Building alignment among your team, colleagues and other key stakeholders is critical to successfully implementing any business or functional transformation. Here are 5 blunders you will want to avoid.

Delivering a compelling vision for change that is lackluster at best.

I once witnessed a leader say that it was a very exciting time to be a part of the business after presenting some impressive data. BUT, if you were to go by the look on his un-animated face and the tone of his voice… you would say this was a boring time to be part of the business. So if you’re intent is to get your stakeholders excited about the changes to come… look and act excited!

Asking for input when you are already set on what you are going to do.

We all know nothing is worse than when a leader is just going through the motions. It’s almost as if he/she is just checking the box. “Solicit key stakeholders input… check!” So … if you ask for input make sure you really want it and are open to changing or modifying your thinking or plans.

Believing that communicating via townhalls, memos, etc., means everyone now understands and accepts the change.

Have you ever heard a leader say “I don’t understand why people act like they never heard about the change, I have talked about it multiple times already.” Yes the leader has talked about it enough for him/her to be clear about the change and he/she is raring to go but everyone else is still trying to figure out what this means for them. Most people stop listening when all this information is coming at them to process whether the changes will be good or not, for them personally. They can’t fully listen and be ready to act accordingly until they have figured what is in it for them.

Expecting the same leaders who are responsible for the day to day operations to also drive the change implementation plan.

While it is a good idea to assign key influencers within the organization responsibility for implementing the change – they will not have the capacity to do this if none of their other responsibilities have been re-assigned and/or they have not been given additional resources and authority.

Asking for X but rewarding for Y.

We want our leaders and employees to support enterprise wide change but we still weigh their individual business results heavier when giving out incentives. Similarly, we tend to look the other way when an executive isn’t demonstrating the desired behavioral change when he/she is bringing in new business or growing revenue… and then wonder why the rank and file isn’t taking the change very seriously.

What other blunders have you seen? Please comment below and reach out to me directly to discuss how you can avoid similar blunders when trying to build aligned action in your organization or team.