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Running the Gauntlet by Jim Eber, Jeffrey W. Hayzlett

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Chapter 20Smart drivers know where traffic jams are before they hit them. So do smart change agents. Anticipate problems and avoid them before they arise.

The Project Patton plan for Kodak’s war against Big Ink and its emphasis on preparation inspired this chapter, but its title comes from an IBM billboard I spotted more recently: “Drivers can see traffic jams before they happen.” I wrote it down and sent it to Jim, my writer, with the note, “That’s exactly what change agents do.”

Change agents can’t avoid all problems, just as drivers can’t avoid all traffic. But we can prepare ourselves to anticipate those problems and either avoid them, get around them, or attack them, just as IBM did. (The ad said IBM “helped Singapore predict traffic with ...

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