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8 August 2017

7 concrete tips to convince senior management of the need for change

We all agree that being agile as an organization is key to remain relevant & competitive, right? The results of our Yearly Marketing Survey 2017 have shown that to be agile as an organization, the role of the senior management team may not be underestimated: 59% of respondents indicated that it’s key that senior management is committed to walk the talk. 

But what if your senior management team doesn’t have this agile mindset? Let me give you some easy tips & tricks to improve your persuasion skills.

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  1. Don’t rush
    Creating a climate for change takes time. The longer you wait, the more momentum you will have and the more evidence to back up your case.

  2. Talk to management separately
    This gives you a chance to tailor your message to each member of the senior management team individually, increasing your chance to get buy-in.

  3. Create a sense of urgency
    In case you’re working in an established company, focus on those elements of the current state that could be destroyed in case you’re not choosing for change. When talking to management at a newer company, focus on the opportunities change might offer.

  4. Do not only present problems, come with a plan
    Imagine yourself in the shoes of the senior management team. Every day, people are complaining about what frustrates them within the company. Don’t join the complainer club. Be the one who points out the issues, and come with a well-considered plan for how you would address these.

  5. Present a vision of a better future
    Visualize how your ideal TO BE-situation may look like, by making a visual simulation or by creating drawings of what it could be like, if they were willing to choose for change. Compare this with a vision of what will happen if they fail to make the changes required.

  6. Only ask permission for the next step
    The enormity of the task can lead some senior management members to bury their heads in the sand. Avoid asking them to make significant commitments until your plan has proved itself. Instead, focus on getting permission for a small next step.

  7. Preempt common objections
    Don’t wait for senior management to point out the holes in your plan. Once they have said they are against it, they will be unwilling to change their minds. Preempt these issues, so they can consider their position.