Change Initiatives Abhor a Vacuum

Change Leadership, Leadership Comments Off on Change Initiatives Abhor a Vacuum

Nature abhors a vacuum. A vacuum is a space with no matter. Aristotle argued that assuming a vacuum could exist, the denser surrounding material would immediately fill that space. Scientists have debated this construct for generations.

I like this concept though when thinking about communication and change leadership.

Just like when nature encounters a vacuum, when a vacuum in communication exists (and this is certainly possible) a force occurs to fill that vacuum.

“Nothing has changed since the last update.”

“We don’t have anything to say.”

“We’re not sure what’s going to happen.”

“They’re busy and don’t have time to hear about this change that’s going to happen months from now.”

Any of these examples of thinking cause you to not communicate.

When you decide not to communicate you create a vacuum.

Think of a space between you and your constituent. This space cannot be empty. Someone will fill this space. If you are in fact a change LEADER, you must cause that space, that vacuum, to be filled. You must influence what goes into that space.

If you don’t, what fills the vacuum? Conjecture, innuendo, rumor, misunderstandings.

Tips for the change leader:

  • Identify resistance and talk it through.
  • Educate.
  • Provide value.
  • Provide leaders with communication content. Help them communicate.
  • Communicate regularly. Every two weeks, minimum. Think about conversations with your constituents. If you had a fixed meeting every two weeks that couldn’t be cancelled what would you say about your change initiative?
  • Tell the story.
  • Localize the message. Make it meaningful.
  • Test communication. Is the message getting through?

Change communication is a campaign rather than a spreadsheet with dates to send emails. Like any influence campaign it involves multi-media, custom messages, dealing with the details, and providing a road map for those traveling with you.

Change communication is intended to increase change adoption by providing what is needed for the constituent to be ready to implement the change.

Related Change Communication articles:

The Starburst Effect to Change Communication

Change Byte – Test Your Communications

Change Byte – Communication and Training

Comment BoxPhoto credit

Jim Canterucci

I don't know everything. But I want to. The focus of our firm, Transition Management Advisors, is to develop leadership capabilities to create a championship culture, generate innovation, and successfully lead the resulting changes.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterLinkedInYouTube

Pin It

» Change Leadership, Leadership » Change Initiatives Abhor a Vacuum
On November 3, 2015
By
, , , , , , ,

Comments are closed.

« »