SIGIA-L Mail Archives: [Sigia-l] "Look, It's Raining Brickbats"
[Sigia-l] "Look, It's Raining Brickbats"
Whenever I start a new project, I'd like to gather the principals early on
for an hour-long meeting where I discuss the ramifications of change: how if
everyone ends up being happy at the end, we'll most likely have failed to
make an impact. Any significant change is almost guaranteed to make some
people unhappy. As the leader of strategy/architecture/design, modulating
expectations and handling disappointments ought to be one of our primary
Over the years, I found it absolutely invaluable to inform the principals
*before* engaging various different stakeholders in strategy discussions as
to how they would most likely react to required changes. When people get
defensive, throw up barriers, become uncooperative, etc, there's now a
framework for the principals to anticipate and parse their reactions.
Personally, I have a lot of anecdotes, case histories and slides from many
projects in the past to prepare the principals against likely reactions that
come with change.
Well, NYTimes has an interesting article today on the recent changes BBC has
made to their weather coverage and all the reactions to it, which you can
use as an example to get your folks ready for change:
"It has been no surprise to the calmly authoritative Mr. Gibbs, 47, then,
that the BBC's redesign of its weather graphics last month has proved almost
as controversial as the question of what a "nice day" in Britain actually
is, in terms of weather. Although the company's market research showed that
viewers found the old system boring and confusing, the cinematic new design
has drawn more than 4,000 official viewer complaints and been denounced in
the House of Lords, the House of Commons and the Scottish Parliament. In
Wales, Peter Black, a member of the Welsh Assembly, complained that the map
showed "a cavalier disregard for Swansea." Other people said that the new
graphics made them feel queasy, as if they were going to throw up."
BBC's New Weather Report:
Why the change, as BBC lays it out:
How do you prepare people for change?
Nullius in Verba
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: Mon Jun 27 2005 - 07:34:02 EDT