Change is always around the corner
As much as we resist change, it’s always around us, isn’t it? Think about this is in regards to the technology revolution exploding the way it is. And because of this technology explosion, our lives both at work and at home are constantly evolving, with or without us. Just think about how many phones you’ve been through over the last 10 to 20 years – From the old rotary dial home phone, to the cordless phone, to the flip, to the ever-growing functionality of the smart phones. I mean you can almost cook dinner with those things. Okay, well maybe not cook dinner, but certainly order dinner. Amazing!
Change is everywhere
Well change is ever-present in the work place as well. Technology is so pervasive, that Corporate America can’t help but feel the impact. That means to stay relevant, organizations have to adapt to these changes too. And these changes show up in the form of new processes, design changes, management changes, stakeholder changes, and the list goes on and on.
It’s no surprise to anyone, people naturally resist change. You’ve seen, you’ve done
it. So leaders in organizations that are undergoing change have to be able to get employee buy-in, change adoption, and use incredible “soft skills” to communicate how all this is good for the company and will benefit stakeholders if they want effective change to occur. Those of you who have had to do this know this is no trivial task. For example, how do you convince Bob, your production manager, whose been with the company over 20 years that his processes for manufacturing are no longer viable and cost-effective and that upper management has found a new and improved technology that can improve process and reduce costs by 30%? Oh and by the way, this may mean laying off some of Bob’s team.
Successful Change does not happen overnight
Here are a couple of things to consider as you’re managing your relationship capital and trying to get your team to adopt the change you’re proposing.
- Don’t keep your stakeholders in the dark.
Often times, those people in upper management toss around an idea for months, even years before funneling it down the pipeline to those on the front end line. That means they’ve had time to sit with the idea, flesh it out, understand the costs and benefits, and become comfortable with the resolution. But many times, they leave those who will ultimately will be impacted out in the dark until they’ve decided it’s a go and want to pull the trigger. That means there is little to no time for the adoption process for people like Bob. Instead, he’s expected to just have an idea tossed his way, without any contribution or feedback, and willingly accept this new idea as gospel. That is an unrealistic expectation for Bob to be on board with such an action.
- Allow time and opportunity for integration and adoption.
A better course of action would be to keep Bob apprised of new ideas and technologies that might be available and let him have some input. This will much improve the likelihood of stakeholder engagement and buy-in.
Change is always in the air
Change is always in the air and providing this type of pro-active, engaging, up-front style of communication is a easy way to show your stakeholders that you value their contributions. If you want someone to be more open to change allow them time to get comfortable with the idea, be willing to listen to the feedback that might even provide extra insights leading to greater improvements, and show your employees that relationship capital is something that the company holds in high regard.