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Apr
16
Alex Somos

There’s nothing wrong with introducing employees to the “next big thing.”

After all, a new business strategy, program or technology can make organizations more competitive, high performing and profitable.

But if your leaders are the type to quickly abandon and endorse one initiative over another—that is, they have “corporate A.D.D.”—this strategy can have the exact opposite effect of positive change on your workforce.

That’s because the success of your organizational change initiatives hinges on employee buy-in.

And, unfortunately, corporate A.D.D. is not conducive to securing employee endorsement.

More, more, more!

Leaders with corporate A.D.D. believe that the more changes they make, the more high performing their employees will be.

But employees can only take so much of back-to-back (or concurrent) initiatives like:

  • implementing new software enterprise-wide;
  • making customer service the number-one corporate priority; and/or
  • executing a new employee performance management system.

If your organization tends to jump from one “latest, greatest thing” to another, your employees will react negatively.

Why? Because, after a while, employees will dismiss everything you do as the newest flavour-of-the-month. Rather than fully embracing it, they will give your initiative lip service.

Some may even take on behaviours to sabotage its success.

In other words, corporate A.D.D. doesn’t lead to a higher-performing business, but to wasted resources and a jaded workforce.

Combat corporate A.D.D.

Here are some things leaders can do to combat corporate A.D.D.—and increase the likelihood of getting employees on board with their initiatives.

  • Make your strategy relevant. Leaders need to tie each initiative to the day-to-day world of their employees. They simply will not get support if employees cannot understand how an initiative—be it a new technology, strategy or process—relates to their job. It’s not enough to tie the initiative to the overall objectives of the organization: leaders must find a way to make it meaningful to everyone.
  • Demonstrate “corporate will.” Good leaders model the behaviour they desire. If they want their employees to embrace a new initiative for the long-term, upper management cannot “jump ship” whenever a new trend comes along. This makes it more difficult to get buy-in of the next initiative. Leaders also need to make time in their busy schedules to support the initiative, and recognize and positively reward the changes in behaviour that they want.
  • Stay the course. Most initiatives take longer than you expect. Contrary to popular belief, change takes time—particularly if you are asking for behavioural change.
  • Over-communicate. Business environments are full of information and competing messages. If you want people to fully “get” what it is you want, you must be incredibly intentional and repeat the message in multiple forms at multiple times.

Good leaders know how to set the pace and can resist the gravitational pull of “the next new thing”. Ensure that next big organizational initiative is the right one and avoid the pitfalls of corporate A.D.D. Doing so will go a long way toward positive change.

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Brady Wilson

Brady Wilson

Co-Founder of Juice Inc, Thought Leader & Author

Alex Somos

Alex Somos

Co-Founder of Juice Inc.

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