When pitching change management, or explaining the value of investing in change management, it is important that you understand who your target audience is, their context and what is likely to resonate with them in order to get their buy-in and acceptance.
Whether you’re discussing the new change with employees, managers or the C-suite within your organisation, each will have their own pain points, challenges and a different view on what is classed as a successful result from the change. They will also have their own language, relevant to their role, and it is important to reflect this in your explanation.
Before designing your change management pitch, consider the following questions:
- Who is your target audience?
- What do they care about?
- What language and context do they relate to?
- How can you talk about change management from their point of view?
Once you have assessed this, you can figure out how you want to approach the conversation around change management. With this, there are two different paths you can take.
Path #1 - This is change management
This is a more academic approach. By taking this approach, your focus is on what you do as a change management professional and centres around a more formal definition and presentation of what change management means. You may provide some examples of the types of activities you would complete when applying change management (for example, readiness assessments, stakeholder identification, impact analyses, communications plans, etc.). This approach to explaining the value of change management might also be helpful to people in more process oriented roles.
Path #2 - This is how change happens and here is a solution to drive better outcomes and results
This path is centred around those impacted by the change and the results. Rather than leading with change management, you first establish some realities of change that can be easily agreed upon and understood. You build your story for change management by first establishing some common ground regarding how change happens. For example, consider asking the question, "What percent of your project outcomes are linked to people changing the way they work?" then positioning change management as an important part of the solution, the part that helps to deliver these benefits that are directly related to people changing.
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By taking the time to ensure you know your audience before discussing change management, you are more likely to build support and buy-in for your initiative by putting "change management" into the language and context of your audience.
By using the language and context of the person you are in a conversation with, you can position change management as their solution for driving results and outcomes. By becoming more "you focused" instead of "me focused" in your presentation of change management, you can create a more compelling case for change management and ultimately get the buy-in you need to successfully apply change management within your organisation.
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