And Yes, There’s Pain Involved.

(For the short term anyway.)

It takes tremendous energy to fight the deep conditioning and inertia of the status quo. An organization shouldn’t even consider trying this unless the CEO is totally committed to the concept and is willing to pay the price of the time and effort to make it happen.

Department or division managers surround CEOs. Department managers are the last to want their departments abolished. Often their self-image is based on how many people report to them.

The reorganization to self-directed, cross-functional teams will happen only when the CEO is totally committed to organizing around the client – and is willing to swim against the tide of department managers fighting to maintain their fiefdoms.

The first step is to have the coaches (former department heads) understand that they can have what they most likely really want in their jobs without having people report directly to them. Once the department managers begin performing as coaches and feel the relief of the responsibilities for the actual work shifting from their shoulders to the specialists doing the work, they're on their way to supporting the concept.

And once your coaching team is behind the concept, the pressure on the CEO is somewhat reduced and the support for the program is increased significantly.