Communicating organizational change is not top-down, bottom-up, or middle-out.
It's all of it.
Change is adopted when it is reinforced from every angle.
You need senior leadership endorsement, and you need employees championing the change in team meetings and casual conversations.
If senior leaders endorse change without champions, employees may capitulate, but it will never be a part of the organization's DNA.
If champions lead the charge without the backing of senior leaders, great ideas will be overshadowed by new, shiny initiatives.
Senior leaders relying on champions to bring about change need to recognize the power of their voices.
- Publicly share your approval
- Tell stories of success
- Celebrate employees who embrace the change
Champions who think their job is to just get senior leaders on board need to recognize the power of their voices. When your peers resist the change, you cannot rely on, "the CEO said so."
- Paint the picture of a brighter future
- Share how the change positively impacts your work
- Challenge your colleagues to get on board
Recently, I had the privilege of working with a team embracing these truths and pulling critical change through their organization.
As I observed them, I was reminded:
- Coming up with ideas for change is easy. Any employee can do this.
- Pulling change through an organization is difficult work. Employees who do this are priceless.