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Communicating Change

Communicating Change

Historically businesses used to be all about stability. If you wanted your business to succeed, you needed predictable growth and there was very little wiggle room for anything that fell outside of that clearly defined path. But, businesses today face an enormity of external and internal factors at play, that make change ever present. Globalization has ensured one thing – everything changes all of the time.

Being able to manage change, has become a vital factor in determining success. The failure of many change projects can often be attributed to financial, structural and strategic issues, and a predominant focus on these aspects of the project ,means a lack of focus on the human side of change.

Communicating Change In Business


Having a clear plan and structure in place is important, but in order to bring this to life and ensure project success, leaders need to make the ‘people side of change’ a priority. 

What does this mean? 

People are at the heart of transformation. In order to implement change, you need people to drive the change and the only way this can be achieved is by ensuring their buy-in and full support. 

To encourage employee support, change needs to be communicated effectively.


Harvard Business School online, suggests 4 steps to consider when constructing an effective change communications plan.

  1. Share a Vision 
  2. Tell a Story 
  3. Make those in your organisation the Heroes
  4. Chart the path.

Let’s unpack these steps in more detail.

1.Share a Vision 

Share information on how the organisation, and the employees, will benefit from the change.

To do this, answer the following questions:

  • What does the future state of the organisation look like? How will it operate once the change is implemented?
  • What will employees experience as a result of the change?
  • Will the results be tangible? What will these look like?
  • Will there be a sense of accomplishment? How do we define success?
  • What will the rewards be for the organisation as a whole, and for the employees?

By answering these questions, employees will have a better understanding of the kind of transformation journey they will embark on. 

2. Tell a Story

Tell the business story. Speak of where it is now, and where you hope it will be. Communicating the story of the change initiative can have a powerful effect on igniting this shared vision within the people that make up your organisation. 

3. Make those in your Organisation the Heroes

Sharing your story means that employees can find their own part to play in pursuing success. They can become active participants in the change initiated, by identifying efforts that would resonate with them. They will feel like they can become part of the process, rather than something that has been forced on them.

4. Chart the path

Equip those in your organisation to become leaders in your change communication. Once your employees believe that your shared vision is good for the company, you need to expose them to the path that will lead to success. 

  • How will change be implemented? 
  • What are the next steps? 
  • What are the milestones for success?

Change Communication In Business

But, communication does not end there. Communication should be on-going, consistent and persistent throughout the change process. Keep re-enforcing these steps, reminding employees why you’ve embarked on this journey, reminding them of the end goal and the benefits the project has for them and the business. An effective communication plan could be the key to unlocking your organisation’s change potential. 

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