If things just stayed the same, life would be simple. But nothing ever stays the same, \n\ncertainly not in today's business environment.\n\nMost companies get this, and they're working hard to build more flexibility and agility into \n\ntheir business models, culture and processes. The need for speed, the need for adaptation, \n\nhas never been more pressing. We are living Darwin's theory\u2014only sped up by a factor \n\nof 10.\nWhile being a multibillion-dollar company has many inherent advantages, agility is not one \n\nof them. So how does a large organization build that into its DNA? I moderated a panel on \n\nthis topic recently with three large-company IT executives who all had some well-earned \n\nbattle scars from the change wars. We talked about the economic climate and why a focus on \n\nthe customer is more important than ever. All three ranked customers (finding, acquiring, \n\nserving and retaining) as their company's top priority.\n\nBut few large organizations are currently built to have a single view of the customer or, \n\nconversely, to present a single view of the company to the outside world. There are too many \n\nunconnected systems, databases and processes; too many parochial interests and needs. And \n\nwhile the tools exist today to make those connections happen (this was a conference about \n\nbusiness process management), getting people to buy into major change is really hard.\nTo get stakeholders to move beyond self-interest and to buy into change for the good of the \n\nenterprise, the panelists offered the following recommendations:\n\n1. Base your case on the customer, not internal needs. If you can convince \n\npeople that the change you're proposing will serve customers better, you're halfway there.\n\n2. Make sure the CEO not only supports the change but pushes it.\n\n3. There has to be a change agent driving the project, but make sure this \n\nperson is tightly affiliated with the business affected, not a separate "change manager."\n\n4. Train all affected employees in common values, beliefs and behaviors \n\naround the new way of doing things, and link results to rewards and recognition.\n\n5. Use tools to model the new processes. The days of trying to capture \n\nrequirements in a formal document, up front, are over. RIP.\n\n6. Deliver results along the way.\n\n7. Finally, make sure this is positioned as a business change so IT doesn't \n\nget blamed for the inevitable pain!