A simple lesson learned to be applied to all elements of change or potential change within a project. Clear communication of your most likely expectation! If your team has no idea of the potential change options, or worse, is fairly confident that there will not be any change to an element, introduction of change will be met with resistance, regardless of its validity. To put it simply, set your expectations as clearly as possible. If you know you have three possible outcomes, or 3,000, make that known so that your team can calibrate their expectations accordingly.
I recently had the opportunity to attempt an outdoor team meeting as I have shared on this blog and had been considering for some time. The results were mixed and as I considered why exactly that was I realized that the most significant reason for the mild opposition to this meeting format wasn’t the fact that it was held outdoors, but more fundamentally, it was that this was a change that was entirely unexpected by the team. An element of the project (as simple as a meeting venue) which is perceived by the team to be 100% fixed – and then changes – is difficult for even the most innovative groups to adjust to. Even though I had been considering and planning a change in venue to our weekly meetings for sometime…I had not shared this possibility.
So on a small scale, I wanted to share this experience with you all in the hopes that you might translate it into the planning of your next outdoor meeting as well as on a larger scale regarding change and expectations on your projects.