Week 39 – Lessons learnt from losing the argument

This week I failed to engage my stakeholders in an important change.

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Why I feel negative

This week I failed to engage my stakeholders in an important change. As I was announcing the introduction of a new app for managing projects and sharing up to date progress information, I could feel the negativity in the room.

The group are protective of their ways of working, and if any changes need to be made, they want detailed reasons for why this change has been chosen, who has authorised it, and what the impacts will be.

On reflection, my arguments just weren’t strong enough, so I am using their resistance as a chance to improve my approach.

How am I going to feel positive

I am going to widen my argument from the insular view of how the change affects only their team, to show them a broader desire for the change, using this model:

Managing upwards

The use of this app aligns to our values for how we believe we should work in this organisation. We value efficient working, where people are not held back waiting for permission or waiting for the contribute of others. We value initiative taking and a willingness to demonstrate personal responsibility for achieving our goals.

Managing forwards

We will be able to do view the total work involved in each initiative, which means we do not have to send emails to let others know what we are doing, or read emails from colleagues about their work. We can reduce the number of times we duplicate our work, because we didn’t realise one of us was already developing the same idea.