Change occurs in waves as markets, technology, and customer wants change. You can’t just coast along. You need to communicate change. The following is a sample plan:
How to communicate change:
When planning, announcing, implementing, and
communicating, a change initiative, it is important to note that there is no perfect formula. For most of us, change is uncomfortable. You can throw a plan of attack out there detailing who should do what and when and make some
progress, but long-term habits are not easy to change.
The best place to start is to define what change is required and why. Be specific and direct.
Know what results you want, both from the
change initiative and from the communication program or tactic.
Knowing and understanding how people react upfront can add to your chances for success
and curb the potential for damage control after the fact.
Share information with your team as soon as possible. There’s a real dilemma in public companies where investor communications are the number one priority. Whenever employees hear about a reorganization or merger through an outside source, they feel disconnected and unimportant. This exposes the company to unnecessary turmoil, as employees lose their sense of job security and loyalty.
You can’t communicate too much significant, substantial information. Effective change requires longevity. A change effort starts with an announcement but then needs a substantial allotment of time and effort, ultimately
to build and create a complete change cycle.
Use a variety of communication routes that
continually reinforce change. Repetition is of key importance here.
Not much in the world ends up being the same as it started out, unless of course it had a very short life cycle.
I can’t help but refer to the idea of strategizing in golf, knowing how to work the ball using the arsenal of fourteen weapons you carry in your golf bag. Most recreational golfers have their favorite clubs, the ones they are most confident with, the ones that they can hit well. Perhaps out of the fourteen clubs, they only feel reasonably proficient using six clubs: the driver, the 5 wood, three of the irons, and putter.
That means that they do not feel proficient using the other eight clubs—that’s more than half!
I once read an article that stated that you should
never have a favorite club. The point was that, if you practiced hitting all of your clubs at the driving range, then you should be able to hit them all well, so there would be no favorites!
This is the biggest lesson to be learned from the
change-ready company and its processes. There is a definite need to be proficient and use all of the weapons in your arsenal—in this case, all of the
business knowledge and expertise, current market indicators and trends, technological advancements, and recognizing ever-changing customer needs and preferences.
In today’s global market, successful businesses are aggressive, innovative, and open to change. Employees who succeed in the workplace adopt that same attitude for themselves. Ensuring that you are change-ready in today’s economy is simply par for the course.
Shoot for the biggest and boldest impact possible. If you need a full corporate makeover—do it. Moderation is just not going to cut it.