Project Management

Ideas Win with Wider Input

Linda Rising and Mary Lynn Manns

Leading change is not a one-person job. For a new idea or innovation to succeed across an organization, the effort’s “champion” should encourage everyone possible to contribute and claim ownership of some part of it. Diverse input also helps everyone learn more about the idea and their organization.

“Great things are possible when we increase participation. I always want more people, from more diverse functions and places, to be there. ...I learn a great deal from other people. I expect them to see things differently from me, to surprise me.” — Margaret Wheatley, author of Leadership and the New Science

You are a dedicated champion working to introduce a new idea into your organization. There are others in the community who might get involved with a little encouragement. Still, even when you ask for help, there’s a tendency to take on too much. Others — especially those who don’t see the value in the new idea — may think of it as “your show.”

You’re the person dedicated to spending time on introducing the new idea. You want to do as much as you can to help your organization improve, but you don’t want the organization to become too dependent on you. Moreover, the corporate picture of the new idea may tend to converge around your own. As a result, there’s less definitional discussion because you …

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"The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up."

- Mark Twain