Rolling out your Plan for World Domination? Do this first!
Eureka! You’ve done it! You figured out the master plan to explode your team’s revenues, destroy the competition, and single-handedly catapult your company to the head of the Fortune 500 list. But before you roll it out to the troops, here are three things to figure out first! (Details, details, I know. Clearly I am a killjoy.)
What tool(s) will you use to deliver your brilliant plan? First, consider what you know about your team (henchmen/evil co-conspirators/devoted followers– feel free to select the description that applies to your bunch):
- Are they readers? Note, I am not asking if they can read, (although in some audiences that is a very important question), I am asking if reading is their first choice for learning new information. Hint: if your team would prefer to listen to “The One Minute Manager” or “Who Moved My Cheese?” on an MP3, they aren’t readers.
- If they are readers, do you need to sum up the whole idea in 3 bullet points or deliver the plan complete with a story-type framework and pictures? Do they just read “above the fold” (i.e. preview pane only) in an email?
- Not big readers? Can you record it in a podcast type format? Or create a video? (Don’t just read from a powerpoint if you create a video, make it interesting, after all, world domination is on the line here!)
- Do they need an in-person meeting for the information to penetrate? (And will you need to confiscate all of the blackberries, cell phones and technical devices at this meeting?)
- Will a webinar work? If you use a webinar, will the team multitask throughout the webinar and miss the most salient points? (See below for a Jeanne’s formula of the vector at which the quantity of multitasking during webinars obliterates any and all value of the information being presented).
- Any special considerations? Need to accommodate an international team and reduce all “slang” and idiomatic language? (Much harder than it may seem. Go back through these first few bullets and eliminate the American idiomatic language. Good. Now do it again. One more time. Nope, still got some in there.)
Give serious thought to who is the best person to deliver your message. Internal? External? Peer? Computer generated Hologram of a dead celebrity? Consider your options:
- Should it be delivered by a trainer? Or would it be better to bring an “outsider” in the form of a consultant or third party in to deliver the message? What about having peers or respected colleagues roll it to their teams? Some of the best change teams have influential team members become subject matter experts in key areas of the change plan and help deliver that information from the team. They then become the “go to” people for the team as the team works through the change. This helps the entire team “own” the outcomes right away, and work together through difficulties.
- If the message will take more than 30 minutes to deliver, consider using multiple presenters, if only to vary the type of voice and to keep the team awake. It is the rare individual who is fascinating for more than 20 minutes (ever notice that TED talks are short? And those folks are pretty darn fascinating).
- If the message is vital to the ongoing success of the team’s mission, of such critical nature that life as the team knows it is about to change, make sure you rehearse that delivery several times. (Back to those TED talks folks, you do know they rehearse it right? And that they work with consultants to help them with their delivery when they make it to the “big” conference?) If possible, get some non-team members to critique it (spouses, kids and friends in other fields come in handy here) to punch some holes in it. They may not know all the technical terms but they will know when you’re boring, vague, or delivering bravado without substance. Try teenagers who are not feeling too kindly towards you at the moment. They will not pull their punches.
The FOLLOW UP:
And now that you’ve laid out your brilliant plan…
- How are you going to make sure that the team begins to act on what they learned? Ending a rousing presentation with “Go Forth and Conquer” is good, but not if they forget to “Conquer” because they stopped off at the 2:1 Happy Hour immediately afterwards.
- Is there a follow up plan to reinforce the plan within smaller groups/teams in the coming months?
- Is there a way to measure the participation of different sub groups in the plan? If the work flow goes Team A to Team B to Team C, nothing may be coming out of Team C but it may be because Team B isn’t playing by the new rules. Figure out how you’ll check for effectiveness.
- Did you plan any sort of recognition or public acclaim for those who embrace the plan and drive results? Better yet did you get the “buy in” of a few highly respected, key team members to visibly model the behaviors you’re looking for before you even rolled the plan? (For advice on who you want, read this.) You want to make sure the thought leaders and star players are on board because if the only people following the new plan are your “weaker” players, this sort of recognition will backfire.
Even if your plan doesn’t quite resemble world domination, you still want to work out these key items before you roll out any major changes to your team. Need to know what else to consider before changing things up at the office? Read our 10.5 rules on turnaround here. If you’d like our free guide, Reading the Terrain which helps you “speed read” an organization, just sign up for our weekly newsletter.
What else do you think you need to consider? share your thoughts in the comment section. Or feel free to share your plan for world domination and we’ll critique it.