Only Fools Rush In

Imagine proposing at the first introduction.

At the Magiq Conference dinner on Monday night, I had attendees do exactly that, by proposing marriage to the person next to them. Unsurprisingly, it was a bit of a leap, even for those who already knew each other!

Engaging people in change is a bit the same.

We can't go straight to total commitment and participation without earning our way along - courting, if you like.

In a time pressured environment, it's easy to rush the part of the change process where you achieve buy in. It’s the bit that gets left off, or condensed, or maybe tacked on at the last minute.

"Wise men say only fools rush in.” – Elvis Presley

I'm the first one to tell you that action matters. But skipping through the parts of the process that get people on your side when you roll out new strategy, programmes, projects is not the ticket - process matters.

Like dating, there’s a process to earn your way through.

First, you need to attract your target's interest, by being appealing and grabbing their attention.

Next, you need to prove the benefits of getting involved – kicking off the honeymoon period. With change, this stage is about understanding key problems and suggesting how you might be able to help.

This zone is absolutely critical for those of us rolling out business-wide change, like new enterprise software.  Deploying a solution before we engage users and deeply understand their needs is one of the leading causes of implementation failure - with two thirds of large-scale digital change ending up a big flop.

Once you have some commitment, your job is to deliver and hold up the promised bargain. You’ve sucked them in, you’re in an exclusive relationship, the honeymoon period is over – it's time to walk the talk. Establish a strong foundation by staying the course and ironing out issues early. 

If you play your cards right, with genuine, deliberate communication at each step - who knows, maybe you'll have real engagement on your hands...

Are you trying to rush in?

Til next week


PS - If you want to learn more about engaging teams in change, you should pop along to my webinar on this at 3pm today!

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