“Seize Your Big Opportunity” Contest
The nonprofit organization is no stranger to the necessity of buy-in. Be it building a case for support or engaging a board of directors to make a change, buy-in can make or break an organization on a small and large scale.
Without understanding how potential attacks can disrupt consensus around important change, leaders are leaving their organizational growth to chance and potentially empty attacks or unfounded fears of naysayers.
At CausePlanet, we recently featured John Kotter and Lorne Whitehead’s book, Buy-In: Saving Your Good Ideas from Getting Shot Down. With the benefit of Kotter and Whitehead’s counterintuitive approach, nonprofit leaders can get smart about how objections are formed and delivered as well as overcome them, critical skills for any situation where two or more opposing viewpoints are likely to surface.
In addition to providing responses to common objections in their book, the authors also suggest eight steps for successful, large-scale change:
1. Increase urgency: Urgency breeds energy and focus and motivates complacent people.
2. Build the guiding coalition: A strong group of respected leaders emerge—not appointed or forced.
3. Get the vision right: Ask, “How would we look differently in the future if successful and what strategies will get us there?”
4. Communicate for buy-in: Communicate vision and strategies relentlessly and through a variety of channels.
5. Empower action: The guiding coalition eliminates obstacles and empowers people to create change.
6. Create short-term wins: With visibility and clarity, build momentum by acknowledging progress so cynics lose their power.
7. Keep at it: Maintain urgency, keep the wins coming and never let up until changes are made.
8. Make change stick: Structures, systems and promotion process should support the new order. The new emerging culture is the glue of change.
For those of you unfamiliar with Kotter’s work beyond Buy-In, John Kotter is the Konosuke Matsuhita Professor of Leadership, Emeritus, at Harvard Business School. Kotter is a best-selling author (Leading Change, The Heart of Change, A Sense of Urgency, among others) and widely considered the world’s foremost authority on leadership and change. He is the founder of Kotter International, a firm designed to guide global leaders in transformational leadership.
Slated to launch this month, Seize Your Big Opportunity is a contest that will give leaders the chance to enter to win a free day-long workshop, called a Big Opportunity Session, with experienced change practitioners from Kotter International. KI’s change practitioners will help senior leaders focus on their highest-priority business goals and the opportunities they represent for their organization, then build alignment around these critical opportunities and begin to develop the competencies to lead large-scale change.
During each day-long session, Kotter International will help leaders align around their firm’s “big opportunity,” which is a picture of what the organization can possibly achieve in relationship to changes happening right now in the world around it. It’s a call to action that appeals to employees’ heads and hearts, compelling them to change because they want to, not because they have to. In each session Kotter International will help facilitate creation of a powerful Big Opportunity statement that the leadership team buys into, can stand behind, and clearly defines the opportunity the organization has in leading proactive change.
Seize Your Big Opportunity is open to organizations of all types and sizes – businesses, educational institutions, non-profits, government agencies, and others are all eligible. After an initial nomination round where organizations submit a brief overview of how and why they want to change, Kotter International will invite organizations with the most compelling cases to submit a more detailed application. Organizations that demonstrate their goals are achievable, their senior leaders are committed to the Big Opportunity, and that they have the capacity to build on the lessons of a one-day session will be selected as winners. There is no limit on the number of winners who will be selected.
Visit Kotter International website for more books and resources from John Kotter or visit our Page to Practice book summary highlights and subscribe for more information and an author interview about Buy-In and other books in our summary library.