The Latest from the ABM Experts
April 17, 2019
Using the 7×7 Framework for Communicating Change
Written by Sangram Vajre
Category: FlipMyFunnel Post
This post is based on a solo podcast with Sangram. If you’d like to listen to more #FlipMyFunnel Podcast episodes, you can check them out here and listen to this episode below!
Have you ever been super excited about change at work?
Have you ever been confused, or frustrated, as to why not everyone is on the same page as you?
Transition can be overwhelming. Simply announcing the launch of a new platform or core value isn’t going to cut it.
That seems like common sense right? Right. But in practice, it’s not uncommon to want to move at a faster pace.
Some people can feel ready from the get go. Others need to take time to process and understand what is expected before they are fully on board.
What’s the best way to effectively communicate change so your team isn’t left frustrated and frantically trying to keep up?
Glad you asked.
Enter the 7×7 Framework.
The 7×7 concept means you need to have at least 7 ways of communicating the same change throughout your organization at least 7 different times.
3 Phased Approach
As you go through change, you will feel like you are journeying through a chasm of chaos, and that’s OK, as long as you have a communication plan. Always remember, communication is a process!
You never go from ending to new beginning in one big leap.
There are 3 crucial phases your team needs to go through in order to safely, and happily, arrive at the new beginning.
- This phase is the clear ending where people recognize, absorb, and understand having a product and a new platform. They will go through questions of clarity, certainty, confidence, and commitment.
- The exploration phase. In this phase your team may not be fully aware of what the change is. They may think it sounds cool, or they may be totally against it. Both opinions are completely fine! During this phase they are encouraged to ask questions in order to figure out and explore where they stand on the change.
- This is the I’m on board, I trust it, and I’m enthusiastic about it phase. In this phase your team members will feel confident to advocate for the change and influence others to be on board with the change as well. Why? Because they’ve explored it and accepted it for their own.
These phases are important because it creates empathy and intentionality with your team.
They won’t feel like they’re having a message they don’t particularly agree with shoved down their throat.
People will feel engaged because they’re being allowed to have a voice, and given room to explore it.
7 Ways To Do Internal Communication
You have to be very intentional about communicating about change. Here are seven ways that my team and I approach internal communication.
- A lot of people don’t ask questions during all hands. They will spend a lot of time thinking about it and gathering their questions and ideas.
- As soon as All Hands has met, make sure there is a follow up meeting with the executive team so they are fully connected. After this, have the executives then meet with their teams. The goal is a cascade of meetings and conversations being centered around the upcoming changes.
- For the following 4 weeks after sharing a new idea or impending change, every week spend time talking about it and how everyone on the team is feeling about it.
- The 20/20/60 rule. There are 60% who you want on it, 20% already there, and then the 20% who may never come on board and be ok with that. Meet with the 60% one on one and hear their thoughts on the change. Your job isn’t to get everyone on board, just make sure that everyone has gone through the process.
Cross functional lunches
- Join forces! Not only can your team talk about the changes, but other teams can talk about it as well. Get more feedback, trade ideas around.
7 Ways To Do External Communication
Sangram also shared the 7 ways he and his team decided to approach external communication:
- 1:1 communication and calls with customers
You may be beating yourself up after hearing about this approach to communication. But it’s not common. Most organizations aren’t this intentional with communicating internally or externally.
You never go from ending to new beginning. Give yourself, your team, your company, and your customers time to breathe.
Go with the path of intentionality in communication and make sure there are phases to support the change.
This post is based on an interview with Sangram Vajre. To hear this episode and many more like it, you can subscribe to The #FlipMyFunnel Podcast.