Storytelling to engage employees and promote change
How can you make an upcoming change appealing? It’s simple! Storytelling. Still, many find it tricky as it leads to
Leading a transformation program is challenging. And the bigger the scope, the bigger the resistance to change. This comes as a result of organisational complexity, risks and resource constraints. So, it requires careful planning, effective communication, and strong leadership to overcome these challenges, effectively manage stakeholders and ensure a successful outcome. There are five aspects that, if taken into account and planned for, can mark the difference between failed transformation and a successful one.
Let me ask you: Do you hike, drive or fly to a new destination without a compass, map or itinerary? Probably not. So, don’t set a transformation without an outlined goal and roadmap either. You will never get to your destination. Your specific course of action might change along the journey. But you will have an overall goal and, more importantly, a roadmap to align everyone to the purpose of the transformation.
So, a clear and compelling vision for the transformation effort must be defined, along with objectives and a plan to achieve them. This includes identifying the areas of the company that need to be transformed, outlining the steps required to achieve the goals, and setting realistic timelines for implementation.
The most complex aspect of business change is stakeholder management. Not everyone within the organisation has the same agenda, resources, and level of readiness to engage. But the success of any transformation effort depends on the support and engagement of all managers, employees, customers, partners and even suppliers. Effective stakeholder management involves:
Also, assessing the organisational readiness for change can help more efficient management of stakeholders’ expectations and prioritise investments (money and effort). The thing is that change can be disruptive, and it is crucial to ensure that the organisation is ready and capable of handling the impact. This includes assessing the readiness of employees, processes, and systems, identifying any barriers or challenges that may impede progress, and outlining strategies to mitigate risks.
Effective governance is critical to the success of any transformation effort. The framework outlines the roles, responsibilities, and decision-making processes for key stakeholders in the transformation. It provides the structure for managing the ongoing activities, finances, and strategic direction. It ensures that all stakeholders align with the company’s transformational goals and objectives.
A key part of a governance structure is setting up regular meetings with key stakeholders, establishing clear reporting lines and KPIs, and ensuring that progress is tracked and communicated effectively.
Transformational KPIs should be aligned with the company’s strategic objectives. However, they can deviate and include what, in normal circumstances, are considered operational and people’s metrics. The overall purpose is to assess the transformation effort, track progress and allow informed decisions about it.
Some examples of transformational KPIs might include:
Communication strategy and plan are essential to engage and motivate stakeholders and employees. A clear communication strategy is needed to inform all stakeholders about the transformation effort, the reasons for the change, and the expected benefits. This includes identifying key messages, channels, and audiences and developing a plan for regular communication throughout the transformation process.
Overall, transforming a company is a complex undertaking: many variables and casuistics must be considered. Furthermore, there are now two identical companies. Therefore standards for excellence and best practices don’t work for everyone. But the above describes leverages, if all taken into consideration and planned for carefully, can reduce the risk substantially, increase engagement and overcome challenges to a successful outcome.