How many times have you heard someone begin a sentence with, “Hopefully…”?
If it’s a simple case of, “Hopefully it won’t rain on our garden party” that’s one thing. When it’s something like, “Hopefully the sales figures will be better next month” or “Hopefully the Project Managers will see the importance of this and give it priority “ or “Hopefully the work will be done in time” – that’s quite another!
Have you noticed that most often the thing people hope for is the co-operation of others. They hope the new product is a success (customers will buy it). They hope the two departments collaborate successfully (people work with each other). They hope the new initiative makes a difference (people buy into the idea).
The problem is, if your outcome depends on other people to take action in a specific way, hope is not enough.
As one of my business mentors used to say, “Hope is not a strategy”.
If you require specific people to do specific things, you need a specific strategy. Of course, some people doubt their ability to motivate others to take action. Some people think they might be lucky and people will do as they ask. But how many people actually formulate a plan that will result in people doing exactly what is needed?
If you’re not one of them, you’re missing out.
Human behaviour has a structure. Motivation has a structure. Communication has a structure. And once you understand that structure, you can plan communications that will motivate people to take action in a very precise way.
Now that’s a strategy!