Even the best strategies and initiatives encounter internal resistance that can easily prevent them from getting off the ground in the first place, or send them plummeting earthwards once they are in the air.
A big part of getting the buy-in you need from your team and your stakeholders is the way the strategy is communicated. Too often it’s presented in terms that are not meaningful to the people who will need to make it happen, or to the people it will happen to.
Here are three things people need to believe about your strategy in order to engage with it.
1. It’s worthwhile
If people are going to put in the effort to go somewhere, they need to believe that the destination is somewhere worth going. What will be different at the end than it is now? What will be better, and for whom?
2. It’s urgent
Past success can lead to a feeling of contentment with the status quo, which means that many people will not see any urgent need to change. Building this sense of urgency is the first step in leading change. You need to show them the opportunity that’s available, through a window that’s about to close.
3. It’s possible
There’s no point in striving for something that’s just not achievable. People need to believe that what you are proposing is possible, and that it can work here with people like us. One of the best ways of showing this is to find examples where people just like them achieved something a lot like this, and that it worked.
If you can get people to feel these three things, not just in their heads but in their hearts and imaginations, the strategy will become meaningful for them, and they’re much more likely to want to be part of making it happen.