Change initiatives often fail because employees do not buy into the change.
Leadership makes a grand pronouncement but then nothing happens. Why is that? Here are three reasons that change initiatives frequently fail.
- Leadership lacks credibility. They’ve gone to the well one time too many and the promises no longer ring true. Employees simply ignore the change.
- Lack of clarity. The change initiative is not clearly articulated and understood by employees. It’s confusing. A confused mind takes no action.
- Lack of Listening. Employees have concerns and feedback about the change initiative but don’t have anyone to communicate their concerns and ideas.
When employees do not feel heard, they resist the change subconsciously at best and actively work to sabotage the change at worse.
Steve Weber as the ability to actively listen to every employees’ concerns and ideas while staying focused on the change objective.
The Gump character breaks down resistance and acts as truth serum.
When employees feel heard, they are much more like to support the change initiative and actively work towards it’s success.
Feedback is useful and meaningful when given with honesty and sincerity.
Honest feedback can only come from employees who feel safe and secure. While a few will not fear speaking their mind (i.e. damn the consequences), most employees will play it safe and only say what they think leadership wants to hear.
Steve Weber works as an outsider specifically so he can get to the truth. He’s not interested in hearing platitudes. He not interested in the obvious. Steve seeks the most relevant pain points when interviewing both leaders and employees. He wants the truth so he can give meaningful feedback.
The Gump character assists Steve in engendering trust. Gump is truth serum.
After listening and speaking with employees, Steve is able to present leadership with a single page outline / mindmap of the employees concerns. This is meaningful feedback that leadership can then act.
The acknowledgement of the feedback by leadership and then action taken will confirm that employees have been heard. This confirmation will make employees owners of the change initiative.
Employees who take ownership of the change initiative will work hard to see that it succeeds.
Change initiatives do not have to take a long time. Change can happen quickly.
Change is readily accepted when people feel like they have no other option.
A negative occurrence often creates the feeling of no other option. I’ll lose my job. We’ll go out of business. Not exactly a great feeling.
So how does an organization create a positive change moment?
Steve Weber believes positive change moments can be created and should follow this basic formula:
- An unexpected or unusual announcement
- Delivered with a combination of fun and seriousness.
- Clarity of purpose
- A clear set of actions
If these four steps are taken, then a positive change moment will be created. That positive change moment can then change everything in an instant (steps 1-3). And if step #4 is followed through in a timely and sincere manner, then the positive change moment will be successful.