It’s just a little dot!

A partner of one of the big consultancy firms shared a familiar tale yesterday. His C-Suite had had a eureka moment. A branding agency was hired to refresh and energise the current logo. It would give the company a good old freshen up and enhance customer perception.

Genius. Simples.

Leadership decided the logo would be changed in all global offices over the weekend — as a surprise. No-one knew the rebrand was happening Until, one Monday morning, arriving in their familiar office, they find their familiar logo had suddenly acquired a coloured dot.

Ta-dah.

A small change… but an unexpected small change. If change is done TO people rather than WITH them, the human brain releases neurochemicals that spark physiological effects: anxiety, tension. Effects that lead people to invent spurious reasons to resist, and dislike, the change.

Rumours started. What did the dot mean. Merger? Who’s logo was that colour? A change of strategy? Had it cost 2 million, 5 million? Would it affect bonuses? Restructure? The rumours got more exaggerated as they spread across the organisation.

A dark shadow of angst loomed across a confused organisation. Productivity dropped.

Because in silence lies fear.

If they’d known and had been involved in the redesign, the story would have played out very differently. Even minor changes can be used to reinforced and strengthen culture.

If you are embarking on a change journey, even if its a change to make employee lives better, get it right or you may spark the wrong thing.

If you want to know more about employee led innovation and people powered transformation reach out — or follow me on twitter @katzy