Create networks of change leaders. Change programs falter when early successes remain isolated in organizational silos. To combat this problem, the industrial company deployed its leadership-development program globally to create a critical mass of leaders who shared the same vocabulary and could collaborate across geographic and organizational boundaries more effectively.
Another tactic the company employed was the creation of formal “mini-advisory boards”: groups of six executives, with diverse cultural and business perspectives, who went through leadership training together. The mutual trust these teammates developed made them good coaches for one another. The boards also provide much-needed emotional support: “The hardest part of being at the forefront of change is just putting your shoes on every day,” noted one manager we talked to. “Getting together helps me do that.”