5 Reasons Your Change Communication Plan Sucks

Photo by filedump via Flickr

1) You're Perceived As Out-Of-Touch.

Most people aren't executives, yet executives are the one doing the change communication. That's why, other than the CEO, mostly non-executives should be doing the explaining. The change team should be working privately to coordinate what gets said and how.

2) You Tolerate Infighting & Turf Wars Among The Executive Team

The older you get, the higher on the career ladder, the more mature, right? Wrong! No way! Completely no way! It is really eye-opening how people earning in the six figures and more tend to act like six-year-olds fighting over the last scoop of ice cream. What's funny, and sad, is that they think other people don't see it. Believe me, they see it. And when executives are not unified, the message is not unified, and the staff ignores all of it.

3) You Ask For Opinions When It's Too Late To Change Anything, Or You Don't Really Care What People Think In The First Place

Once you're about to deploy a change effort, you don't really want anyone's opinion, right? Because you're not going to change anything. So don't ask. 

I remember once passing by an office where an executive was crafting an e-mail to employees. The email ended, "If you have any questions or want to share feedback, contact X." The executive was laughing out loud about what would happen to those responsive emails - nothing. 

4) You Can't Tolerate Passionate Critics

Guess what people? It's 2014...not everyone agrees with you! And they may work for you, or not work for you. Those people are often influencers. Sometimes they have a certain bias against you from the very start, but that doesn't have to get in the way. A great article on this is "How to Get an MBA from Eminem," by James Altucher (hat tip to the staff member who shared it with me).

5) You Don't Listen To The Experts

Aren't you paying people to help you with change, organizational development, human capital, and internal communications? You're paying them a lot of money, right? So why do you hire them, and then overrule everything they say? Believe it or not - they actually went to school to learn this stuff. And there are volumes of books, articles, and case studies that apply to your situation. Trust your staff.

Change is a natural part of life, nobody likes change, and we all have to learn to flow with it. But getting out of your own way is the first step to getting it right. 

* All opinions my own.