In the recent UK floods we heard a lot about defences failing and phrases being bandied about by engineers and managers such as "a once in a hundred years" event and "could never have been envisaged." However when I hear these types of explanations it always makes me think instead of the crucial differences between a promise, a responsibility and a guarantee.
When we are dealing with change we need to be able to make quick but robust assessments of the power/influence of the different players. My colleague, Andrew Constable, has developed a concise but comprehensive approach to assessing power which he calls the 8P's of Power.
Instantly discover a persons main worry about an upcoming change by how they speak just five words: We cant do that here.