As the old saying goes, we all want; something to believe in, someone to believe in, and someone to believe in us! So whether it’s a culture change, re-structure, or implementation of new systems, true success is only achieved once the critical mass have left the past behind and believe in the new way forward. One of the best ways to get people to have faith and belief in the vision for the future is to shift the communication from a telling to selling approach.
A telling approach to change is usually applied when time is of the essence, we are in a reactive state and there is a perceived need to get people on-board quickly. Communication is rolled out from the top down with a lack of clarity and purpose usually tainting the message as it cascades down and sideways throughout the organisation. When people don’t understand the reasons behind change they make their own assumptions and before you know it what was intended as a positive solution for your people soon becomes the arch enemy and a perceived threat!
There is a much better way to support change and get buy in and it involves one of my favourite topics – marketing! Next time your organisation embarks on a change or transformation project consider the impact of designing an internal marketing campaign to support that change. It’s time to think beyond change and think more about how to start a movement.
Here are some great examples of organisations that have led effective change by using creative and consistent internal marketing campaigns:
- TNT Australia transformed their culture and drastically improved their bottom line through an initiative called The Road to Orange.
- City of Mandurah successfully enhanced their organisational culture and performance with a cultural improvement program called Blueprint
- MYOB made an impact on their culture and achieved measurable improvements through a campaign called Deep Purple
If you take the time to read each of their stories you will find common success factors:
- They used clever and consistent themes and language to get the message across
- The big picture was broken down into stages
- Communication was regular, consistent and well managed at every level
- The project was led by multiple advocates and champions from various business areas
- Feedback and input was encouraged, acknowledged, and acted upon where relevant
- Leadership across the organisation was united
If your organisation is on the cusp of change or simply needs to take things to a new level there is no need to go reinventing the wheel. Take the time to study a few organisations who have been down that path and achieved similar results you desire, then have some fun with tailoring your message and approach to suit your people. Leading change is good but creating a movement is even better!