Recently, I’ve been working with a client who is 18 months into their Revenue Marketing Journey™. The road has been a long one, with its fair share of challenges and barriers, but they have made tremendous progress. I conducted an environmental analysis to help them highlight the accomplishments of the last year and a half, and identify opportunities to optimize their existing processes, content, and campaigns. What I found was truly remarkable.
Better than any organization I’ve worked with, this client managed change exceptionally well. As a consultant, I often feel like I’m standing on a mountain top yelling at the top of my lungs about how imperative it is to incorporate change management plans into a marketing automation rollout, or the Revenue Marketing Journey itself. With it, an organization can roll fluidly from one stage of the journey to the next. Without it, an organization will stumble and fall repeatedly. Unfortunately, having such a plan in place is overlooked by so many organizations.
1. Define Success
The good news is that it doesn’t matter how far along you are in your journey, you can always implement a plan to manage change. The first step to doing so is to define what success looks like to you. What do you want to be able to say you’ve accomplished in a year? How will you measure success? Having a clear, well-defined goal is critical to helping people understand WHY they are making this journey.
2. Identify Skills
Once you have a clear objective and measurement plan outlined, you’ll want to identify the skills that you need to have in order to execute against your goals. What skills and competencies will you need? How will you acquire those skills? Who will receive training? Something that often scares people about change is that they are intimidated by knowing that they don’t know what they need to in order to get the job done. You can put their mind at ease by reassuring the team that there are plans in place to up-skill everyone involved.
3. Assign Accountability
Closely tied to acquiring new skills is accountability. At the HR firm that I worked for most of my career, we used to say that ‘joint accountability is no accountability.’ A clear execution plan with assigned owners is paramount to executing change. How will you hold those people accountable? Will it be reflected in their performance plans? Will it be reflected in their compensation structure? Assigning accountability for each task allows everyone to know who is supposed to do what, and eliminates ambiguity around ownership.
4. Communication Plan
Finally, and in my opinion the most important element to driving change, is communication. Open dialogue about what is changing, why it is going to change, how it is going to change, what is the expected outcome is imperative. If people don’t understand what is happening and why it is happening, they will resist even the simplest change. I encourage you to develop a communication plan with regular touch-points to keep everyone in the loop on progress and challenges.
Managing change is often considered to be a difficult task. However, you can do it fairly easily be keeping these few pointers top of mind.
4 Steps for Effectively Managing Change