Since organizations have a high-frequency change environment, organizational leaders should know how to convince their employees to embrace the organizational change. Thus, in this Expert Insight Interview, Anjali Sharma discusses organizational change and storytelling. Anjali Sharma is a Managing Director at Narrative The Business of Stories, working with government and private organizations to create unique solutions for their challenges using business storytelling.
The interview discusses:
- How to properly communicate the change
- Identifying the core of the problem to create a compelling story
Organizational leaders should anticipate the need for a change in the organization and find a way to inspire their employees to adopt it. The way to do that is in proper communication. Most people are reluctant to change. They start thinking right away about how it will affect them personally. The key is in telling a story with a positive impact on employees’ future growth.
When people prepare to introduce the change publicly, they usually practice saying what it is about, why it is significant, and its advantages. Then they focus on finding the right way to deliver those words. But usually, it looks very codified because the words they are saying do not come from their actual belief, but the practiced speech. The employees’ main concern when it comes to the change is whether they will adjust to it. So, the core of the company’s story should focus on what the company will do to provide a smooth transition for employees to the new way of doing things. The story has to hit employees’ main pain points to resonate with them.
Many times, organizations focus on wrong issues or use inefficient solutions. For example, making a PowerPoint presentation about communication or getting a new communication software will not solve the communication problem. The solution requires going more into depth and investing more time. Sometimes the problem is slowly destroying the company without anyone realizing how serious the consequences could be. Often, it is not one big problem, but many little things that make a difference.
The real organizational culture lies at the lower level and not at the executive level. The deeper you go inside the company, the more information you will be able to collect. Talking with employees who work in lower positions and collecting their stories will provide you better insights into real company challenges. By finding the essence of the problem, you can tell a compelling story to employees to motivate them to do what they need to do.
John is the Amazon bestselling author of Winning the Battle for Sales: Lessons on Closing Every Deal from the World’s Greatest Military Victories and Social Upheaval: How to Win at Social Selling. A globally acknowledged Sales & Marketing thought leader, speaker, and strategist. He is CSMO at Pipeliner CRM. In his spare time, John is an avid Martial Artist.