I stayed with my Uncle on a business trip to OH the last couple days (we save money wherever we can! :-).
He used to be a C130 pilot in Vietnam, a Colonel in the Airforce, a program manager at Rockwell/Boeing, and is now an MBA professor. In the Airforce he managed a team that acccepted 8,000 page, $5B proposals, and when he went to Boeing he created these proposals. Obviously a $5B project in any organization brings about a tremendous amount of change, on either side. In our many discussions he brought up a great reminder on effective change management and leadership...
Most change slows down when you have to spend so much time cleaning up and handling crisis management at the back end of the change program that was improperly planned.
Smart change management is spending the right time up front to 'ready the ship' to accept the change, thus allowing it flow more smoothly and quickly through the organization.
I remember this lesson from launching customer segmentation marketing at Dell. For the first few months I made little progress at getting other functions to change the way we did business. They had to change their process, their measure of success, and accept a new way of doing things from outside their function. It wasn't until I formed a 'council', got executives from other functions involved, got buyin from the top and bottom, that the program moved forward (relatively) smoothly.
This principle also reminds me of a post I wrote some time ago on what makes a "Word of Mouth Company", outlining a more effective prioritization of spending capital for sustainable growth. Spend the time and resources creating a great product, and you won't have to spend as much downstream on marketing and customer service.