You just discovered a big potential problem at your organization.
Or maybe you just became aware of an amazing new opportunity!
What do you do???
How about running straight to the Big Bosses with your hair on fire???
You may be tempted to do this or even think it is the “right” thing to do.
Resist the temptation.
You are far better off to start out a bit more slowly by first seeking out some trusted colleagues to share your thoughts. Maybe they will have perspectives you had not thought of. But if you come to an agreement that something needs to be done, then ask them to join with you. Think of them as your Rebel Coalition.* If they agree, then make a plan:
“Who else do we need to add to our small group to make this idea seem even more credible to our Bosses?”
“Who are the best people to carry our message to the Bosses?”
“How do we explain this in a way that carries a sense of urgency?”
Once these questions are answered, then your small group can begin building bridges to the Big Bosses and share your sense of urgency.
Leading a change is very challenging and research* shows that having group support to lead it together gives you a much greater chance of success.
*In his book, Leading Change, John Kotter, suggests forming a Guiding Coalition. In their book, Rebels at Work, Lois Kelly and Carmen Medina, call this group a Rebel Alliance.