Almanac_BlogImage_EmbracingChange

Embracing Change: How to Influence Your Team to Carve a New Path

| By: Sarah Stallmann
Sarah Stallmann

Change: We love it, we really do. But it can be scary, stressful, and a bit shaky along the way…especially if you are working with a team who isn’t convinced that said change is the way to go.

For some clients–especially large organizations or those who are racing to keep up with the pace of an ever-evolving market–change can be difficult for the internal team, before even reaching out to an agency for help. Often, the bigger picture gets swallowed by fears, worries that your stakeholders won’t “get it” or like it, or there’s a lack of trust in the decision itself.

We’ve pulled together a few tips that will hopefully inspire your team to jump into a new change with confidence. New year, new you, right?

1/ Start small.
Although a full rebrand may be a great longterm goal if you feel that you have become stagnant in the market, starting small is often the best way to get your feet wet. Working with an agency to refresh your marketing materials, social media, or facilitate a designated awareness campaign can help warm your team up to the idea of an even bigger move–especially if the results are visible right away.

2/ Bring ideas to the table with confidence.  
While influencing upper management can be a challenge with larger organizations, asking superiors to take new ideas into consideration is often easier when you have done your research to back it up. Develop a small internal committee to bounce ideas, send out a quick survey to your team asking them to rate the current problem areas (via an easy-to-use site like Survey Monkey), create a form to allow for anonymous idea submissions, and get to know how your competitors are marketing themselves. Presenting a fully thought out pitch will increase the chances of your ideas getting noticed–and remaining top-of-mind–to a leadership team. At the very least you will get the ball rolling in a new direction.

3/ Don’t skimp on the visuals.
An idea may get forgotten, but a great visual will stay with you. Want to push your team to spring for a new website? Show them a few beautifully designed websites. Need a new brand? Show them the award-winning brands your competitors just rolled out. Need to clean up your social media? Share Instagram pages that have great visual feeds and customer engagement. Chances are, that side-by-side comparison will be enough to convince them that it’s time to consider some fresh solutions.

4/ Crunch the numbers.
After getting the ball rolling on a new marketing direction or brand identity, the first question that always comes up is budget–how much will the change cost? A simple search can give you a general range, but to see a fully fleshed out pricing strategy, you will need to meet with a few firms to get an idea of what the financial scope is for your specific project considerations.

When crunching the numbers, be sure to factor in the results: Will springing for a new website catapult your brand or organization to the top of the list in your field? Will an ongoing social media strategy help you connect with younger donors? Keep the team on track by remaining focused on your ultimate goal of reinvigorating to generate a greater reach–and ultimately more cash–back into your business.

5/ Compromise is key.
You’ve done your part, fought the good fight and are now full speed ahead towards a new marketing strategy, website, or project (go team!)–but there are still a lot of ongoing decisions that will need to be made. Preparing your core internal team for the workflow and decision-making process in advance will ensure that you have the right people sitting at the table when it comes time to hit important milestones. And compromising is key–while it may seem obvious that not everyone involved will always agree, having a designated leader to keep decisions moving forward will make the process as smooth as possible.