We’ve all heard the statistic that 70 percent of change management initiatives fail. Often it’s because team members aren’t motivated by the vision for organizational change. When writing our change story, it’s easy for us to assume that others see the importance and share the urgency. However, the change story is the critical first step. Here are three elements of a powerful vision for change:
- Create a Sense of Urgency – As Kotter shares, “Your top leaders must describe an opportunity that will appeal to individuals’ heads and hearts and use this statement to raise a large, urgent army of volunteers.”Your change story must address a real business need. It should describe what’s
possible as a result of the change and the consequences if it should fail. It should
connect with top-level strategic priorities. You will need the support of a senior-level
sponsor to convey the urgency.
- Define Clear Expectations – Let team members know what will be expected of them and what training and knowledge will be required to effect the change. Engage stakeholders to understand what this organizational change will mean to them. You will need a master vision for change, and various iterations based on the roles within your organization. The researched-based Prosci ADKAR model identifies “knowledge about how change” as one of key steps in a change management process. “Knowledge is the goal/outcome of training and coaching.” If people clearly know what’s expected, they are able to rise to the expectations.
- Enlist Your Champions – Champions are folks who see your vision and are fully on board. They understand the vision’s value and are excited to see it come to fruition. When champions come from up, down, and across the organization, they exponentially increase engagement around your vision. From the Chief Learning Officer article “A Simple Guide to Effective Change Management,” champions must have the following three qualities:
- They must exceed performance expectations.
- They must have an aptitude and a desire for training.
- They must be change adopters. The earlier change adopters enter the change curve, the more likely they’ll be out of the change curve by the time they need to start training people.
When carefully crafted with all stakeholders in mind, your organizational change story can be one of the most powerful motivators for transformation. It brings everyone on the same page, and provides consistent messaging for all involved. Going slowly to develop a relevant change story enables a faster process for change.
Interested in crafting your own change story? Visit the Thrive team page to learn how we can help.
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