Change, Change, Change

Chain of Fools was a big hit for Aretha Franklin in the 60's. For years I thought the first line of that song was change, change, change instead of chain, chain, chain. I know, it makes no sense within the context of the lyrics but that's just what I heard. Our family had a similar discussion one night around the dinner table each of us laughing hilariously at what we thought a song was saying only to be corrected by another. Have you had the same experience where you swore you heard one thing only to discover it was something entirely different?

What happens when this miscommunication occurs during times of organizational change? John Kotter, a leading expert on leadership and change, lists communication as a key component of his famous 8-step model for leading change.

Kotter states that executives should use every communication channel possible to broadcast the vision on an hourly basis in order to increase the chances of successful organizational change. Kotter further suggests that the vision should be communicated in a manner that is 1) simple, 2) vivid, 3) repeatable, and 4) invitational.

So, how are you doing with your vision broadcast and how will you know if your associates are hearing "change, change, change" when you're singing "chain, chain, chain"? You ask? 

Walk around the office, take key team members to lunch, conduct focus groups or surveys, and give your employees a voice. You may be surprised what you'll learn.