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Friday, July 2, 2010

Getting Change Right: Element #6

Breaking through logjams. Kahan gives a neat, concise history of logjams in the history of the country—something I never knew about. His analogy to companies: If you don’t break up logjams, they clog up the works and gum up the company’s progress. Conducting a breakthrough session is not cheap, so you don’t do them frivolously, but when you have a systemic problem, people have answers (but not sharing them), authority’s not clear, and no one owns the problem—the the power of a face-to-face breakthrough session is essential for the health of the company. The author lists (remember I told you Kahan loves lists) the six step protocol for the meeting and a number of steps to execute the meeting, such as, laying out the room, celebrating different views, making expertise explicit, using storytelling, focusing on the most important issues first, and others. Breakthrough sessions are important and not business as usual and should be underscored by the fact that you’re willing to spend a lot of money to solve the issues at hand.

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