Author: Anita van Burken
Have you seen the TV show Tiny House Nation? I really like it. Drawn to the prospect of financial freedom, a simpler lifestyle, and limiting one’s environmental footprint, more buyers are opting to downsize — in some cases, to spaces no larger than 300 square feet — and this series celebrates the “tiny house” movement.
The host and the carpenter make a great team. Zack is the creative and ingenious builder, working on the new organizational design, structure and processes. Host and presenter John is the people manager who needs to create awareness, “tiny living” readiness and to get buy-in to this tiny living concept.
Of course there is someone showing a lot of resistance to this revolutionary way of living. This is the moment where John comes in with his customized change communication tools! He facilitates limited space exercises with families, lets spouses co-build, does clothing reduction exercises with couples, organizes funny quizzes and has cute and confrontational chats over too many dolls and I-never-want-to-part-from-my-101-pair-of-shoes. Of course at the end of the show, even the 15 year old is 100% on board, totally committed to his new tiny house. A check-in after 1 month (read: employee repeat-survey) shows the whole family living happily ever after.
At our very well-attended NYC-SHRM event on March 3, our 3 fabulous panelists, Diane Oettinger-Myracle, Craig Haas and Sarah Clayton, discussed 3 totally different cases from 3 different perspectives. And yet, all addressed ‘Change Communications’ and their specific choice of tools.
I think you get my point: no matter what organization and the case for change, communicating change is all about engaging stakeholders – from employees, managers and clients to volunteers – to overcome resistance and realize transformation. Using metrics is like hitting the nail on the head by showing undeniable data. Social media turns into a powerful support mechanism, keeping your organization in different locations tight and aligned. Story telling is like that perfect inspirational quote on the wall, reflecting your family values.
And so, OD and Change Management practitioners, start building your House of Commitment by choosing a mix of change communication tools that match your organizational culture, size etc. But please don’t get too comfortable by grabbing that good ol’ hammer that was still your grandpa’s. Also try out that new tool that’s just on the market and trust the users. All stakeholders might be pleasantly surprised!
Anita van Burken, Co-Chair, OD & Change SIG, NYC-SHRM
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