Change stories in enterprises need to be consistent, rational and “shared”, so that everyone understands them. Executives and employees are often at different stages in the transformation process, since the vision of a change already exists much longer with the leaders when compared with the rest of the staff.
One goal must be to set a general direction, rather than a destination. Destinations invariably change. Unless everyone aligns with the change story, success is difficult. Most people respond best when they can acknowledge the present and the future state.
A big issue is often the advent of fear and anxiety, since that can deflate morale and kill productivity. Staff needs to feel in control of their own destinies and needs to determine what kinds of behavior changes they will have to make. This is necessary to create process changes and a well-managed transformation. To achieve this, employees need to be heard and must know the program’s communication cadence, and who they can go to for clarity. A master of the change plan, which is available to all staff, prevents conflicts in narratives.
Prioritization, with tangible outcomes, helps create a clear vision as well as helps manage the pace of change. Additionally, it is important to understand that new behavior and core skills take time to establish. Embracing change and uncertainty is not in our nature – yet, that is what is required of all of us. Change elasticity must be built as a core skill. Providing training opportunities to help employees shift to the needs of the transformed organization, should be a main focus.