Want to increase the likelihood that your big change initiative is successful? Talk about its impact on one individual, NOT how it will make the organization/team/department better.
In his recent book, The Upside of Irrationality, Dan Airely discusses that people relate or accept change more effectively when it’s related to the impact on one person. Wonder if that is true? During the 2008 US Presidential campaign, John McCain brought up how his policies would impact “Joe the Plumber.” The mention did not help Senator McCain (obviously), but it did provide a platform for each candidate to relate their policies in a way that everyone could understand the impact to
This phenomenon holds true for so many things that impact large groups directly:
• Selling pharmaceuticals
• Marketing legal services
• Encouraging people to donate money to the “needy”
…and so many more.
WHAT TO DO WITH THIS INFORMATION?
STOP trying to tell people what a big difference the “big change” will have on the organization or the team.
START sharing how changing (or not changing) will impact “a person.” Relate it to someone like the employee; this makes the change and its impact real. It will also improve the quality of the communication and cut out a lot of the buzzwords and jargon.
The Small Business Chronicle suggests mapping out the changes as well. Tell employees exactly what is going on and create understanding from the beginning. Once employees are on board with the change, they can make the internal transition smoother and help clients and vendors adjust as well.
How do you relate the change to the individual? What has worked in your experience?
Anil Saxena is the President of Cube 2.14, an organizational development consulting firm that works with clients to increase both customer and employee engagement while decreasing turnover, improving customer retention, and increasing profitability within organizations.
Saxena is a certified High Impact coach and trainer and a Joint Application Design facilitator. He is also certified by both Rush Systems and IBM as a focus group facilitator. He is an inaugural member of Northwestern University’s Learning and Organizational Change program, and he earned his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology.