How Do You Fill A Credibility Gap? Part II
The failure of many large-scale initiatives lies in the perception that the people behind them are unable to efficiently and effectively resolve challenges that come up along the way. What can leaders do to build credibility?
1. Build Trust
Build trust among your stakeholders—this includes all the people who may be impacted by the change initiatives including: salaried personnel, hourly personnel, suppliers, customers, et. al. Develop a process to explain in detail the impact of the initiative on the individuals who are involved. Focus on how it will affect their daily work tasks and/or their relationship with your business.
2. Set an Example
Create a pilot study. Let the pilot study’s success or failure become the foundation for how the initiative will be rolled out at your agency. This will not only identify challenges, but also benefits that can be integrated into the strategy. The time and attention devoted to the pilot study can also be a secondary opportunity to build trust.
3. Demonstrate Commitment
The organizational change will cause uncertainty. Uncertainty, or even the perception of uncertainty, can hamper performance. Promote the process and head off the potential for negative energy by proactively introducing organizational tools, that represent agency leaders’ commitment to success.
4. Reinforce Credibility
Decision-makers should work to reinforce their credibility with all stakeholders. The pace of change is will continue to escalate, so stockpile credibility for future changes. Create momentum for change with a proactive foundation that is strengthened and developed with each new initiative. With transparent communication and focused support, credibility can become a quantifiable asset to the organization’s culture.
Victoria M. Grady is an Assistant Professor of Management, George Mason University, and principal consultant at Pivot Point Business Solutions and co-author of The Pivot Point: Success in Organizational Change.