It’s hard to be a change agent. Change in mature organizations like healthcare doesn’t happen, it needs to be driven or it will be stamped out through the shear inertia of the status quo. Projects are at risk from many angles, and we generally focus on the barriers we can see most clearly.
Unfortunately, the most dangerous challenges are those that we can’t see. These “silent killers” are subtle. They typically don’t halt your change initiatives directly, but put a drag on your initiatives and smother the value they are able to deliver.
We focus our energies on executing the concrete steps in our initiatives – creating strategy, deploying technology, content, and processes. Most of us are not investing significant energy on building buy-in and support from the executives and stakeholders involved in the change. It’s a theme I hear regularly.
As I’m finishing my final preparations for this month’s Webinar on building a Web culture, it was nice to hear a case study about an organization that has been proactive in dealing with similar challenges (albeit for their overall marketing communications rather than the Web specifically).
I attended a presentation at the NESHCO 2008 Spring Symposium by Carol Koenecke-Grant as she discussed the implementation of an integrated communication strategy which she led at Carle Clinic Association. Like most change processes, the issues they faced are identical to those experienced when rolling out online initiatives.
And how did Carol overcome her organization’s resistance? She spent a tremendous amount of time communicating with every member of the executive team, every department head, and many, many staff members. She communicated the strategy, explained the rationale for the new approach, and got their feedback.
This is an important piece of any significant change initiative and is certainly true of Web initiatives. The goal, over the long run, is to cement these changes into the organization through structures, such as Web governance groups and advisory groups, that allow future initiatives to work more smoothly.
This in a nutshell, is the beginnings of a true Web culture.
(I will be speaking more about this topic during our Webinar today at 2:00 CST. You can register on our Web site or view the archived version, which should be available tomorrow.)
If you can’t make this Webinar – don’t worry! We record all of our live broadcasts so that you can replay them at your own convenience. All recordings are available on our Web site 48 hours after the original event. You can access any recorded webinars using your Geonetric.com account.