Thank you to everyone that joined our first event “Design. Align. Inspire. How to Transform your Business”.
It was great to hear from people in the room about their own successes and failures. So many great stories about what has worked, and what has not worked so well.
For your reference we’ve noted a summary of the results from our own experiences, interviews, and the workshop:
- Start with Why
- Strategy before structure
- Bring stakeholders together early
- Be able to explain it in the lift
- Define the change – before and after
- Logical connection between the levers and the outcomes
- Tell the story – hearts & minds
- Strong and aligned executive sponsorship
- Review governance
- Plan to recover
- Embed the change
- Focus and prioritise. Stop stuff!
- Small steps, not giant leaps - Fail fast
- With restructures – get in the detail
- Baseline early and measure often
- Focus on people
- Ask ‘Why’ 5 times
- Empower people
- Flip mindsets from loss, to creation and gain
- Align goals, interests and values
- Slow down to speed up
- Invest enough in projects
- Measure results over the long term
- Account for transition impacts when measuring benefits
- Communicate with authenticity and transparency
- Where there is uncertainty, provide the information available, such as timelines.
- Consider when to have difficult conversations individually or in group
The pitfalls to avoid:
- Complex models and packs
- Cost driving activity
- Structure before strategy
- Lack of focus
- Forgetting about emotions
- Competing interests
- Cumbersome processes
- Not telling your customers about your change
- Lack of authentic communication
- Commitment to sunk cost
- Excessive optimism
- Confirmation bias
- Group think
One of the favourite frameworks we shared was “The Four Doors of Change”. You can see the TedxPerth video here:
I enjoyed discussing this model with a number of you. It seems that it resonates because it really helped illustrate the idea that sometimes change comes with loss. When you break it down and understand the loss that people experience, you can better empathise and manage expectations. Positively, the model also helps us to consider the gains (the things you get to do now that you couldn’t do before). Communicating the benefits is a great way to help people through the change. A helpful reminder as well today that the most empowering benefits of change are often those discovered by the teams involved. Communication should be a two way street.
If there was one central theme that came through today, it was that too often, real human emotion and agency are often neglected during large transformations. Starting with why, being clear on what is changing, and communicating with transparency and authenticity are the first steps to leading people through change effectively.
If you have any additional tips or pitfalls – please share in the comments.