Yesterday saw a planning session with a client around a long-term project they are implementing, which will align their strategic plan with their vision and their people practices. It is an exciting piece of work to be involved in.
The meeting opened with a discussion around the fact that despite a number of meetings, there was still a lack of clarity from the senior management team on the end vision. A lot of work has been done by the team on the vision document and the associated strategy. But there was one word that was distracting and confusing the team. Just one word that had been interpreted in a particular way, and that had led to a whole series of assumptions around future organizational structures; and subsequent concerns around loss of control. The project was in danger of going off the rails before it had even started, as people were concerned about what it meant for them and their teams.
The meeting took an about turn as we talked about the end destination again.. About having a story that is easy to understand. We talked about some of the examples in Switch and how easy they are to understand and for people to sign up to.
As Jensen Huang says in his video, there’s no great mystery to sharing the vision: it’s about telling a story the good old-fashioned way. It is about having an elevator speech, which is simple, compelling and clear. And yet, having a vision that everyone understands and is committed to, is possibly the single more important step in the change management process.
So despite one-step forward, two steps back; yesterday was possibly the most exciting of all the project meetings to date with this client. They have really started to understand about how important the end destination is, and more importantly, really own the change management process for themselves. They want this project to succeed, and they understand how critical these steps are. They’re not just ticking off boxes, or going through the motions; they truly want people to “get it”. And they will. And it will be good.