Communicate to Drive Change
As your business makes changes in strategy, systems or processes, it pays to put yourself in the position of the people affected and arm yourself with answers to likely questions.
March 12, 2012
I just had the privilege of spending two days with some of the brightest minds in accounting technology and several of the largest vendors in tax and accounting. We discussed major market trends in accounting technology, including:
No matter which of these trends is affecting you and your organization today, the one constant that affects all CPAs is that things are and will keep changing. Moreover, in the area of technology, the rate of change is happening at a greater pace than ever before.
As leaders, it is our job to help others understand change, accept it and adapt to it. Whether it is a merger, the startup of a new service line or industry initiative, the naming of a new CEO, the loss of a key staff person, the implementation of a new practice management solution or any other type of change, the faster we can facilitate the change acceptance process, the more nimble and competitive we’ll be. Everett Rogers was a pioneer in the study of change adoption, and he maintained that people will change more quickly when they can:
Most leadership teams spend a lot of time deliberating about and defining the change they want, but spend almost no time planning their communications to support change adoption. They are then disappointed by what feels like a lack of buy-in or adoption.
To lead people in your firm or group to adopt change, carefully plan your change communications and communicate your message around the change often and in different mediums so people hear a consistent message repeated. When communicating the change, make sure that your communications answer the questions on the minds of most stakeholders:
As your firm executes changes in strategy, programs, systems or processes, put yourself in the position of the people affected and prepare real answers for these change-adoption questions. When you do, you’ll be surprised by how much more smoothly and quickly change adoption occurs, providing your firm a distinct competitive advantage now and in the future.
Jennifer Wilson is a partner and co-founder of ConvergenceCoaching, LLC, a leadership and marketing consulting and coaching firm that helps leaders achieve success. Learn more about the company and it services on their website.