Musings on Change and Communications.
When is the right time to carry out a Business Readiness Assessment?
Is it when you have already decided to transform, have set up the programme of work, put the project team in place, begun the design and build and then thought about bringing in a Change Manager, because you are deploying in six months and you need to get everyone ready…………???
What about taking a different approach and do it BEFORE you start down the road of transforming?
Look at your business and the people within it and ask the questions about Readiness?
If the assessment shows the business is not ready and any changes will have a detrimental effect (if not managed correctly) start to look at the mitigations you need to do immediately, before you have invested in the transformation, invest in your people. Do the coaching and resistance management up front, increase the percentage of people in your organisation who see change as a good thing.
This will pay off because it will mean a workforce who is totally supportive of the changes and who will work with you to implement them, be happy to do it with a positive mind set.
How important is correct spelling and grammar?
Well as a professional Communicator I would say it is vitally important, otherwise how do you get your message across without any misunderstandings.
So if you are doing a professional piece of copywriting then it is expected that you present it with the right spelling and grammar and you will probably ask us to do it for you anyway.
But, what about when you are on social media selling yourself or your business, is it OK to forget about spelling and grammar and I’m not talking about the occasional fat thumb?
You know, I’m going to say no, it isn’t OK. If you want someone to take you seriously, or invest, then you should be literate.
For instance, if your LinkedIn profile says you’re a “whizz kid at marketing other peoples business’s” then you’re probably not going to get much of a take up…
Just spend an extra minute to proofread before posting and if you’re not sure about the grammar put it through Word and the red and blue lines will help you spot mistakes and give guidance on correcting them.
You might win more business!
So how much documentation does a project need?
I find that a lot of times when you say to a Programme Director that you need to create a Change, Communications and Training strategy, then Communications, Training, Coaching, Resistance Management and Sponsor plans, they baulk and ask why. Even when you have created them and logged them with the PMO, who reads them? When you talk to the senior management on a transformation programme they would generally be hard pressed to remember seeing the documents, nevermind remembering their content…
People only really notice the tangible i.e. the communications going out or the training taking place.
So why do we do it? Why do we spend weeks formulating strategies and plans that no-one looks at?
The simple answer is to ensure that we have a roadmap of the why, when, which, who, where and we have something to back up the reasons for the actions taking place.
However, does every project within a transformation programme need its own strategy? The answer would be no. The overarching Change strategy should cover the whole programme particularly when you have carried out the analysis on the rational, the organisation, stakeholders and lessons learned. The overarching Communications strategy should cover all of the programme they will be only one version of the truth. The overarching Training strategy will cover when training is required and the methodology used.
However, each project will need it own plans, stakeholder mapping and specific messaging and training, because this is the how and without these no-one is going anywhere.
Grammar and spelling tips – Apostrophe
We’ve noticed a lot of people are going apostrophe crazy recently. Obviously thinking it is better to add it, just in case it might land in the right place…
Our advise is don’t, it changes the meaning!
So where do apostrophes occur:
- Understand the difference between plural and possessive – plural has no apostrophe, but possessive has. An easy way to remember is ask yourself – does the word after the one where you want to add the apostrophe, belong to that word e.g. Harry’s coat, the girl’s smile, December’s weather – if the answer is yes, then add your apostrophe If not, don’t. If you have several things that own something then the apostrophe goes after the s e.g. teachers’ books, dogs’ bowls.
- Abbreviations also seem to confuse and the dreaded apostrophe appears. They are not required in acronyms otherwise you would be writing “K’P’I’s” or “S’L’A’s” where the apostrophe stands in for each missing word, and not at the end if its plural e.g. KPIs and SLAs, but they are required if you are removing a letter from a word e.g. do not = don’t; you are = you’re.
So – “Know your shit, not know you’re shit”.