Whenever change permeates a big company, resistance is inevitable. The announcement of change itself raises anxiety levels, creates doubts in employees’ minds, and makes them feel vulnerable and uncertain. And it raises serious questions:
• What will this mean for me?
• If I must operate differently, am I up to it?
• Do I really believe what I’m hearing about the future of the company?
Sound leadership and a clear vision are required to answer these questions. Straightforward communication is essential to calm fears and build support for change. But most important, the CEO’s honest passion and belief in the vision will inspire people to follow.
Imagine if Martin Luther King Jr. had stood in front of the Lincoln Memorial and said, “I have a business strategy.” King didn’t do that. He said, “I have a dream,” and showed us what his dream was, his picture of the future.
You get more people to change by showing them something that affects their feelings than with a detailed factual analysis.
It takes passion to break out of habits. Ask dieters.