“Just because you have a blueprint in your mind for where the organisation is going to go over the next five years, it doesn’t necessarily mean you should share that blueprint,” he said.
“If I share where I think the organisation will be in five years’ time, people will think I’m joking. You’ve got to marry the vision to the dynamics of the organisation and industry.”
It is also important to consider what the audience expects before you share your grand plans, he suggests. Looking at how you engage with your audience can also be helpful.
“How do you allow them to own the next iteration of that project?” he asked. “Rather than it being seen as, ‘This is HR’s idea,’ how do you change that to, ‘This is us, collectively, evolving our organisation to ensure we’re set up for future changes’?”
As well as determining how much of your grand vision you should share, it is also important to know when to celebrate success along the way, Duetoft said. However, HR should remember that not everything is going to be a celebratory milestone too, he added.
“It’s about expectation management. If you’re managing expectations, you can say, ‘This is how we’re progressing with confidence’.”
If change is expected to occur rapidly, installing roadmaps that have clear outcomes can be a good idea so that progress can be measured in a tangible way.
“That adds to credibility,” he said. “But it also gives you the ability to recognise the milestones you should celebrate.”
Acknowledging people who are leading these initiatives, whether or not they are tied to a direct milestone, is also vital for HR, he added.
“If they’ve gone through a particularly turbulent technology implementation, for example, I then think it’s appropriate to tie those milestones to a broader business outcome.”
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While it is vital for business leaders to have a grand vision for the initiatives they have in mind, it is not always necessary to communicate these ideas far and wide, said Klaus Duetoft, senior director of HR at eBay Australia & APAC.