You won’t be able to fool all of the people all of the time.
In my experience it’s quite common to sell change initiatives to top-management by promising unrealistic benefits.
Have you ever heard a management team say, “If we implement the following technology, we’ll get the following incredible benefits,” only to find that after months or years of hard work the implementation fails to produce anything close to those benefits?
This is a perfect example of broken trust. The promise of unrealistic expectations was made and ultimately broken. Even worse, bad news travels quickly. If you break trust with one group, you have to believe that many others will hear about it. It is no wonder we so often find people who have little faith in their organization’s ability to change.
If you make a habit of setting unrealistic expectations, you will often be disappointed. But even more important, you will build a culture of mistrust.
I urge you to build and retain that trust by setting clear, realistic expectations for an initiative and to take actions to achieve those expectations. Furthermore it is important to communicate the progress of the change initiative frequently and visibly confirm that you have met or fallen below expectations.
Before beginning any initiative, think through the realistic expectations that you are going to set with different stakeholders. The expectations should be adequate to address the vision and associated urgency. Communicate them broadly, with a Communication Plan and marketing campaign, so that expectations are not at the mercy of the grapevine. Then, when the initiative is underway, communicate how it is going and why.
Remember “The easiest way to regain broken trust is never to lose it in the first place.”
Now after you have overcome the uptake problem of your change initiative through creating a sense of urgency and by communicating realistic expectations you need an adequate implementation process. In my next blog I’m going to present time-proven steps to implement Critical Chain Project Management. Part 3 will be online available from Dec. 3rd on.