How to Get Your Elevator Pitch for Change Right

How to Get Your Elevator Pitch for Change Right
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The Right Elevator Pitch for Change

During organizational change, there are many macro and micro moments of truth that either help move the change forward or that increase employees’ resistance to change.  At the macro level of change, maintaining open communication can help to prevent work rumors, decrease anxiety, and mitigate mistakes.  At the micro level of change, the right elevator pitch for change can make or break informal conversations with key stakeholders.

What is an Elevator Pitch?
Some believe that the term elevator pitch originated in Hollywood where screenwriters would catch an unsuspecting movie executive in the elevator and give them their pitch for the next great film.  An elevator pitch is a clear and simple explanation of a concept that any listener can understand in a short period of time – generally 30-60 seconds.  The objective of an elevator pitch for change is to create enough trust and connection with your listener that they are either satisfied with your explanation or engaged and curious enough to ask for more information.

What Your Listener Cares Most About
As with any effective communication, short or long, change management consulting experts know that it is imperative to first understand who your audience is and what they can care most about.  What you say to hook and connect with a senior leader will differ from what you say to engage with an individual contributor or team manager. Tailor your message to whatever will draw in your listener, pique their curiosity, and ultimately their support.

Seven Basic Components to an Elevator Pitch for Change
Based upon data from change management simulation participants, when it comes to organizational change, make sure that your change champions and change leaders can clearly and consistently finish the following six sentences:

  1. Our change is about…
  2. The change is important and the change is urgent because…
  3. Successful change will look like
  4. …will be most affected by the changes.
  5. Our change plan is to…
  6. What we need from you during the change is…
  7. The benefits of the change to you, your team, and the organization are…

Two Change Elevator Pitch Examples from a Financial Services Client
Below are two examples created by a recent change leadership team going through a digital transformation.  They were meant to provide a foundation for each change agent to create their open 30-60 second elevator pitch when presenting to executives and team members.

  • Standard Elevator Pitch
    Our change is about
    working differently so we can better grow and serve more clients with our existing workforce.

    It is important and urgent because our clients expect more.  If we keep doing things the way they have always been done, we are going to get left behind.

    Successful change will look like 50% greater throughput while ensuring that employee engagement and client satisfaction improve or stay the same.

    Our change plan is to consolidate, simplify, and automate key back office processes.

    What we need from you is openness to let go of legacy habits and to provide honest and frequent feedback.

    The benefits to you are more confidence in and control over your work to better serve clients with less stress and effort.

  • Story Telling Format
    Going from good to great, requires clarity, creativity, courage, and commitment to do things differently, so that we can do what we do better than everyone else. What if we could grow exponentially without adding a single new employee?  Go from 96 disconnected systems to 1?  Increase your capacity to solve problems faster, smarter, and more creatively?  That is a future that we not only want but NEED to create if we are going to grow to the next level and become an industry leader versus follower.

    Why? Our business is complex, but it does not need to be complicated. We simply cannot scale, grow, serve at the top of our game if we do not start doing things differently.  Over the years we have provided value to our customers through whatever means necessary — and it has worked.  But it has also resulted in ways of working behind the scenes that are messy, complicated, not repeatable, or scalable.

    To continue growing, NOW is the time for us to work smarter and simplify our technology and processes, while increasing our ability to transfer knowledge, collaborate, and innovate.

    This change is about transforming how we will use technology to systematically simplify the complexity that is preventing us from scaling our business to serve more customers, accelerate the growth and impact of our services, and innovate.   The payoff?   The opportunity to deliver more value to our clients, be part of a forward-thinking industry influencer, and derive more satisfaction in the impact of your contributions every day.

    It will not be easy, it will take time, and we will all need to change and evolve how we deliver value every day.   This change will require everyone to engage in the transformation of how we work if we are going to be successful setting you, our customers, and the company up for a successful and long future.

    We are 100% committed to this change initiative AND setting you up to be successful throughout this transformation. So what do you need from us to join this story?

The Bottom Line
The change elevator pitch is designed to positively influence the outcome of your change project. You will know that you are on the right track when your key stakeholders can finish the above seven sentences in a way that aligns with your vision for successful change.

To learn more about successful change, download the 5 Science-Backed Lenses of Change that Leaders Must Get Right

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