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Engaging Change Through Effective Communications

Engaging Change Through Effective Communications

August 4, 2015 0 Comments

This is an excerpt of a bylined article appearing in the August issue of O’Dwyers.

As most of us can attest, the pace of change has accelerated in recent years due to disruptions in a range of industries. McKinsey research suggests companies are in a nearly permanent state of organizational flux, with 60 percent of global executives reporting they had experienced a redesign within the past two years.

Despite a huge investment in change management strategies, tools and training, companies struggle to realize the promise of these redesigns. Studies still show that 70 percent of change initiatives in organizations fail.

Prioritizing Engagement over Change Management

Change initiatives fail for a number of reasons, but a key breakdown is top-down communication that comes across as unauthentic or fades away after the initial announcements.

Instead of focusing on “managing” a change, our experience tells us that engaging organizations in change is a more effective and long-lasting solution. After all, most employees today have seen or personally experienced organizational change multiple times unlike a generation or two back, when most employees faced such a change just a few times in their careers. The current workforce is far more nimble and adaptive to change than many realize.

What employees crave most is understanding and a belief that their trusted leaders see the need for and benefit of the change at hand. Below are our best practices for building trust and improving change communications:

  • Eliminating the point A to point B mindset
  • Meeting the organization where it is
  • Creating clarity of message
  • Going beyond the written word
  • Making time for interaction
  • Building communications capabilities among all leaders
  • Keeping the communications cascade rolling

As the pace of change continues to accelerate, organizations that successfully engage employees in the journey will be the most adaptable to change and the best poised to take advantage of the opportunities presented by the changes they face.


Click here to read this piece in its entirety (see page 50) in the August 2015 issue of O’Dwyer’s magazine.

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