Tom Bertels brings up an interesting point about surviving the learning
curve in introducing organizational change. I recall a speech by Peter
Scholtes, in which he drew a curve showing an organization's perception of
their improvement under TQM; the curve went up nicely during the first 2
years, then dropped to almost zero. According to Scholtes, this is so
very normal. The real learning began after year 2, but many orgs never
stay the course to see that.
I took my company from zero to ISO 9002 certification in 2 years. It
really helped that I had some advice, because I pointed out to them
up-front that we would lose organizational attention span at about 12
months and 18 months, and that we had to be prepared up-front for the
discouragement. When it happened, I reminded them of this; we overcame
it, with better cheer from knowing it in advance. You can really help by
letting people know about the whole scope of a project, including the
emotional parts which are often not acknowledged.
-- Debbie Gunther, Milwaukee, WI firstname.lastname@example.org