Sitting by the pool in Orlando with Brian Dusablon during Ecosystem 2014, he turned to me and said
Wendy – you should write about Guerrilla Change Management!
I have in the past. But it has been awhile (like 2007 awhile….)
And I was hearing a lot of noise at the conference about requiring resources and lots of money for real change to occur.
Screw that. Why be that helpless?
Benefits I’ve seen using Guerrilla Change Management (Wendy-style)
– A network. I find people are awesome about providing help – especially if you thank them a lot and give them public credit when your project works.
– Rapid Skill Acquisition. I hoard “tools”. Applications, ideas, information, skills. The more tools I have in my tool kit – the better I am able to find the “right” solution for a situation.
– Faster “project” turnover – because 9 times out of 10 the proof-of-concept is good enough. The client is happy and you look like a genius. Don’t forget to thank the folks who help you.
– More leverage when asking for money / resources. It’s much easier to ask for money when you have something that sorta kinda works but can obviously use said resources.
When performing Guerrilla Change Management, you need to make the following assumptions:
+ I have no money
+ I am the only human resource available
Activity 1: Go talk to people.
– People who are impacted by the problem you have identified and are trying to solve. NOT their managers – the actual people.
– People who are smarter than you who have tried to tackle the problem
– People who are good sounding boards whether they are affiliated with the problem or not.
– Thank each person profusely and give them lots of credit when the thing works.
– If you find yourself asking permission to do the thing you are setting out to do – you are doing it wrong.
Activity 2: Scavenge for materials
– What “free stuff” is lying around your environment? A site-wide webinar system? A site license for a development tool? Free stuff on the internet?
+ As soon as you start asking for money or another person’s time to do something- you are doing it wrong.
+ “No” is a perfectly appropriate answer. Thank the resource-holder and look elsewhere. No one has a monopoly on tools. And no whining about your “rotten luck”.
+ If the money / time is freely given – you have just gotten a bonus! Thank that person profusely and give them lots of credit when the thing works.
Activity 3: Figure out how to use the materials you scavenged
– Independent online help of any ilk is the best approach.
+ Unless you have a really good relationship with the expert in that tool – As soon as you start asking for another person’s time – you are doing it wrong.
+ If the time is freely given – you have just gotten a bonus! Thank the person profusely and give them lots of credit when the thing works.
– If the tool is too complicated and sends you running to ask for formal training – go find another tool that does something similar. No one has a monopoly on tools.
Activity 4: Take what you have found and go solve the problem
Activity 5: Repeat Activity 1 (Go talk to people) with the thing you created to solve the problem. Get feedback.
– Thank the people profusely and give them lots of credit when the thing works.
Activity 6: Repeat activities 4 and 5 until either
– the problem is solved (often the jury-rigged solution you just created is good enough)
– you got the information you needed from your proof-of-concept and now have leverage to go ask for money / resources / people
– you realize you have completely mis-identified the problem and need to chuck everything and start over (this is not a bad thing – just a learning thing)
The folks I work with seem to like this approach.
Hope this helps.