Anyone who has led a major change in their organization knows that change is painful, complicated and messy. What if there was a way to make it simpler, easier and less painful? (Note that I am using relative adjectives because NOTHING will totally eliminate these aspects of change.)

There is a widely used acronym called KISS…

Keep It Simple Silly
(insert any other “s” word here)

Here are 4 things you can do to keep things simple when it comes to implementing major change…

1. Be real and realistic

Tell people what is really happening. No corporate speak or spun messages. They can tell. That’s the being real part.

Be realistic and do not expect miracles. Get to know what can be done with the budget, talent and timelines you have available. Set expectations that can be met.

2. Adjust and adapt

This project is not going to happen the way you think it will – even with a lot of careful planning. Plan on your plan getting revamped, recast and re-everythinged as you go through the journey. Have contingencies built in to allow for the unexpected… it is expected.

3. Measure what matters

Don’t go Gantt chart and variance report crazy. Find the 2 or 3 (okay maybe 4) key metrics for defining the success of your project and keep your eyes on that prize. Make sure the people doing the work are doing the work and not distracted by tedious project report update meetings. Short, sweet and to the point is always better. Here’s a simple dashboard we use to measure how many people are at each stage of adoption.


4. Balance pull and push

Help people through the change with the right balance of compliance and commitment. Each person needs to process and accept the change in their own ay in their own time. Accept that and help them – not push them – through it. Major change will not stick until enough people have embraced the change. Understand where people are and what they need to get them through it.


Keep these four things in mind as you embark on a major change with your organization and it will help you “KISS” away a lot unnecessary disruption and stress.