Influencing Change

0 Comments By ACT Strategic | Posted January 14, 2013

A team of high-level business leaders are bought together to influence a positive outcome of an urgent on-time project.

In the midst of company reorganization, with a fast-closing window of opportunity, Katie needed to create and coach a team of top executives to build a winning case.

As part of our corporate reorganization, we closed one of our mills. If we could prove the closing was the result of shifts in production outside the U.S., our displaced workers, all 360 of them, would then qualify for significant reemployment services through the Trade Adjustment Assistance program.

I began this task at ground zero in the middle of November with a December 31st deadline. Not only did I need to learn how to pull together a government petition, I needed the help of top executives who didn’t normally work together. But I got the right people in the right positions: the manager of the closed mill, the VP of sales, the leaders of the workers’ union and reps from the state. Once I made everyone aware of the challenge and opportunity, they provided the requisite industry and company data. I was able to build the story at the heart of the presentation that I was to give to each group. The closing was indeed due to the impact of foreign trade. Both management and union signed off on the petition, which I submitted one day before the deadline.

A meaningful cause presented with passion and commitment can motivate and align a disparate team to work effectively together to manage and lead change. Even when members have competing goals and pressing demands, they can learn to listen to other viewpoints and still move forward. In our case, the displaced workers were awarded reemployment benefits and able to head into the new year with renewed hope.

Organizational Development Specialist

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ACT Strategic

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