For you? What about me?

"Wait for me!"What's in it for me? This is the classic question that you want to answer as you are developing any change initiative. It seems to come u a lot in discussions of new technology, knowledge management and social business. This time Jem Janik has published a great WIIFM matrix on the Jive Community. [Thanks to Gia Lyons for the pointer.]

Her table is fairly extensive in terms of coverage and topic areas. It has columns for different levels of people within the business (individual contributors, direct managers, mid-level managers/execs, executives). Against each of these roles, the table lists a wide range of topic areas where they might be affected by the change: from job content to job security to professional opportunities and beyond.

I really like the simple format, and I could imagine each organization and change would have a different set up columns (people affected could include other internal parties or even customers and suppliers). And of course, depending on the people in the columns, there will probably be other types of concerns, such as trade secrets or intellectual property with projects that are expected to work across organizational boundaries.

One other item: What do you do with something like this? I see it as a planning and preparation device, much more than a justification tool. People are going to ask questions and wonder about these topics, having thought through these things in advance will help promote the change as moving in the right direction. With that in mind, the team might even want to consider some of the big issues and concerns represented with the change, because they will arise. If the project can be modified to ameliorate those issues, great. But if not, acknowledging that they exist (when it comes up) is much better than denying any negatives.

[Photo: "Wait for me!" by the.barb]

2 Comment(s)

Gia Lyons said:

Great question, Jack! I would use WIIFM information to craft targeted messages to key audiences. For example, if you need to make sure mid-level managers are on board with your initiative, figure out their WIIFM, and then write messages that address them. Sort of like a FAQ.

Jem Janik said:

I started this doc to give to the local community managers and official community advocates in my company. We often hear the question "why?" when people introduce the community. Similar to Gia's response, it's a starting point to building a message relevant to the audience asking.

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