Communicate What You Know When You Know It
Leading people and organizations requires more and clearer communication than one would normally deem necessary when implementing change. Sure, your core team is in the know and on board, but what about everyone else? Employees? Stakeholders? Clients? Customers?
The more substantial the change, the more time it takes to communicate and bring people on board. The larger the organization, the more time and effort it takes to communicate. That is why it is critical to communicate early and often.
Are there changes coming for your organization?
Tell people what you know when you know it.
If there are aspects you can share now…then DO IT!
- Give it time to sink in.
- Let people ruminate on it a bit well before it actually affects them.
- You don’t have to know all the answers upfront, just the big picture and maybe the first step of the process.
- You can add details later.
Staff can be fairly easy, though even that takes intentionality and the same principles apply. Sure, you can demand compliance because you pay their salaries, but change can be implemented more effectively if you act as if they are volunteers and take the time and effort to bring them on board with the change accordingly.
But for community oriented organizations (churches, non-profits, etc.) that rely heavily on volunteers this is especially true. The more non-employee stakeholders you have, the more time and effort it takes to communicate and bring people on board.
It is also true for businesses with a recurring customer base. You don’t want to alienate your best customers when implementing change. So find ways to talk early and often about upcoming changes. Get as many on board as early as possible so the change goes more smoothly.
How about you? When have you seen this principle in play? When have you seen this principle violated?