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One Person Can Make Change

Feeling outnumbered? Feeling like your voice gets silenced? Feeling like you can't affect change?

We empathize. 

The reality is people on all levels in all kinds of organizations have made change happen. It does happen. That doesn't mean it is easy peasy or without obstacles to overcome. But it is not impossible and it can be done. We believe in you! 

This article in the Harvard Business Review, "How One Person Can Change the Conscience of an Organization" is a great example of how one person, can indeed, inspire real change. We relate to the story, we agree with the identified traits, and we are for you and with you as we journey into workplace culture change. 

Some of the Highlights

While corporate transformations are almost universally assumed to be top-down processes, in reality, middle managers, and first-line supervisors can make significant change when they have the right mindset. The traits include: Having a clarity of conscience and was willing to speak up. Take every chance, even small ones, to hone his skills of challenging the status quo for the greater good. Don’t let tough challenges gradually slip from focus because they were “too big” to tackle in the moment. Finally, center the purpose on helping those with less privilege

The power of one: When a leader, even a mid-level or lower level leader, skillfully brings a voice and a vision, others will follow and surprising things can happen—even culture change on a large scale. 

The power of sequential skill building: The lesson is not to underestimate any chance you have, even if small, to hone your skills of challenging the status quo for the greater good. Train your “courage for challenging convention” muscle consistently, so that it’s ready when needed.

The power of sustained focus and determination: It’s easy to say, “This will take some doing; I’ll think about it later.” Combined with an unconscious “This could be dangerous for my career,” it can be easy for tough challenges to gradually slip from focus. Over time the unacceptable can become the norm, and the energy for change dissipates. 

The power of using privilege to support people with less privilege: While such a mindset is not required for transformation to occur, most would agree that it’s even better, and more rewarding, when transformation also helps those with less privilege. 

And if you can add a few more folks into the mix, keep this quote in mind.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
Margaret Mead