People rarely change unless they feel a compelling personal need to do so. In this video tutorial, Bob McGannon shares the steps to create change within your stakeholder’s mindset, including creating a need, discussing circumstances in the marketplace, align messages between senior leaders, discussing the "folly" of the “do nothing option” and mixing the sources you use for factual information.
- Let's discuss the steps involved to create change for individual stakeholders. Although there are similarities with the change management phases, instilling change in individuals is complementary but different than managing a change project. We'll now focus on human needs and emotional management. People rarely change unless they feel a compelling personal reason to do so. Creating a need to change is vital in maintaining the momentum required to make your proposed changes a reality.
Here are some ways to ensure this happens. First, communicate how the challenges facing the organization will affect individuals directly. Just as managing change is a personal exercise, inspiration for change is also personal. Next, discuss circumstances in the marketplace or regulatory framework that make change a priority rather than just a corporate directive. It can be a challenge to motivate individuals to change solely because of a senior leader's decision.
However, conditions in the market or your industry can represent a compelling reason for a business to change. Leverage these circumstances when communicating the need to change. Third, align the message with and between your senior leaders. Nothing will diminish a change initiative's momentum quicker than your senior leaders singing a different tune. Even if the circumstances create a compelling story, to have the directors of an organization share a slightly different tale can create confusion and actually demotivate staff.
It's important to work on a unified set of messaging with your leadership team. My fourth recommendation is closely related to the third. As part of your messaging, discuss the folly of the do-nothing option. Reinforcing the story told by your senior leaders with the potential outcomes of not changing can be a powerful motivator. So discuss the benefits of a change as well as the consequences of not changing. Don't dwell on the consequences, however.
Just make note of the reasons that staying put isn't an option. Finally, mix the sources you use for factual information. As a general rule, individuals value different types and sources of information. Some will believe statistics, while others react to a real-life story. Some people will believe the facts and figures from your organization, while others will be swayed more strongly by outside sources. It can help if you use a mix of information, such as the current financial position of your organization from your internal communications team and industry trends, as produced by market analysts.
I hope these recommendations help you create a need for your change. While these can be helpful, remember that change is a personal exercise. Your messaging needs can be tailored to your specific change objectives, your company's situation, and the circumstances of the individuals you're working with.
- Understanding the levels of change management
- Working through the five phases of change management
- Creating a change plan
- Communicating change
- Implementing change
- Managing risk
- Reinforcing change
- Evaluating the change
- Guiding individuals through change