by backward-chaining logical sequences of actions or intermediate states from the desired state to the present state. In other words, asking the question: “What must be in place, or must have happened in order that this desired state can exist?”

Nonetheless, “what ought to be” is a highly variable target. Also, some problems have many alternative solutions, in which case backward-chaining search strategies may have little practical use. What matters at the end is proper planning and right prescription to the specific situation. My Consultancy–Asif J. Mir – Management Consultant–transforms organizations, makes them relevant, and suggests solutions for succes. For details please contact Asif J. Mir