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Exercises for embracing change for a sales conference


I'm new to organizational development and have joined a media company for just two months. I need to think of some change initiatives to support a Sales Conference for our Taiwan colleagues. The Sales Director will introduce a new approach of selling which is unique to the current practice in Taiwan. So our salespeople thought that it was impossible to convince the advertisers. However, the senior management has decided this is the way to go. The salespeople MUST buy this and prove for their existence. Within a very short time, if they fail to perform, they will all let go.

So, could anyone give/share with me a few games on this?

Many thanks.

Alice Ma
Alice Ma

6 Responses

  1. Theory first
    I’d recommend you have a look at some Change Management books bofore you commence this. Without understanding the personal transition that staff are required to make there is a strong possibility any initiative will fail.
    Embracing change is not something that (Western) staff will do simply because it is imposed on them and they have no choice.

  2. Not enough time for research
    Hi Juliet,

    Thanks for your advice, I’m researching on some change management materials, however, there might not be sufficient time for me to fulfill my needs before the conference.

    Best regards.

  3. An idea
    I’ve completed quite a lot of change management activity in the past and the previous respondent is right, just because they are told they must do it, doesn’t mean that they will. If the change initiative is radical, the organisation must be realistic and expect (and plan for) some attrition.

    I do have an idea, I don’t know culturally if it would work but here goes. It’s based on your org accepting that people will naturally have concerns and give them a chance to voice them confidentially. I’ve tried it before and although some people still didn’t ‘buy in’, my org did know what the concerns were and was able to reassure some people or plan for diffent (worst case) scenarios. This is how it works – give each attendee a present-it could be something simple like an envelope containing a phrase that is positive about change (or proves why change works), something that looks nice that they can hang up by their desk/workstation. Just to digress, My favourite is the one about the a & r man at Decca Records who passed on signing the Beatles, when they first started, because he said that guitar bands had no future – he was massively wrong, by the way.

    With the present include a reply enevelope with a ‘comments’ sheet and encourage people to put their thoughts forward about the change. You might learn something and you could ciculate a question and anser tyoe sheet to all of thedelegates or run some follow-up sessions. Hope that helps

  4. Embracing Change
    Given that you are short of time it may be an idea to show some visuals of some of the major changes that have impacted them over the last thirty years and facilitate a discussion as to what impact it would have had on their work if these changes hadn’t occured – eg imagine trying to work without a lap top, internet access, mobile phone. Then link this to the changes needed to improve the sales process.

    As a word of caution, you really need to ensure that the sales force tell you the benefit of changing their approach, trying to tell them the benefit will be a complete waste of your time.

    Hope this helps and good luck


  5. The motivation?
    There has to be a benefit to change and it is invariably instructive to discover what motivational drivers need to be addressed and then see how what you are ‘selling’ matches these drivers.
    Too often money is simply assumed to motivate individuals and all too often it gets put 6th or 7th out of a top 10 moivators.

    So, ground work first I am afraid and then the creativity.

    Good luck.

  6. think about the notion of distributed leadership
    Too often organisational change is seen as something so complex that only initiates can be fully ‘in the loop’. In this model (a cascading’ model perhaps)the rationale and the means of change arrive from above and beyond. Staff are expected to be briefed, to open themselves to change and engage!
    As a trade union educator I am also faced with the need to drive change forward but tend to adopt a grass roots perspective. This means asking the staff themselves to identify the need for change, the drivers and enablers. Run activities that invite them to suggest ways to achieve new or restated objectives. Ask them to take on the responsibility for designing the means to manage change.

    True, this might be too radical for some but arguably, it marks the difference between a cascaded policy change announcement and a genuine, ongoing commitment to change.


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