September 13th, 2023 | From our CEO
The formula in the headline determines success of organizational change.
Let me explain how from the perspective of an employee.
Let’s call her Jane.
Jane has been with the organization for about 4 years and has heard rumors about an upcoming organizational change in the grapevine.
To know more Jane first talks with her most trusted peers in her own little clique. These are her people, she finds sympathetic, competent, and trustworthy. Many of them she has gotten to know through projects or sheer coincidence over the years.
She asks questions like: “Have you heard about this?”, “How do you feel about it?”.
As she asks those questions sensemaking starts, and Jane decides, how she wants to support or maybe even resist the change.
As times go by Jane talks about the change with more and more sympathetic, competent, and trustworthy people from other groups, cliques, and tribes, she is affiliated with in her daily work. E.g., the specialist community she is part of.
“What impact will this have on you?”, “Where will this put us in the future?”, “Will we still be able to see each other?”. Jane is now really making up her mind. The ripple effects of the other people’s opinions start to have an effect.
Finally, Jane receives an invitation to a virtual town hall meeting, where the top executive will present the upcoming organizational change. The invitation includes the Why & What, but nothing really about the how. Jane fills in the blanks herself.
A week later Jane joins the virtual town hall meeting led by corporate comms and hosted by the CEO.
They will run through 20 slides that explain the financial and strategic reasoning behind the organizational change, but barely touches on the people side. Jane has never seen the CEO in real life, but thinks he behaves kind of awkward. He never smiles and he speaks in terms that Jane does not understand.
Her opinion about the change is already made up before he starts to talk.
After the town hall meeting, Jane immediately connects to her most trusted peer in her own little clique. “Does this make sense to you?”.
And this is the breaking point, where the success of the change is decided. If the trusted peer says ‘YES!’, then Jane will follow. If the trusted peer says ‘NO!’ or hesitates, then the change is doomed.
No change ever succeeds, unless it makes sense to the people, when they talk to their trusted peers.
In Innovisor, we identify those trusted peers in the local groups, cliques, and tribes (aka the 3% that impact the 90%), so you can engage them and turn them into insiders before people like Jane talk with them about what is going on and determines her support.