A company culture transformation is an undertaking. You will attempt to break with old habits and mental models. Also, you will introduce new ones. For that reason, you and your leadership team will make many decisions regarding what to do and how to do it. Later, there will be a lot of communication, skills development, training, and new standards. While teaching new behaviors, mental models, and ways to do things, keep it simple.
For a successful transformation, keep it simple
Along the transformation journey, you and your team will have countless communication efforts. That communication will happen in different scenarios and formats. In other words, individual or group settings, in writing or verbal. Also, you will write new policies, standards, work instructions, and others. The purpose of the communication or procedures and other details needs to clear. Keep the receiver or user in mind while deciding the language, design, or communication structure. Moreover, it needs to be simple, easy to understand and execute.
If you can’t explain it simply, take a step back.
“If you can’t explain something simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”Albert Einstein
Any continuous improvement activity starts with gaining an understanding of the current situation. The cultural transformation begins with a similar process, understanding the present culture. The knowledge gain during this step helps to design the best way to share with the team the intention to change.
Why do you want to engage in the transformation process? Why you propose to use continuous improvement? What are the steps? A long and hard thinking process is required to answer these questions in a simple way. Refine your thoughts, do not use too many words, do not overthink. Be honest and talk from your heart without fancy words or excuses, just the truth.
You are not ready to communicate this idea until you can say it in simple words.
Keep it simple, all of the processes, language, structures, and formats.
Simple language is easier for the reader or receiver. For instance, try to avoid the use of technical words unless it is necessary. The same rule goes for industry jargon. For example, in continuous improvement, we use many Japanese terms like kaizen. Depending on the current culture, you should use generally accepted American words as a substitute. In our previous example, you can use continuous improvement or rapid improvement events instead of kaizen.
While teaching new tools, use simple structures. Further, give examples of things related to their work. Things are complicated enough as it is, keep it simple. Processes that are easy to understand have more probability of sustainability. It is much easier to execute simple instructions than complicated words.
Trying to explain something complex is often a humbling experience. It makes you realize how much you don’t know. Therefore, it forces you to break the subject into smaller pieces and understand each one of them. When you think you know the process well enough, try to explain it with simple words. Would your five years old self understand? If the answer is no, then keep refining your thoughts, keep improving your pitch.
Simplicity avoids confusion, and processes are easier to execute consistently. Don’t complicate it, keep it simple.