Everyone knows that any organizational change must start from the top echelon of the organization to be successful. Whether you are trying to implement new methodologies, processes and/or tools, how can executives be sure the change will become part of the new DNA and get the results they desire? Here are three things they can do to make positive change happen.
Throughout our lives, we tend not to change unless we are convinced that the change is important. As kids, we’re told what’s important: looking both ways when crossing the street, not talking to strangers , be nice to your sister– that sort of thing. What’s not as important: keeping your room clean or hanging up your wet towel. We learn the difference because of how and when it’s communicated to us as well as by way of example.
It’s no different in the business world. Executive leadership must clearly communicate to everyone why a particular change is important and then reinforce it. But if executives’ actions do not match their words, then how will anyone know that this change is truly a priority?
Executive leadership needs to walk the walk and talk the talk. Everyone from the top down must actually partake and engage in the change. Otherwise, many in your organization will get mixed messages. If executive management does not consistently send the right messages regarding the change required and actively participate, then how will the organization understand the importance of the change? It makes perfect sense. If executive management is not adhering to the new tool, methodology or process, then why should anyone else?
Something as seemingly simple as the implementation of a new CRM system is a key example of change management that often fails. Many times, executive leadership will drive the idea of implementing the new system. However, they fail to get buy-in early on from those who will be directly affected by the change. Or, they do not use the system and/or continue to do things the same way while asking everyone else to make the change. This leaves everyone else asking, “If the executives aren’t using it, then why should I?”
Executives should get on board with change early on, so they can be part of the solution, understand how they will communicate its importance, and commit to using and engaging in the new process, tool or approach. If they do that, then there is a much higher percentage chance for the change to take affect.
I’ve seen sales enablement changes successfully implemented in even the largest organizations where change, on such a big scale, can be difficult. But because changes were embraced from the top down early on, they succeeded. And it all started with the messaging of the importance of the change to the organization. When executive leadership feels that a change is truly important, and everyone understands this, then everyone will follow.