You Can’t Cause Change With A Memo

Robert-photo-w-icon-150-4-7-10-FINAL4-150x150Change is inevitable. Organizations are always adapting to meet shifting market conditions, to enable their growth, etc. Resistance to change is also inevitable.  It takes more than a memo containing a few bullet points to overcome this resistance.

What seems crystal clear to you regarding a pending change initiative is often less straightforward for those impacted by the change. Expect it to take much longer than you imagined to implement a major change.

  • Plan your implementation – typical steps include introduction, review & discussion, revision, training, implementation and follow-up audit.
  •  Clearly envision where you want to be once the change is implemented. Identify obstacles you are likely to uncover.  Develop probable solutions for each obstacle and create an action plan with due dates and responsible persons that are necessary to employ your solution(s).
  • Deeply engage those impacted by the change. They know the current process better than you and they will actually be implementing the change, so their insight is valuable.  Solicit their suggestions and listen to their comments.  Refine your implementation process to incorporate as many of their ideas as you can without compromising your objective.  Help them make the change their own – you need their buy-in to make the change productive as quickly as possible.

Your memo about a pending change may do well in communicating clarity and rationale, but it typically won’t create impact.  To foster an impactful emotional connection to the change and to overcome implementation barriers, you will need to use inferences, to tell stories, to exchange opinions and to share ideas.  There will be give and take.

Managing change is an action-filled process that takes time.  Enjoy the challenge!

Which of your change initiatives are progressing and which are not?


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