Spend more time introducing change than implementing change.

Posted on March 3, 2016

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Everybody loves and hates change. Instinctively, people know that change is good. Change means growth, development, innovation, and adventure. Change means improvement, and challenge. Emotionally, however, change is threatening. Change also means the loss of familiarity and the uncertainty of what is to come. Change can be subtly insulting to the way we’ve done things before.

Therefore, to be effective at deploying change in your organization, you must spend more time introducing the change than implementing the change. Introduction helps people understand. Introduction connects the organization to the reasons and purposes–the “why”–behind the change. Introduction acknowledges and honors the history of people’s work, a necessary liturgy to bring closure to the past. Introduction also allows buy-in. Introduction permits organizational collaboration, and mitigates all of the negatives and positives of the change.

Failure to introduce the change well means that leaders will fight against their people to make the change happen. Introducing a change effectively results in leaders who fight with their people to make sure the change happens well.