First Business

October 15, 2010

How to Get Buy-in for Big Changes

We are in the middle of a reorganizing effort. As the VP of human resources, I’m very involved in this project. Among other things, we’ve created a new executive-level position that is going to have several VP’s reporting to it. These positions previously reported to the president. Needless to say, this is creating quite a stir. For example, one of the gentlemen involved is close to retirement. With only a few years to go, he doesn’t want to get involved in a lot of change, new initiatives, etc. He’s, "been there, done that.†He actually went so far as to come into my office and tell me, "If I have to report to ’John Doe’ (i.e., the new executive), I’m leaving the company.†This from a 30-year veteran! I’m concerned that this kind of feeling exists within the rest of the VP’s and wonder about how this will affect morale within the executive team. Do you have any counsel for me?

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