I was pleased to be sent a recent report in which the team received some fabulous feedback about a brand champions workshop designed and delivered for a new client. Having been around the block a few times however, (so to speak), we unfortunately had to temper the excitement about the event by looking to the future and the fact that a change programme never survives or thrives on the back of the catalysing event, no matter how inspiring it may be.
Any serious attempt to improve an internal culture needs to be accompanied by serious initiatives covering each of the following phases:
1 Evaluating and defining
2.Communicating and engaging
3. Educating and learning
4. Sustaining and motivating
And when you arrive at phase 4, yes, you’ve guessed it, you start at 1 again.
Unfortunately, too many change programmes are dogged by a short-termist notion of performance and mistaking action for progress or SOS (sending out stuff) versus engagement-led communication. Hence the obsession with “giving good conference” or “giving good copy”.
Lasting change is largely the product of behaviour change. Based on the principle that it’s far better to do a few things well and succeed in some way rather than attempting too much and failing completely, why not try the following:
1. When measuring, why not ask your colleagues/customers whether they would recommend your organisation to their friends (advocacy) and then dig into the detail?
2. When communicating, try using the term colleagues rather than staff, or employee; talent rather than resources; mentors rather than managers and see the difference it makes.
3. When attempting to educate, upskill or train, treble the amount of interactive, hands-on and delegate-led sessions at the expense of facilitator speeches and see what happens.
4. Ensure that the project or programme team as well as the senior leaders first and foremost role-model the values or standards they are seeking to transform by ensuring they receive regular feedback from their internal stakeholders.
The internal change agent’s lot is seldom a happy and almost always a thankless one.
But be brave, keep the faith, keep it simple and best of luck!