Did you know that…
“Studies show that 70% – 80% of change initiatives in organizations fail” -John Kotter
As an organizational psychologist, I can tell you that this alarming failure rate is often attributed to the human factor! Here are 3 classical myths that I frequently deal with in my practice.
Myth #1 – It is important to communicate the information in groups
Several organizations formulate a communications plan and focus on presenting the changes in information sessions to employees. The goal is to deliver the same message to all employees so they can hear it at the same time and in the same way, minimizing misinterpretations and rumors.
Warning!! This often has the opposite effect. Within a group, many people avoid speaking and asking questions. I often say “after every meeting, there’s a meeting … it’s the real meeting … the bosses are not invited and employees really say what they think! “
What to do? Alternate your modes of communication: large groups, small groups, and individual meetings.
Myth #2 – Focus on the benefits of change
It is clear that it is important to present the reasons that motivated our organization to implement the change as well as the benefits deriving from the change. We want this to be positive, right?
Warning!! Managing change is not about selling. If we talk too much about the positive without addressing the obstacles and potential difficulties, we give the impression of not understanding or care about the impacts and people will be suspicious.
What to do? Present a realistic portrait from the start. There are always pros and cons associated with a decision; if you are aware of these, then they must be pointed out. Solutions can be found by working collaboratively.
Myth #3 – We must organize meetings when we have NEW information to share
We all know that organizing follow-up meetings while implementing change is important. Often, we wait for new information to share before organizing a meeting so that the communication is relevant and value-added.
Warning!! The less we communicate in times of change, the less we manage the information. Every day, people are discussing the changes. If we do not plan for frequent dialogue, disinformation and rumors will take over.
What to do? Schedule periodic meetings and hold them regardless…whether there is something new to discuss or not. If we cancel a meeting because we are waiting for answers or because there is not much new to discuss … people will worry. It is better to have short frequent regular meetings and ask people to share where they are, their successes, obstacles, etc.
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