Continuing with our example of a new executive who feels compelled to communicate a dramatic new direction – what if that’s all that staff hear? They will be left feeling that there is a gap between the executive and the reality of day-to-day work. Nothing will be done, practically, by most staff to move toward the goal until their own manager tells them more. But what if the manager also does nothing, either because leadership has disseminated no more information, or worse if there is no opportunity to provide feedback on the new direction.
The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) highlights the importance of an effective communication strategy in delivering successful change(5) . Clear messages are needed about what change is intended to achieve, and its impact on those affected. Messages should be delivered through a multichannel approach, for example: by line management; group question and answers session; roadshows; town hall meetings; leadership presentations; voice conferences; internal social media; and not just shock email announcements. The opportunity for two-way communication is most important, as discussed later in this article at ‘Collaboration and Ownership’.
Early in the planning stages of transformation, interviewing key executives and managers to gain their insight on where the transformation opportunity is, and the political climate is invaluable in steering change planning. All of this of course will take programme planning, coordination, time, and work to set up for success. Clear roles, responsibilities and the right skills and resources are therefore critical as noted later in this series at ‘Structure’.
Coming Next in Part 2…
Tomorrow, in Part 2 of this series we will discuss the transformation business case, operational structure, and business capability.
Before you take the transformation leap, check your parachute. Contact us to learn more:
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1. Why 84% Of Companies Fail at Digital Transformation, Forbes, 2016
2. The Timeless Strategic Value of Unrealistic Goals, Harvard Business Review, 2012
3. Small wins: Redefining the Scale of Social Problems, Karl Weick, American Psychologist, 1984
4. Clear Decision-Making in Information Governance, British Computer Society, 2010
5. Employee Communication Factsheet, Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, 2017