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Change Management Communication - Starts with the Why

Updated: Apr 2

Effective communication is at the heart of successful business change, creating awareness and understanding about the change. Change programmes must incorporate a clear approach to communications that is strongly linked to their engagement with stakeholders. A change communication plan (CCP) should be produced that shows how information will be distributed and received by all stakeholders involved in the change programme. It identifies the means, medium, messages, and frequency of communication between different stakeholders. It is used to establish and manage on-going communications throughout a programme. It is important that the communication be proactive and consistent to reinforce key messages.

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“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”

Communications planning is the process of determining the information and communication needs of the change programme stakeholders. It should answer the questions: who needs what information, when they need it, how it will be given to them, and by whom. Communication requirements should be clearly defined to facilitate the transfer of information from the change team to the various stakeholders in a format that meets their needs. It should be in the frame of reference of the target audience. The plan should be tailored to build trust but also manage resistance across stakeholder groups and sustain energy throughout the change lifecycle. A good communication plan can prevent resistance growth and support speedy change adoption. Initial communication considerations should, at a minimum, include the key elements depicted above.


Why are we changing?

The ‘why are we changing?’ concept addresses the typical questions the impacted stakeholders ask when they become involved in an organisational change. It helps to create key communication text that answers these questions in a concise and consistent way. It should be used in communication strategy planning and feed into the communication change plan. The employee usually needs to understand or at least be aware of the following:


  • Why is there a business need? The business needs to change because new technology is available, customer buying habits are changing, etc.

  • What is the business case? The business needs to improve operating efficiency, or the competition will put us out of business, etc.

  • What is the vision for change? The vision for change should be clearly articulated by the organisation’s leadership, it should at a minimum describe what the organisation will look like when it moves from the current ‘a’ state to the improved future ‘B’ state.

  • What is the risk of not changing? The risk of not changing could be lower profits, the potential to go out of business, etc.

  • When and what is the timeline? The employee will be interested in key communication events, their involvement in the design, if and when they will receive training, when the system goes live, etc.


Stakeholder Information Needs is part of Communicate the Change and the fifth step of the a2B Change Management Framework® (a2BCMF®).













 

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

For further information please visit our websites:


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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.

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

Ranked #2 Leadership Global Thought Leader: Top 50 Global Thought Leaders and Influencers on Leadership (Aug 2020) 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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