Delivering successful change through your communities
In every organisation there are communities, some formal such as specific change management or DEI communities, some informal such as a dog owners’ group who chat on an internal social channel.
The power of these groups is the connections and ‘contract’ they have in terms of how they operate and communicate. These contracts could be a formal terms of reference or simple guidelines on what the group is there to do. All of these communities can play an important part in delivering change.
We recognise the importance of strong leadership when managing change. A great leadership team will ensure that change is sustained and delivers clear, positive and measurable business outcomes while maintaining employee engagement. Yet, while hierarchal models have many benefits, in our experience to engage people and embed change it’s important to harness the power of existing communities rather than simply using a top-down approach.
Utilising internal communities can provide a powerful opportunity to talk about the change with more people across the organisation. If there are greater links for people to be involved in the change this provides a greater density to share information and bring employees on the journey. After all, we know that simply delivering a message doesn’t mean people read it, understand it or engage with it.
Our client took their proposition to a wide variety of communities such as their future ways of working group, their future senior leaders’ group and many others. By sharing their objectives and plans with these communities, they were able to utilise existing connections, obtain feedback and enable their message to be shared across many people without the need for formal top-down communication. In addition, the central team were able to speed up the communication and engagement process.
Here's our three-step approach to working with existing communities to support your change programme.
1) Do your research.
Who are the groups in your organisation that could help? Find them through specific channels such as Workplace or Yammer or by talking to your change and HR colleagues. And remember to think creatively. For example, if you’re launching a wellbeing programme find groups such as the aforementioned dog owners or walking groups on your social channels – both are wellbeing activities.
2) Be prepared to meet your chosen community.
You’re asking them for their time to get involved so be clear on what the ask is from them. Not only should you share the scope, objectives and action plans for your change programme but also what the benefits and/or impact is on the community you’re talking to. Don’t forget that age old question – what’s in it for me?
3) Listen to their objectives and create an aligned plan.
Remember, this is a two-way process. Make sure you spend the time to understand the detail of their own ‘contract’ and the objectives of their group. How can you work together to achieve common goals? You’ll get more from the community if you can help them too.
If you need support in delivering business change and understanding who your wider change champions could be please contact us.
At Marlowe we partner with you and your organisation to deliver large scale, complex transformation and change. We deliver business change solutions, change capability, assurance, training, leadership effectiveness and cultural change.
Our focus is on your people to ensure your change is delivered practically, successfully and sustainably.
Please contact us if you would like to know more about delivering exceptional business change.