When Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced demonetization of 500 and 1000 rupee notes, tremors were felt nationwide. While there was one section of people from whom emerged words of appreciation of this apparent surgical strike against black money, there came harsh criticism from the learned and aam janta, who were in a state of confusion. Humorists began finding humor. The rich went about burning their cash or so we hear. We saw debates on national television, have been a part of the discussions on the pros and cons going on in every household and nooks and crannies about whether or not this was a thoughtfully planned move or the fact that it could have been implemented better or whether it was even required. Now, think of it in a different scenario. Take your workplace, for instance. How do you plan to implement new changes or nullify the old policies? Do you know the importance of strategic planning at all? Are you aware that there a right way to plan? Let’s address this and much more.
Learn from the past
Were similar plans made or executed in the past? Can you identify a pattern of its success or failure? What modifications can you make for it to become more acceptable? While answering these questions, do remember that there will always be criticism along the way. Keep pedaling.
Get done with fuzzy language
If you have a plan to propose before the board, just do you yourself and others a favor and don’t use jargons. Explain your motive in simple words. If you throw in incomprehensible, overused terms, people are going to look out the window & lose interest in what you have to say. Get their attention by keeping it simple. Besides, remember this quote by Albert Einstein – “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”
Experiment to gauge success
It may not be possible in every scenario, however do it in situations where possible. Don’t be scared to test the waters. Communicate the importance of the change because that’s the way to deal with friction from within the organization. Address their concerns before finally going ahead with the implementation of the plan.
Just as sales has profit-loss analysis, marketing has trend predictors, so must you predict the impact. Any change brought unthinkingly & without knowing can have grave impact on company revenues and internally too may act as a setback to employee motivation. A well-rounded approach vis-à-vis permutation-combination goes a long way in planning.
Ask provocative questions
Not just that. You’ve got to encourage people to speak up too. Planning means taking different opinions into account, debating, discussing and analyzing important details before implementing/executing any change. Ask tough questions that get people to think. Leave no stone unturned to involve everyone so that everyone feels a part of the process rather than becoming the impact-absorbers.
While it’s good to error-proof the plan, you never know what could go wrong. Be ready with a contingency plan and implement it if the change sees rainy days. This way you can prevent further damage and distress without having to first sit down and draw last minute mitigation strategies.