#082: How to Keep Your Team Aligned During Times of Intense Change [Podcast]

The key to keeping your team aligned in the midst of change or chaos is communication. Unfortunately, most leaders are not intentional about this. They either don’t communicate or don’t have a plan for rolling their message out. The result is that people are left to create their own narrative about what is happening.

If you are going to be an effective leader, you must be deliberate in keeping your team informed. If you don’t, you will create a tremendous amount of “sideways energy” as people speculate and come to the wrong conclusion.

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You can keep your team aligned in the midst of significant organizational change—or crisis—by taking these six steps:

  1. Determine what you want to communicate.
  2. Commit the message to writing.
  3. Secure alignment with your leadership team.
  4. Contact influential stakeholders—personally.
  5. Announce the change through available media channels.
  6. Make yourself available to answer questions.

Listener Questions

  1. Steve asked, “What do you do when you are blind-sided by a customer with news about your company that turns out to be true?”
  2. Jeni asked, “Do you think the communications strategy you outlined in a recent blog post applies to churches and other non-profits as well?”
  3. Brad asked, “I understand the communications strategy when it comes to public announcements, but what about information that is more sensitive, like why you terminated someone?”
  4. Maria asked, “We just don’t have time in our company to communicate as well as we would like. With the continued tough economy, we have fewer people trying to do the same work. What do you suggest? How can we find time to communicate in this context?”

Tip of the Week

Do you ever find yourself reading an email and wanting to follow-up at some specific date in the future? For example, I recently sent a book proposal off to a publisher. I heard back from him almost immediately. He said he liked it but would need two to three weeks to run it through the editorial process. I could have put a reminder on my calendar. I could have set a reminder on my iPhone. I could have even created a @WaitingFor task in Nozbe. All of these would have worked.

But I wanted to save the email response with the reminder. So, I forwarded it to Evernote and then put a reminder on it. The cool thing is that because the tag I used in Evernote is the same as the project name in Nozbe, the Evernote note is synched with Nozbe. So, whether I look in Evernote or I look in Nozbe, it’s there.

Special Announcements

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Episode Resources

In this episode I mentioned several resources, including:

Show Transcript

You can download a complete, word-for-word transcript of this episode here, courtesy of Ginger Schell, a professional transcriptionist, who handles all my transcription needs.

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Question: What good and bad experiences have you had with major organizations?

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