Henri-Louis Bergson, a French philosopher, said, “To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly.” I believe that some of the most successful businesses and business leaders achieve success because they recognize the benefits of change and set-forth a communications strategy that achieves buy-in at all levels of the organization.
In my last blog, I shared insights on how to communicate change to all levels of your organization. Today’s tip goes beyond simply reaching all levels but gaining buy-in at all levels – something often taken for granted.
Tip #2: Achieve Buy-in at All Levels of the Organization
Let’s face it, change can be uncomfortable. Therefore, I suggest that the initial communications about any change always be honest; thoughtfully present the expected change impacts; and clearly state the business case for making the change. Any subsequent communications should target stakeholder groups based on how they will be impacted – be careful not to impose a “one size fits all” strategy, it doesn’t typically generate buy-in. In each case, besides detailing the “as is” and “will be” states, outline what or how the business will address each group’s impact.
Another very effective strategy to generate receptivity for change is to identify “champions” or Early Adopters from within each business and/or stakeholder group impacted. Equip the champion with up-to-date information about the project status, presentations, and FAQs. It’s amazing how much easier it is for employees to accept changes when they learn it from someone they know and trust. In addition to being familiar with the Champion, employees tend to be more candid about their concerns, which builds a two-way communications path to achieve buy-in.
In my next blog, I plan to discuss the importance of helping employees understand how change impacts them.