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#4 Executive Buy-In

Today's enterprise design pattern is about the importance of a little help from friendly executives. But how to get this help? Enjoy pattern #4!


“Oh, I get by with a little help from my friends” - The Beatles

The work you are doing impacts the enterprise deeply and therefore leads to political resistance. You need powerful allies who will handle the political conflicts for you.


There are always influential people pursuing their local interests over those of the enterprise. Those interests often conflict and resolving them typically results in a win/lose outcome. Be aware that there are many people in the organisation who perceive your work for the whole enterprise as a threat and try to sabotage it using their network.


You need active support from the highest level of management. They should be willing to resolve political conflicts on the levels below them. You try to meet with them and: . Nurture trust to better understand their personal concerns; . Create a map or story in concise management language that shows how you can relieve their pains; . Position your creations as the perfect management instruments; . Invite the executives to the safe negotiation space to co-create the co-created Enterprise Design Charter.


You are garnering support from the powerful allies you need to be successful with your Enterprise Design endeavour. You establish regular meetings with them which improve the odds that your management instruments will be used regularly when important strategic decisions need to be made. It becomes clear to everyone that it’s your task to facilitate the collaborative Enterprise Design process that makes political conflicts visible and your allies’ task to resolve these conflicts.

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About the author

Milan Guenther

Milan Guenther

Intersection Group
Paris, France

Milan is president of Intersection Group and a co-founder of Enterprise Design Associates. 12 years back, Milan launched a social software startup and designed a patented innovation for commercial flight decks. Today he works with enterprises of all shapes and sizes, to make them deliver and useful to people. He's been working with enterprises like Google, SAP, Toyota, ThoughtWorks, OECD and the UN. His first book Intersection introduces this Enterprise Design approach, and he is co-organising the Intersection conference series since 2014. He is co-author of the book Enterprise Design Patterns and key contributor to EDGY, an Open Source tool for co-creating better enterprises, adopted by organisations around the globe.