Change happens.  We either initiate it or are part of it.  We will cover keys to lesson the impact of change.  These keys are to communicate truthfully, early and often and to make as few unnecessary changes as possible.

Imagine a car making too sudden of a turn and flipping over.  This is how sudden change feels in an organization.  If the driver would have planned ahead, approached the curve at the right angle and speed, the car wouldn’t have tipped over.  And even with all that planning everybody in the car is still wearing their seatbelts-just in case.

Lesson:  Make change as gradually as you can.  Get everyone prepared as far ahead of time as you can.  And wear your seatbelt.

How do I do that at work John?  You do that by communicating change as far in advance of the event as you can.  When?  When you are getting your people involved in idea generation and brain storming and at the latest when you are picking which project you pitch to management.

How does that sound?

Well, folks we have generated some great ideas over the last month.  The change committee and I have looked at three of the ideas that you guys came up with.  It’s our firm judgement that project x has the best ROI and the greatest chance of being approved and funded.  Best case scenario, we could be working on this in only six months.   Who here would like to share some of the things this would mean?


Joe: Long hours

Sally: Overtime that I need

Wendy: Less resources for other projects.

Mike:  Negotiating with vendors.

John: What about positive outcomes when we successfully complete the project?

Mike: Less downtime.

Sally: Less corrupted data:

Fred: Better access to data we need.


Let’s go back to the car wreck scenario.  Maybe the car turned over because it was dodging another car.  There are very few one car accidents.  The next key is to eliminate as much unnecessary change as possible during important change.  Think about  all the scary changes going on in people’s lives now-housing bubble bursting, stock market gyrations, worry about their jobs.  Adding additional change and uncertainty is sometimes necessary-other change is not.

Big idea-What other changes can you put off? What other uncertainties can you cut out? One of the biggest things to focus on is the negative possible outcomes.

▪               Will this important change mean someone loses job security because their old expertise is gone?

▪               Will this important change mean staff changes?

▪               Will this important change mean more or less responsibility for certain people?

▪               Will this important change mean some people will fear for their jobs.

Think about these issues and address them as early and as truthfully as you can.

Action items:

Prepare people for change as soon as you can.
Eliminate any other unnecessary changes.
Reassure people about the effects of the change.
Give people the tools to deal with the change-especially training
Be as truthful as you can about foreseen difficulties and fallout.
When you think you have communicated clearly and often enough-communicate some more!.
Enjoy being part of an organization that does change well!
John Cameron is the spark.  He is the light he is the glue.  Using humor and great process, through keynotes, consulting, workshops and webinars, John gives leaders, managers and project managers the plan, skills and courage to do what they MUST do.  John delivers lasting growth in confidence, sills and results.  Watch John in action on his youtube channel now him for quotes on keynotes, webinars and workshops at
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