By Alex N. Ryan – Chief Strategist
There are few constants in life or business — but one of them is change.
You can’t stop it, but you can manage it. And you can even help guide it, to ensure that your organization reaps all of the possible benefits. You just have to get and keep people’s attention long enough to realize the change.
And we’ve got a great way to do that: Market and brand your Change Initiative just like you would a product. Create a plan to make your initiative exciting and to keep it moving forward over the time needed to implement it. In particular, make sure you’re keeping your stakeholders informed about the progress and the reasoning behind the initiative. That will keep them engaged and prevent them from falling prey to ‘bright shiny object syndrome’.
The problem with bright shiny objects
Why is it that whenever you seem to get traction on a project, your biggest stakeholders seem to get distracted by something fresh and new? That’s bright shiny object syndrome. It’s human nature to be impressed by things that seem new and exciting, especially when we’re feeling bored with the same old, same old.
But it can prevent an organization from making solid progress as it shifts focus to one shiny new thing after another.
How do we keep the focus where we need it?
To make sure your stakeholders continue to find your Change Initiative interesting, you’ve got to brand it, market it, and promote it, so it starts and stays fresh and exciting. Find ways to make it fun — such as a catchy name, a well-designed logo, badges, or contests. Focus on the end goal and the benefits your initiative will bring to your stakeholders and the teams they manage. Repeat key messages throughout the campaign. And ensure that you’ve got new developments to report on a consistent basis so everyone can stay excited about the progress toward the final goal. Change management requires a fair amount of people management and that includes helping people stay focused on your initiative.
Why marketing and branding are so important
We know that marketing is critical in selling products, but it is also important in selling initiatives to the people you work with. Internal marketing can effectively create buy-in, build excitement, and establish an emotional response to help your colleagues stay invested.
Your overall goal will be to convince the team or organization that your change initiative is worth the effort and worthy of their attention. And that is how you ensure that your initiative doesn’t fall prey to shiny object syndrome.