Getting an entire organization to buy into a major change initiative is difficult. Not impossible, but difficult.
Steps 1 through 3 of Kotter’s 8-step change model create a need for the change (urgency), bring together a group of key managers and leaders (coalition), and then define exactly what the change looks like (vision). When these initial steps have been completed, it’s then time to share this new vision with the entire organization and obtain widespread buy-in.
Since people generally do not like change, obtaining buy-in is both critical and difficult. Without widespread acceptance and buy-in the change initiative will probably fail.
Kotter suggests 5 main practices to obtain widespread buy-in.
- Communicate with simplicity and repetition. Keep in simple. Repeat often. Avoid under communicating. Do over communicate.
- Engage using two-way communication. Don’t just tell. Listen. Get feedback. Improve the plan by getting the grass roots to be your ally.
- Use multiple methods to deliver your message. Find new ways to communicate. Deliver your simple message in a variety of ways. Over and over again. Communicate by email. Have large group meetings. Have informal meetings. Use written communication. Create videos. Use posters with simple, direct, and focused words and images.
- Remain consistent. Fix inconsistencies quickly and directly. Walk the talk.
- Use verbal pictures. Metaphors. Analogies. Bring the vision to life.
Communicating a major change initiative is possible. It does take effort and discipline.
I help organizations communicate their vision of change using a variety of methods to obtain widespread buy-in.
It’s fun. It’s extremely satisfying when done effectively and successfully. Let me help you.