Tracy Benson

Tracy Benson is the founder and CEO of On the Same Page, a business consultancy that partners with the world’s leading organizations to apply employee communication and engagement strategies, often during times of change.

Most people are wired to thrive in either high-velocity change environments or steady-as-she-goes maintenance environments – rarely both.

The trouble with transformational change is that, generally speaking, it affects everyone. If the secret to driving structural change is rigorous management, the secret to driving people change is emotional engagement.


Peter Senge nailed it in his seminal book, The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization (1990), when he pointed out that the gravity of the status quo is overwhelmingly more powerful than the drive to change.

We have seen leaders and teams get excited about and articulate a future state, and some even develop complex plans. However, many of these plans fall by the wayside or are only half-heartedly deployed to disappointing outcomes. What’s missing?

We’ve heard the quote: “When eating an elephant take one bite at a time.” This simple, yet profound, idea is credited to U.S. Army General Creighton Williams Abrams, Jr., who commanded military operations in the Vietnam War and later served as Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army. Now that was a man who understood what it takes to execute with focus in a complex, ambiguous environment.

That is exactly what organizational transformation is: complex and ambiguous

the ceo magazine, self management

One thing is clear about communication in organizations: The more senior you are, the more amplified your message will be. That’s because employees, customers and shareholders know that the farthest-reaching strategies and decisions are made at the highest levels. And it is simply human nature that we are inherently interested in how these strategies and decisions will ultimately affect us. Like it or not, if you are a CEO, COO or CFO, your every word and even your most innocent gestures are under scrutiny. For a recent example, consider that President Barack Obama’s “Latte Salute” garnered over a million results via Google search. 


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