How would you start your conversation if your transformation project was a case of now or never?
Earlier this year, the UN released a climate report to warn the world: It's now or never.
No matter where you stand on the climate change debate, you can probably imagine the pressure for leaders and Change Managers to get their message heard loud and clear.
Have you ever felt that there were two teams: The ones who get it and the ones that are unaware?
Now, how do we effectively communicate the vision, ambitions, risks and urgency of our transformation to the majority of people?
Let's look at 3 principles we feel every leader will benefit from when planning the communication for their change project:
3 principles to effective change communication
1. Be clear on your vision and reasons for the change
Change is harder to implement when you don't clearly understand what the desired outcome is. As a value-driven change leader, you must be able to paint a realistic picture of what the future state of your people and organisation will look like. Simply start with the end in mind. This helps you and others to answer the questions: Why? And What's in it for me? Learn more about setting the vision in our Value-Driven Change Leader online course.
Most projects and leaders struggle to plan and execute effective change communication. Did you know that people need to hear a message 5-7 times before considering taking action? Using two-way communication channels to observe and listen to your audience builds trust and credibility. You also need to choose communication channels that are highly interactive and engaging to drumbeat communications. Check out our Communicating Change online course.
Ask, "Why do my organisation and I need to act now before it's too late?"
2. Connect and foster your network of informal change advocates and influencers
You can't be everywhere at once. And, have you considered that you might not be the preferred sender of information? By building strong change advocacy across your entire organisation, you can make your journey easier, communicate wider and use feedback to stay focused on the best change outcomes. Look at your informal network and relationships with a purpose to drive change. Check out our Agile Change Leader online course to learn how.
Over the last few decades, agile frameworks, co-design, and co-creation have made headway toward more flexible change management. Studies found that any approach high in engagement has a higher likelihood of success. This prevents you from falling into the trap of trying to silence or mitigate resistance blindly. Needless to say, it is a fine balance between staying on course and building flexibility into the process. Check out our Conflict Resolution In Change online course for tips and tricks.
Ask, "Who can help me spread and advocate the message across the organisation?"
3. Celebrate small wins to shift mindsets and make big strides over time
Organisations rush from project to project and one thing to the next without recognising how much they have achieved along the way. Our approach is different.
We believe that small wins make big strides in getting an organisation going in the right direction. We also believe that people aren't machines and need to celebrate their achievements along the way. Take time out for regular check-ins and (de-)briefs. This is not yet another meeting but rather a mindset shift. So you know what needs to be done and what you have achieved. Help can be found in our Resilient Change Leader online course and Growth Mindset To Lead Change online course.
Ask, "How can I keep the momentum going and make sure we reach our desired future state?"
Whilst managing change does not equal communication, communicating effectively is key for leaders to successfully transition their teams.
Eva is one of the masterminds behind Approach Services' blog and The 6 Cents of Change. She is an innovator, trainer and change manager. Her work has been published in Schmalenbach Journal of Business Research. In her spare time, she enjoys camping with her two little boys and permaculture gardening.
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