Aligning a whole team on the ultimate direction of your business takes time and repetition.
How many occasions to present, discuss and illustrate your perspective will you need until people believe in it? Go ahead, what’s your estimate? Now that you have that number, double or triple it. You’re probably way closer to reality.
Repetition is more important than you think. It helps people move through three phases:
Phase 1 – Knowing
People hear your message, maybe for the first time. They want to make sense of it. Then they forget most of it immediately. Maybe they didn’t pay full attention. Maybe they couldn’t attend the meeting. You will have to repeat yourself again until they know what you really mean.
Phase 2 – Accepting
What is new is often rejected. Some people will be excited about the new strategy and will turn into early supporters. Others won’t. They will need more time so they can digest your new vision. It can be a slow process. Repeat yourself, using different examples. Ask questions, solicit feedback, check on acceptance. Rinse and… repeat.
Phase 3 – Believing
For people to believe you, you have to believe first. Believers are tenacious, and you need to lead by example here. People believe things are real when things are real. For something to be real, it needs to show up more than once and in a variety of ways. The team needs to see that your strategy works. They need to feel stability too.
Something a bit more philosophical yet unfortunately apropos: how many times does it take for some to believe that injustice is real? Too many.