Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Harvard Business Review on Communicating Change

Last week I wrote about Trust and the 3PT Model, and how it is essential to communicate IT-driven change down the chain of command in order to get rank-and-file buy in on major new initiatives -- or risk employee revolt and potential project failure.

Today a colleague forwarded a blog post from Chris Musselwhite and Tammie Plouffe, writing for the Harvard Business Review, entitled Communicating Change as Business as Usual, that makes much the same case, though with broader application (and the credibility of the Harvard brand).

The penultimate paragraph is worth repeating here:

"Changing the way you communicate and position change has the potential to transform the way change is perceived and embraced across your organization. Why fight the uphill battle of trying to communicate, develop and inspire your people toward making a change, when you can communicate, develop and inspire people toward making the organization — and themselves — the best in the business?"

It's worth repeating that your ability to get people to recognize change as an opportunity, rather than a threat, may be the most important thing you can do in managing a project. The unknown can be a frightening thing, but I believe optimism is contagious and that people are inclined to be inspired by leader who conveys positive confidence.

Spreading the contagion of optimism, however, requires effective communication.

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