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Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Martin Luther King on Change through the Prism of IBM consultant Via WLD

( Via Fast Company) Dave Holloman, change management practice leader for IBM Business Consulting Services considers,in the current edition of the Wharton Leadership Digest,the change management lessons offered by Martin Luther King's campaign. Dave writes,"Leading business change remains an inherently risky undertaking. In today’s environment, business change leaders need every tool possible to confront the inevitable risks and challenges that must be faced and resolved". The key lesssons learnt from Dr.Luther King's campaign that can be instructuve for today's business leaders are:

- Conflict Can Be Constructive.
- Public and Personal Sacrifice Has Limits.
- Dramatizing the Reality to Vision Gap is Vital.
- Execution to Plan Supersedes Stakeholder Concerns and Desires.

The lesson that stands out is how leaders need to rise above all immediate concerns and relentlessly pursue the vision.Present-day realities are often viewed as less important than a future vision. But the gap between the present situation and the intended change motivates action. Placing a future vision within the context of the present demonstrates the degree of progress required, which is essential. Dave points out from this illustration that the tradeoff between an supportive constituent and poor execution is no trade-off. Decision-making based solely on constituency concerns becomes a “stakeholder trap” that compromises progress.
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