All strategy is change and when it comes to change people desire knowledge, context, information about how they will be impacted, what’s in it for them, how will their co-workers be affected and a thousand other topics. We also live in an age where we’re conditioned to having instant access to information about the world we live in 24 hours a day. Translate that into the workplace and your employees, customers and other stakeholders want to know all about your latest strategic initiative, how it impacts them and they want to know right now.
This desire for information and context applies to any transformation an organization may be going through whether it’s technology enablement, post-merger integration, policy driven changes or the execution of any strategy which involves a substantial degree of change. There are consequences for not engaging stakeholders too. Studies widely report, and we see in our own experiences, that a lack of knowledge promotes anxiety and fear of the unknown. If you don’t effectively engage stakeholders it can lead to resistance to change, a reduction in performance or ultimately employees leaving your organization.
There are some fundamentals that seldom change when it comes to engaging people; you have to communicate frequently, you have to be consistent and you have to be honest. In addition to those fundamentals it’s critical to understand the nuances and differences between different groups of people so that you can convey messages in a way that they will be heard. We understand that you have complex and at times difficult messages to convey; we also know that you need to bring your people with you on your transformation journey.