I was talking to a gentleman at the pool last night as we wrapped up a great Memorial Day weekend. He was telling me about the opening of a renovated restaurant at a private club, for which he’s overseeing the construction and has ultimate responsibility for. This restaurant is going to be a relatively high-end establishment, with both high quality food and service.
He was telling me the team is pressing hard for a July 1 opening, and like anything else, he expects there will be some hiccups along the way, even after the launch. He also knows that he may only have one chance to with some of the members that will visit the restaurant in the initial weeks after opening. Many of these folks used to frequent the “old” restaurant but ventured away over time due to things they didn’t like. He’s pressing very hard to make sure that they “get it right” on Day 1 to win these members back and is concerned he may only have one chance.
That’s great, and I get it his drive to make things perfect. But when was the last time you implemented ANYTHING that was “perfect” on Day 1? If you’re being truthful, the answer is probably never. And so my question for him is, “How have you prepared the members for your opening?” Has this gentleman let them know that there will be bumps over the first several weeks? Has he let them know what they can and should (and shouldn’t) expect as the kinks get worked out? Has he let them know what he and the staff are going to do to “make it right” as they iron out the details?
Think about it. If you expect perfection, and you don’t get it, you will consider that event a failure, regardless of how large or small the breakpoints are. Without the vision buy-in, understanding of the landscape and who’s doing what, your role, etc., the risk, and even likelihood, of failure is high.
However, if you enter into something knowing the true situation, and while things may be bumpy at first, are able see the vision for what the final product can be (in this case, a wonderful new restaurant), aren’t you willing to have a little patience and work with the team as the solution is honed? If your answer is “yes,” then you’ve bought into the final solution. And if you’ve been prepared on what to expect, who’s going to do what, and what you can do to play a part in the success, then the Change Management plan has done its job and a great outcome is near.