Alignment Is a Process, Not An Event

Leading change across cross-functional teams can test your patience.  You put so much time and energy in your communication, and it feels like team leads are still not an advocate for your initiative.  This change is all so obvious, how can they not see it or support this priority, what did I do wrong? -- this is painful the thinking often goes.

On the flip side, how common is it for you to adopt a new belief and shift the way you allocate your time in a day after a single communication point?  How many communication points and minutes of consideration did it take for you to adopt new behavior?

In my experience it takes 3 communication touch points before you get real mental engagement and shifting beliefs in large organizations.  Alignment is a process, not an event.  

So the next time you are leading change with cross-functional leaders, set your expectations that you need to engage with them 3 times before they will start co-creating with you.  You'll be less likely to lose your patience, and they'll be thanking you for helping them help you.

Socialize your ideas before you sell them.  Co-create your ideas.  Expect to engage key stakeholders 3 times before they actually begin to embrace your initiatives with new beliefs.