As a leader, the toughest job of all is to drive change.
Why is that? Well because most people hate change, and getting them to do something they hate and don’t want to do is next to impossible.
Too many of the changes that fail because companies didn’t get people bought into the change, and without buy-in you’re pretty much doomed from the get-go.
Communication tends to focus on what the change is and what the company wants to achieve, and what they want their people to do.
But we don’t get buy-in with what!
People want to know why. Why are we doing it, why is it important to me, why should I make the change.
When we can create a relevant, meaningful and beneficial reason for the change, that’s when we get the buy-in of our teams.
We need to keep our communications clear and simple.
Once people understand and accept that the change is important, then they need to understand what they need to do. Complexity is the enemy of execution and the clearer we can communicate it, the higher the probability it will be successful.
I worked for a company, many years ago, and they had an important change, but they failed to communicate either the why or the what clearly and the change was doomed to fail.
I was new at the company, and I thought my lack of understanding was probably because I was new. So I asked one of the Vice Presidents to explain it to me, and he said he couldn’t.
He said he didn’t understand it either, but don’t worry, skip this change and get on board with the next as we do big changes every 12-18 months.
The better a leader can be at driving change, the better and more in demand a leader will be.
There are many resources available for improving your understanding of how to drive change, there are many books on the topic, but the best way to learn is to hear from the experts how to drive change.
You can do that at conferences like Association of Change Management Professionals Conference in Toronto Canada Oct 17-18, 2016.
At events like this, there are experienced change professionals giving talks about the latest techniques in Driving Change, Reducing Resistance, and Cultural Aspects of Change.
In addition to learning the latest practices, you get to hear case studies from people who have been through the change and can highlight the pitfalls you need to avoid, as well as giving you tips on how to succeed.