Cadbury Chocolate Canada launched an initiative to sharpen its quality mind-set into the culture. I and the project team believed that managers and supervisors were best positioned to motivate their teams to raise quality standards.
A one-day off-site meeting was planned for these groups to identify ways that each department could increase the quality of its work. The managers and directors were not invited so that everyone would feel comfortable speaking freely. The directors revolted when I updated them on the plan. Why weren’t they invited? Why weren’t they viewed as the main change agent group? How could they support agreements that they had not agreed to themselves?
I went into damage control and spent more time with the directors trying to allay their fears and gain their support. The outcomes of the manager meeting were excellent, but the ability to leverage them in the workplace was compromised. The directors couldn’t drive something they didn’t help create. I could have asked the directors to be facilitators at the meeting. This would have given them a role that leveraged their skills.
I learned that people resist what they don’t help create.