As the new year approaches (3 days, friends!), I find myself reflecting on 2017 and making plans for change in 2018, both in my personal life and in my contributions to our Rogue team and our hubley SharePoint intranet platform. This brings me to the idea of New Year’s resolutions.
It’s well known that barely anyone keeps them. So why do we make them? I’m kind of a dork so looked into it. Apparently this tradition started about 4000 years ago with the ancient Babylonians. Can we all agree that 4000 years of a habit is hard to break? So we continue to make New Year’s resolutions and continue to break them. The human condition is a hoot!
A way to think about resolutions is to think about change in general. Change is hard, as we have said in the context of SharePoint. It takes a lot of effort to make it stick. My colleague Pinaki Kathiari at Local Wisdom posted an interesting McKinsey and Company article on LinkedIn recently that mentioned “change fatigue” as a point of failure for digital transformation. Take a minute to read number 8 on that list in the link. And here’s more on the concept of change fatigue if you want to geek out with me at the Wikipedia level.
So what do corporate leaders do to introduce changes and make them meaningful and sustainable–unlike most of our New Year’s resolutions? Here are a few ideas:
- Make sure everyone is on the same page. The rumor mill is a horrible way to find out there is change brewing in an organization. Cut that junk out right now. Make a proper announcement and then re-announce it until you are sure everyone know what to expect and when. We would of course recommend using your intranet for all corporate communication.
- Stop all the talking without the doing. If you announce a change, make it. This means you have to plan for it, implement it, and ensure that everyone knows how the change affects their job. Don’t forget that your teams will need the tools and techniques that go with the change–and maybe training. You can’t announce that there’s a new time collection system without allocating proper access and ensuring that everyone knows how to enter their time, for example.
- Get feedback on the change from the teams affected, show that you are listening, make adjustments, communicate them, measure them (positive or negative impact), and sally forth in this manner, in the spirit of continuous improvement.
Those three steps are biggies. Do you have any other tricks for making change stick?
Thanks for reading!
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