How do you get a Turkey to Vote for Christmas?

Ian Beckett MSc
3 min readDec 4, 2021
turkey © i stockphoto

Managers strive for power and influence in their roles — this is measured by the size of their budget. Obviously driving efficiencies into a business reduces costs and produces logical resistance to change — I work on the basis that most managers are NOT turkeys.

My role in every business I have worked in has been to drive efficiencies and overcome this resistance, asbestos underwear is needed at times but success or failure is measured by outcomes and sustainability.

My social engineering training uses cognitive dissonance reduction and belief change management tactics — but even admitting this tends to scare people off as fear of the unknown is percievied to be akin to witchcraft.

This is not so — it simply involves aligning the target managers interests with those of the business — this sounds obvious but common sense is a rare commodity when dealing with self-interest.

Aligning people, products and processes is the objective and to start everyone must agree where they are now and where they need to get to. When I help them see the purpose of every business is to deliver products and services to customers that they want and need we have the change train rolling down the tracks.

functional roles © ian beckett 2003

The traditional enmity between functions, such as, marketing perceiving that IT should be renamed as the business prevention department, can be addressed in terms of mutual interest and the flow of business through the organisation accelerated.

The limited capacity to execute change is another challenge. When all functions compete for the same scarce engineering resources you get inefficiencies:-

functions compete for scarce resources © ian beckett 2003

Simply prioritising the used of these “scarce resources” accelerates the flow and reduces rework

new product introduction acceleration © ian beckett 2003

These processes also help functional managers give up their obsession with the size of their budgets as they receive recognition for business change that meets their self-actualisation needs in other ways.

The best way to think of this functional alignment activity is to consider how you were taught about magnetism in school — when all the arrows point in the same direction the attraction becomes very powerful indeed.

magnetism © ian beckett 2003

So this has worked as a technique I have used to same hundreds of millions of dollars — and can work for you.

It is a simple and easy concept to drive pragmatic business transformation, and to prevent your turkey managers from voting for Christmas — unless you prefer to be the turkey!

--

--

Ian Beckett MSc

Ian is a digital transformation expert who has saved companies over $250m by integrating technologies and diverse global teams effectively— he is a CEO and poet