Signaling a Change
January 29, 2014 Leave a comment
As I was driving behind someone like this yesterday, it made me think about how we change things at work and if many of us are driving around without using turn signals.
When you are planning a change, how early to you start signaling that change? Are you signaling to everyone or just keeping to a select group?
I have been part of many changes–strategic, process, mergers, you name it. I always try to get the change communicated early and often. Signaling early to everyone impacted allows them to be prepared.
Simply making the change that you’ve know about for weeks, months, or years, without even signaling is like those who never use their turn signals. This is simply dangerous in business.
Change causes disruption. The less people are prepared the more disruptive the change will be. Significant changes that are not communicated early and often cause massive disruption and stand the clear risk of failure because so many people will rally against the change when it happens. Basically you’ll cause an accident–maybe a multi-car pileup?
When faced with making a change. Start communicating the “Need for Change” early and solicit input and feedback. Define the reason or “Burning Platform” that is driving the need. As the details are forming of what must change, engage everyone and get their thoughts–this improves buy in.
When the change details are formulating, determine a way to close the gaps between the knowledge, skills, and abilities of those impacted so that when it happens, they are prepared. Nothing worse than not being capable of making the change because it requires KSAs that you don’t have.
Signaling a change in business is as important as signally a change when driving. Those turn signals are not optional equipment, use them.