Create links to institutional decision-making

Grassroots efforts inside the enterprise tend to fizzle when it comes to doing something the traditional hierarchy tends to do. Sign a contract. Disburse funds. Make decisions that others will follow.

Think of all the innovation programs that wind up as glorified suggestion boxes. Lots of great ideas but not much ability to implement them.

The key is to identify links to the org chart – and to decision-making responsibility – up front. Then, you can channel the power of a grassroots effort towards change you know you can implement…

…find a real problem at your firm that you care to fix. Connect like-minded people. And start your own grassroots effort.

But this time, couple it with the authority, structure, and incentive mechanisms that allow you to go beyond enthusiasm and a good idea. And drive real change.

- John Stepper