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Cascading Organisational Change Communication

Updated: Apr 11

A multi-level fountain is a great metaphor to show how change should cascade down through the organisation. This concept is equally important when communicating the change. The water flows from the top, soaking each layer of the organisation until it reaches the pool at the bottom, and then it is pumped back up to the top as part of a continuous loop. The water is the change business case, vision, expectations, responsibilities and business benefits.

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Top Down: The cascade approach should start top down from the CEO and sponsor, be passed to and from the executive team to the department managers, and finally to all other employees. Like the water in the fountain, no level should be missed or bypassed.

Between Departments: Horizontal and diagonal communication flow is also important to ensure departments are aware of what each other is doing. Benefits include collaboration, coordination, problem solving, and resource sharing.

Feedback Loop: In the fountain, the water must be returned to the top to ensure a continuous flow. Similarly, feedback from employees within the organisation is essential to understanding what is working well and what needs to be adjusted. The feedback loop provides valuable insights that can drive improvements and enhance change communication. By actively seeking feedback from employees, organisations can gain a deeper understanding of their perspectives, identify areas for improvement.

No Vacuums: Vacuums will always exist when change is cascading. There may be resistance where some employees have other priorities, do not understand the change, or do not agree with it. The vacuum should be quickly filled, and any resistance should be addressed.

"Effective change communication is at the heart of successful change, it acts like the blood in our bodies, but instead of supplying vital oxygen and nutrients, communication supplies information and motivation to the impacted stakeholders"

Effective communication is at the heart of successful business change, creating awareness and understanding about the change. Even in normal day-to-day operations, many business problems encompass communication failure, and equally, communication failure causes business problems. All too often, organisational leaders and the change team do not give enough consideration to the need for communication. Change programmes focus on the human side of change within the business and must incorporate a clear, focused, and repetitive approach to communication, which is strongly linked to their engagement with stakeholders. It is important that the communication be proactive and consistent to reinforce the key change messages and vision with a feedback loop.


Peter consults, speaks, and writes on the Leadership of Change®.

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Peter F Gallagher, change management body of knowledge (CMBoK), Leadership of change, change management books, change management volumes, change management, change management models, change management gurus, change management experts, change management global thought leaders, change management influencers, change management books, change management Leadership, change management keynote speakers,

Peter F Gallagher is a Change Management Global Thought Leader, Guru, Expert, International Speaker, Author and Leadership Alignment Coach.

Listed #1 by leadersHum Top 40 Change Management Gurus You Should Follow in 2022 (Mar 2022).

Ranked #1 Change Management Global Thought Leader: Top 50 Global Thought Leaders and Influencers on Change Management (2023-2022-2021-2020) by Thinkers360.

Listed #15 in the “Top 30” for Global Gurus Leadership (2024) by Global Gurus.

Ranked #1 Business Strategy Global Thought Leader: Top 50 Global Thought Leaders and Influencers on Business Strategy (2022) by Thinkers360.

Ranked #6 Leadership Global Thought Leader: Top 50 Global Thought Leaders and Influencers on Leadership (April 2024) by Thinkers360.

Business Book Ranking

Change Management Behaviour - Leadership of Change® Volume 6, listed among the 50 Books from Thinkers360 Thought Leaders to read in 2022.

Change Management Adoption - Leadership of Change® Volume 5, listed among year-to-date’s (Jul 2021) most popular books on business and technology from Thinkers360 member thought leaders.

Change Management Handbook - Leadership of Change® Volume 3, listed among the 50 Business and Technology Books from Thinkers360 Thought Leaders to read in 2021.

Change Management Pocket Guide - Leadership of Change® Volume 2, ranked within the top 50 Business and Technology Books (Jan 2020) from Thinkers360 Thought Leaders.



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