tagged with: change management
We all know how hard change can be. Whether we like to admit it or not, every one of us performs at least some parts of our jobs on auto-pilot; it's more efficient for our brains to operate that way. That makes it hard to do things differently.
When leaders introduce a significant change without a lot of communication around what will be different, why it's happening (including connecting it to something that matters to each member of the team), and how the change will unfold, they shoot themselves in the foot. They inevitably encounter a lot of friction if not downright resistance to the change. In the best case, this slows things down. In the worst, this has led to multi-million dollar failures.
Influence: the act or power of producing an effect without apparent exertion of force or direct exercise of command. For most CIOs and their teams, this is the only way to get things done.
Here's an excerpt from my Persuasive Communication and Influence workshop.
Ever try to get someone to change the way they do something that they've been doing the same way for years? Ever try to break one of your own habits? It's not easy. Not because people are intentionally contrary or obstinate, but because big parts of our brains operate on autopilot, in deep grooves of habit, and establishing new pathways is hard.
This can be a serious problem for individuals or managers who find themselves in the midst of major change efforts.
About five years, ago, when I was still editor in chief at CIO, we began a major transformation from a print-centric media company to online. During that time, every day brought new challenges, frustrations, discoveries, joy and despair. I think many of us thought we'd power our way through all that turmoil and, eventually, things would get back to "normal." After a couple of years, it began to dawn on us that if there was ever to be a new normal, it was well over the horizon, and in fact, we'd better learn to live in a state of change.
Steve Bandrowczak, former CIO at DHL, Lenovo and, most recently, Nortel, knows what IT leaders can learn from sales and vice versa because he has recently made the transition into a sales leadership role himself. As vice president of global sales at Avaya after that company's acquisition of Nortel, Steve leads sales, marketing, channel strategy, services and service strategy for Avaya's data business. I spoke with him recently. This is the third in a series.
Storytelling is a powerful tool when you want to drive organizational change, sell an idea, or just make a point.
There's nothing new about storytelling. As a species, it's in our DNA. Long before we had books and newspapers, telephones and telegraphs, the Internet and Kindles, our ancestor's sat around the fire and told stories. More than storytellers, we're story consumers. Even people who think they're no good at telling stories generally love to hear them. We just respond better to information when it's delivered with a memorable anecdote or example (i.e., story).