The first step in getting noticed is often overlooked by professionals who should know better.
That step is to follow a successful pattern that has worked for countless others in the past:
A – I – C – D – E/C
These letters stand for:
Can I get your undivided attention?
Do I have your undivided attention?
Once I do, are you interested at all in what I have to say?
Your attention fuels my passion to contribute in a meaningful way.
Your attention energizes my sense of impact and ownership.
The expression of my passions and ownership engages me in real ways.
Many have modified this pattern over the years. Some have flipped steps three and four while others have changed the wording slightly. For our purposes of discussing the facilitation of cultural change, I will also change the wording slightly of the final step five from “Close” to “Engagement and Commitment”
In cultural change efforts, the momentum of the legacy (incumbent) culture can be very difficult to overcome. The organizational physics of change dictates that resistance must be overcome by facilitating current flow over channels (media) that can accommodate the increased voltage.
In short, the litany of resistance includes:
· “That’s not my job.”
· “We don’t do things that way around here.”
· “We tried that before and it didn’t work then and it won’t work now.”
· “Nobody seems to care, so why should I?”
· “Nobody really knows what I do here. They just keep piling on more.”
· “We get mixed messages and are forced to take action and hope we are right.”
If you want to obtain buy-in for change efforts, you will need to get the attention of the rank and file workforce. Who carries that message? Usually, it’s the Managers who do. They need to become the new medium or channel by which the new energy flows. How will you genuinely get their attention?
The answer is by applying integrity to leadership and not corporate glad-handing.
You pay the price of admission by:
acknowledging what is,
making the changes that are actionable, and
communicating the rationale for those that are not.
If you want to obtain buy-in for change efforts, you will need to get the attention of the leadership. Are you able to get their attention? Are they so busy with the crisis of the day that you cannot be heard? Very often the answers to many dilemmas that seem to have no end in sight rests with paying attention to and diving deeper into the Management ranks. The answers are there. Are you being heard? If not, why not?