Culture Leadership Charge – The “Managing by Announcements” Fallacy

How well are new policies and procedures embraced in your organization? If you’re like most companies, it all depends on how well – and how quickly – those new expectations are embedded as practices.

It doesn’t matter what the change is – it could be a new software system or a new purpose statement. What matters is what happens after the change is announced. Yet most leaders operate under the faulty assumption that telling people what is expected ensures alignment to the change.

This fallacy is known as “managing by announcements,” where leaders announce the details of a change, then expect that all players will immediately embrace the new expectations.

In today’s episode of my Culture Leadership Charge video series, I share how leaders can increase the success of new processes or procedures by embedding them, reinforcing them, and celebrating them – not just announcing them.

My Culture Leadership Charge series features short (two-to-three-minute) segments that describe proven culture leadership practices that boost engagement, service, and results across your work teams, departments, regions, and even your entire company.

Each episode’s “charge” is a challenge for everyone in your organization – not just leaders – to refine their behaviors and ensure everyone is treated respectfully at all times.

You’ll find my Culture Leadership Charge episodes and more on my YouTube and Vimeo channels. If you like what you see, please subscribe.

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What is your experience with leaders “managing by announcements”? How have your best bosses helped embed the new approaches effectively? Share your insights on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

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  • Judd Hoekstra

    Chris, thanks for the great reminder about the detrimental effects of the “MBA virus.” And thanks for sharing the cure!

    • Thanks, Judd! Managing by announcements costs companies time, engagement, service, and money – gotta stop it in its tracks!

      Happy New Year!


  • What I’ve witnessed are different reactions depending on how the policy is perceived. 1. Is this just the flavor of the week? Or is this one going to be embedded in our practices?
    2. Does this apply to upper management too? Or is a free for all for them, while we are expected to take it seriously?
    3. Does the policy come with ‘if/then’ clauses so a) we know what it looks like, b) what the consequences are, c) how it affects operations if we don’t follow it.

    You’re right. MBA doesn’t work without the full package.

    • You’re exactly right, Jane. Managing by announcements creates a variety of natural reactions, mostly resistance to the change!

      Thanks for your insights – and Happy New Year!


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