The key for successfully facilitating a change in an organization

I was a young cadet , just over 20 y.o , in the school of communications officer training course. I was assigned to be the facilitator and organizer of all the motorcades needed to a drill, including making sure all drivers are well rested, briefed and up to the task. Combat drivers are a tough crowd to handle, mainly motivation wise. My superior officer and instructor also mentioned that no motorcade has ever left the base earlier than 0930. And i had to make sure that 5 motorcades , including combat vehicles, buses, trucks with cranes etc.

Baffled and overwhelmed from all the info i called on break time to my father, a 40+ year veteran in logistics & transport solutions. He told me the following: “Son, go to the base’s goods shop and but snacks, mini cakes and something to drink. Then sit them all down in the same table have your moment with them. Use reason and sense of humor to make them understand that you are one unit. Trust me on this, full cooperation will be given”

As i sat down with them, non casual, with so many snacks and soft drinks — i explained my vision. “Guys, we are all wearing the same uniform, in the same base, for the same objective — do our job and enjoy it. I promise you that you will have my back in front of all my fellow cadets, COs, your COs and whoever. You will have my back and make sure everything will run as smooth as possible.

In the morning of the drill, after pulling an all-nighter, making sure all the vehicles are prepped and ready to go, i snuck to the kitchen and got some treats for everyone (almost 100 men and women) and was able to give it personally to each and everyone of them up to my course commander and his staff (he as a Major and his staff of first lieutenants).

The last vehicle of the fifth motorcade left at 09:23. I was the last to leave.

The key to facilitate a change in an organization is to have an eye-to-eye conversation with whoever is involved in the upcoming change, preferably over a table of drinks and snacks, explaining as articulately as possible but also simple and to the point where we are headed and the roles given to each member of the team.