I recently flew to Rhode Island for a business trip and as I waited in line to enter customs I noticed that our forward momentum actually increased in both speed and frequency the closer we moved to the front of the line.
I call this the “ripple effect,” similar to throwing a stone into water. This effect can be most commonly found in business following an unsuccessful Change management initiative. That is, as Change is implemented, the success of the implementation tends to wain the further one moves from the central focus point.
When managing Change, the “ripple effect” can be avoided with the implementation of an effective Communication strategy. Here are 3 fundamental components of such a strategy:
1. Reason for the change. Ensure all stakeholders impacted clearly understand the reason for the change. Why this change; why now; how are they impacted?
2. Perceived benefits. Clearly identify what benefits are expected to result from the Change. How will these benefits better position the organization, group or department?
3. “What’s in it for me.” Articulate how the change will benefit each stakeholder group, be they employees, customers or suppliers to increase engagement in the Change.
Before introducing your next major organizational change or business improvement, be sure to develop and implement an effective communication strategy employing these 3 steps. You will find what were once ripples have turned into waves.
© Shawn Casemore 2011. All rights reserved.