So, you’re ready to introduce a change to your marketing team. What next?
To ensure that your program is successfully adopted, you must gain the understanding and support of each and every person in your organization. Think of team buy-in as the foundation for your entire project. You will use their support, insights, and ideas to drive the project to completion.
- Identify Stakeholders
The first step to starting a successful change management program is to identify every person and group of people who will be affected by the proposed change. This can include front-line employees, managers, customers, and executives. To complete this task, make sure you look in every direction of your organization chart.
Pay special attention to individuals who may be in a position to block or impede the advancement of your project. Also consider which executives may be passionate about your project and help move it forward.
- Deep Dive into Stakeholders
Consider each stakeholder groups’ motivations, concerns, and potential objections to your proposed plan. Remember to think about individuals and groups in this phase. Each person on a given team will have a unique perspective on the change in question. Achieve a deep level of understanding by scheduling one-on-one meetings with as many stakeholders as possible.
Now that you have gathered as much information you can on the people who will be affected, sort stakeholder groups into overarching categories. Some good sorting factors include their willingness or motivation to implement the change, proximity to the change, and role in putting the plan into action. Also, determine which groups will be most affected by your change — these are your key stakeholders.
- Think Through Messaging for Each Group
Use these insights and take a page from the marketing playbook to think through WIIFM (What’s In It For Me) messaging for each group. Start with how the change will benefit each group and individual. It’s also important to frame the purpose and goals of the project on both an organizational and individual level in a way that they can relate to and understand.
Since every stakeholder group will have a unique point of view, you will have to develop different messaging for each stakeholder group. Executives are more focused on organization-wide impact while direct reports need to understand the details of the operation.
No matter who they are, ensure that individual stakeholders feel that their voices are heard.
- Spread the Word
Now that you know what you’re going to say, it’s time to spread the word. Start by scheduling meetings with key stakeholders to get buy-in on an individual level. Your key stakeholders are the groups most affected by the change and also those that need to give the “ok” for it to move forward.
Design and execute a project kickoff for everyone else. For smaller projects, a kick off email will suffice. However, complex and comprehensive projects should be initiated with a presentation, meeting, or workshop.
The kickoff will allow stakeholders to ask questions and give feedback as a group. This will also create a sense of open community which improves team morale and outlook on the project ahead.
Need some help brainstorming ways to get stakeholder buy-in for your marketing project? Contact us today.
Join us next week to learn about the second step in the Change Management process: establishing a roadmap.