Stefan Drew - The Marketing Magician

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Stefan Drew - The Marketing Magician
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Change Management Part Six: Talking their Language

Change Management is often a part of the marketing processOne sure way to ensure Change Management fails is not to talk their language.  Talk their language and Change Management Success is much more certain.

 

I often see change management fail because those having to change never really understood what it was all about.  They failed to engage with the change sponsor because they didn't speak the same language.  I don't mean literally one spoke English and the other Mandarin.  I mean they didn't share the same ethos, concerns or jargon.
Admittedly these three are totally different but all can lead to failure.
Ethos is an easy one.  The senior team might well believe customer service is all important and decide to focus on it.  But if the idea and rationale for it aren't adequately shared failure is certain.  For ethos to be a shared language it has to be seen to be lived by the senior team.  For example if they say we should all make savings they shouldn't then buy a company jet!
Another example of shared language is where finance talks about savings and cost efficiencies.  Cost efficiencies is part of their language and if you explain your project in terms of the efficiencies to be made they will embrace it and share your change management purpose.  
Sometimes you also need to speak the same technical language.  Jargon is a curse if you don't understand it but it was developed as a form of linguistic shorthand and has its place.  Try talking to techies using plain English and they will lapse into techie speak and you will be at crossed purposes.  So learn a few key phrase and use them in the right place and common understanding will prevail and success is much more certain.

Change Management Part Four: Use League Tables to Reward Success

Change management can use league tables to reward or name and shame. Sometimes the carrot and stick approach can both be sued at different stages of the change management process.  

 

To be able to set up league tables you first have to have KPIs and outcomes that can be measured.  They you need to measure them and report back on the success or failure of individual sections or people.


You might start by recognising success and handing out "carrots" that reward success.  People hate to be at the bottom of a league table so often respond by trying harder.  Of course this isn't going to happen when people oppose the need for change and more severe remedies are called for.

 

This more start with simple name and shame but a more sever but proportionate response may be required where this fails.  HR advice is well advised at this stage.   It is as well to ensure that the powers that be support any action you might take at this stage .. hopefully you are working very closely with them and have their full support.

 

 


Change Management Part Three: The Political Dimension

Politics isn’t something just for elected representatives in parliament. Politics is played by throughout business and isn’t something you need to be aware of when using change management in marketing ior elsewhere in business. 

 

So what do I mean by politics if not party politics?  

 

Well it is all about who forms groups, tribes, parties or whatever in an organisation and who the real influencers and decision makers really are.  A good starting point is the organisational chart, structure diagram or organogram.  This indicated who reports to managers and directors.  But of course the reality is that the power behind the throne might well be who plays golf together, who went to the same school or who sleeps with who!

 

Cross party groups can also be set up when two distinct areas have a common interest.  This might be in favour of change or against it.

 

So being politically aware is essential if you are to effect change.

 

Mixing with people outside the workplace or with previous employees that you trust will sometimes provide an insight into the politics.


Change Management Part Two: Motivating the Team


Change Management is often a part of the marketing processChange Management has been described a like pushing treacle up hill. It is relatively easy to get people to buy in to the change management outcomes they will benefit from; but actually getting them to take action is often much harder.

 

The key to change management success is to discover what motivates the individuals running the parts of the organisation where change is planned.

Discover how the changes you wish to make will help them? Discover what has always given them hassle and what they personally want from change.  Where possible build these in to the change or at least show how they are part of a process that will possibly lead to that end point (but don't make unrealistic promises).  If they can see how change is going to help them, say, meet their KPIs they are more likely to take the action needed to make it happen.

 

Helping them plan and monitor change is also bound to help their change management process.  Note; I've said "their change management process" because it will all happen far easier if they take ownership.


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