Know Thy Audience
Change agents and their ideas are the life force of organizations. Homa Bahrami and Carnegie Mellon’s Dr. Stuart Evans tell us that super flexible organizations are the most successful. These organizations have strong “circulatory systems” that foster idea flow, and they execute more dynamically. “Targeted experiments, openness to new data, fact based assessment, and swift revisions” enable them to succeed while organizations that resist, ignore or are slower to respond to new ideas and conditions fail.
Understand why and when someonewouldchange to better communicate why theyshouldchange.
Use these 5 questions to prepare and communicate your vision for change:
1. How does your audience react to change?
What excites change agents and visionaries rarely motivates conservatives and skeptics. Knowing what motivates your audience helps you make your message relevant to them.
Geoffrey Moore and Roger Everett brilliantly characterized the”adoption curve”to illustrate different responses to new ideas and the pace of their adoption. As aninnovator, you are the exception rather than the norm.
2. What’s their professional focus?
The concerns of senior executives and front line practitioners are rarely the same, so map the scope and level of detail to your audience’s professional focus. Executives tend to watch metrics and focus on performance outcomes and results. Directors typically focus on process and are concerned with its reliability and predictability, while managers look at actions and focus on execution and priorities. Practitioners look at the details of their job and care about the steps and quality of the work. Talking to executives about detailed actions and sub steps isn’t persuasive, and neither is talking to practitioners about metrics without the detail that applies to them.
3. Are they a captive audience?
If the audience reports to you, they’re watching what youdoto decide how they feel about what yousay. Make sure you’re modeling and demonstrating the behavior you’re asking for from them. Because they won’t all adopt at the same pace as you, persistence and consistency over time are required an innovator mistake is to give up before slower adopters ever had time to change. Sometimes four separate conversations with stakeholders can save four weeks of resistance from poorly crafted general communications.
The companion infographic below and handy table here can help you frame your audience and talking points to your audience’s perspective:
5. How will you operationalize and achieve your vision or goals?
Ideas are easy, but execution is hard. Even when you convince people to change, driving the actions needed to realize the full vision requires sustained communications, coordination, management discipline, results focus and follow through. The credibility of your future ideas and strategies rests heavily on how past ideas panned out in execution, so make sure you havean execution frameworkthat is as hermes replica belt with box
well thought as your idea. Apps likeWorkBoard help leaders keep goals, priorities, people and actions alignedon outcomes across locations and divisions.