It really doesn’t have to be like this. Communication needs to go into overdrive to get buy-in and true change. A team’s resistance to change can get in the way of leadership’s desire for driving organizational transformation.
Good communications from Leadership is like “guiding reins” to be bring about implementation.
Stop listening to those telling you that you are communicating too much. Don’t hide behind “change fatigue” or “we don’t want to defocus the troops” excuses as reasons not to communicate. When management’s communication is absent during change, for individual’s it’s the loudest, clearest most powerful message heard.
The loud silence between “lasso and yank” leadership moments can have a profound impact on individuals, none of them favorable. Distancing can happen, diverting the focus to unproductive actions. Creating distance from the change will occur. Paralysis can be induced in the organization as employees wait to be told what to do, or worst, multiple versions of the truth get created and wasted effort expended. All of these do little to drive the transformational change desired and in fact just the opposite can occur.
Hence, how do we make this adjustment for change to happen?
Here are 5 guidelines:
1. Create a communication directive that connects, inspires and tells yourself with what we should do. Ensure all leadership in the organization can authentically communicate this directive with clarity, context and energy to every individual being asked to transform and engage in the change.
2. Address the past. present and future implications and desires with the change. Very important to reference the context to make the pathway forward clear and lucid. Outlining your plan in this way illustrates the why, not just the how.
3. Support with continual reinforcement keeping a careful eye on communication break downs in communication. Remember the need for individuals to maintain forward momentum, preferably in the direction of the intended change. Transformational change messaging is not a one-and-done thing. Management’s communication investment and accountability is mandatory.
4. Show reliable progress through real stories. Top-level metrics and enthusiam are required, but for people to see this transformational change is working and physical people are seeing the fruits of the change; highlight these stories and the people involved as often as possible.
5. Engage participants at all levels of your company for feedback on your communication activities and adjust your plans as needed. Keep in mind that to be most effective, your plans need to be flexible and responsive.
Every Communication Matters in organizations today if true transformation is to happen.
Career Development Partners
Travis has been an entrepreneur and business owner in Tulsa for over 30 years. He is a certified Life Options Retirement Coach and is certified to facilitate and deliver the Manager As Coach Learning Series (MACLS) through CPI. He is also a certified Career Coach and DiSC Certified . He previously served on the board of Career Partners International (CPI) an equity partner in CPI, offering a global reach with over 350 offices.