Advice for Change-Makers

Watching positive change ripple through a marketing department—and translate into improved impact—is a wondrous thing to behold. But this sort of change doesn’t happen without a champion to drive it forward and keep it on track.

How do these champions do it? And what can you learn from them as you work to make a difference in your organization? Let’s take a moment to pause and reflect.

  • First, recognize that going it alone won’t work. Finding allies on your change mission is critical. Panasonic CMO Yukiko Yamaguchi puts it this way: “I realize that I don’t have all the power — my human network is the key.”
  • Even as you gather allies around you, leadership can feel lonely. When the mission requires you to project confidence in all directions, who do you confide in? We like this advice: “find your own confidant in the company–someone who works in a totally different part of the business”.
  • New research shows that making good decisions is easier when you’re deciding for someone else. So when the time comes to make an important decision, be sure to recruit a fresh pair of eyes—whether it’s your internal confidant or an outside partner.
  • It’s also important to recognize your own limits and admit when you’re wrong. Trust us, people will judge you less than you might think. This delicate, powerful art actually has a name: “intellectual humility”. Here’s a fascinating primer on the subject.
  • Getting people excited is a vital skill for any change-maker. But if that excitement comes with unrealistic expectations, it could end up biting back. We like this advice from Thomas Barta: “Be careful what you promise. Don’t artificially underpromise (that would be manipulative). Look at your powers. Be realistic. Then: overdeliver.”

  • Another way to manage expectations is to start small and work gradually at accomplishing your larger mission—using incremental wins to build momentum and create proof as you go. With this in mind, we’ve created a new tool called Starting Point. As the name implies, it’s designed to help change-makers pick the best first step based on the unique context in front of them.


Toronto Event, March 6th

If you’re in the Toronto area, consider joining us on March 6th for a small gathering of marketing leaders. We’ve put together a solid program with some great speakers. The topic (brand reinvention via internal changes behind the scenes) should feel very familiar to you as a Pause + Reflect reader.

You can register here. And since you’re a friend and all, you can waive the cost with the discount code MODERN.

Hope to see you there!

Issue #62
Feb 10, 2019

Further Reading