Launching any initiative requires both external and internal launches. Perhaps the most difficult launches are those made internally. It would seem that these would be the simplest, right? Surely these people who are a part of your company will want to embrace the new initiatives and will immediately see the benefit. For every reason that the internal launch should be the easiest, the same reasons make it tougher.
Factor: They know you and should know that you only want the best for all.
Challenge: They also know your track record and have a tendency to put emphasis on things that either did not work as planned or were more difficult to accomplish than originally advertised. Initiatives that were a success, unless brought to top of mind, are often forgotten.
Factor: They work for the company which is the source of their livelihood. Wouldn’t they want something that has the potential for a positive impact?
Challenge: They usually do not want anything to disrupt what they are doing. Change is never seen as a convenience even if there is the promise of simpler, faster, more efficient and even financially rewarding. If the cost benefit is not obvious they can be your biggest roadblock by stalling.
Factor: It makes the company stronger, more progressive or more competitive.
Challenge: Company strength does not necessarily convert to personal strength, positional power or status. It is important to work on the ego factor here if you really want buy in.
Factor: Everything is in place and all lights are green. We have done all of the work, now we just need to make it happen.
Challenge: If they feel like it is being done to them rather than with them, there is a tendency to sit back and be a spectator rather than be actively involved. You cannot have a personal buy in if they have nothing to do with it.
Factor: You have great ideas and can spin those into initiatives that can make a difference.
Challenge: Being a thinker is far different than being a leader and innovator. If you readily come up with ways to create change but there is no engine, plan or buy-in to drive it, it will soon fade as another great idea.
It all boils down to several issues that are all related.
- Change: Unless people see change as making something better, especially as it relates to them, the status quo will always be more comfortable.
- Benefit: Global and personal benefits must be easy to see and be desirable. Without benefit, initiatives are often seen as mechanical.
- Status: Even though a person may say that status is not important, how your initiative reflects on the person, those they touch and your company will be important. Status drives desire to realize the benefit and suffer change. No one does something to be less than they have been before.
The old radio station still plays WII FM – What’s in it for me!