A change you can't communicate is no change at all...
It’s a failure rate that is stunning.
Major corporate transformation programs – the kind that routinely follow months or years of planning (and investment of astronomical resources) - have a success rate of less than 50 per cent.
In fact, some experts say it is as low as 20 per cent.
And if you are missing this one crucial part of the puzzle it won’t matter how long you plan or how much you spend. Failure to make your change stick and become part of your organisation’s culture is assured.
Change expert John Kotter lists ‘under-communication’ as one of the major reasons change efforts fail. So many organisations think that a glossy plan, poster or an all-staff email can deliver successful long-term organisational and cultural change.
They think that designing the large-scale change and communicating it are two different things. And too often, they don’t apply the same analytical rigour and investment to employee communications that they give to working out the operational and financial processes that are going to change.
At ThinkPlace we specialise in large-scale transformations and we understand that such changes generally take place within complex systems. If you haven’t taken the time and selected an approach that allows you to understand how the parts of the system are interconnected, then you won’t be able to simply drop in a set of changes and stand back as they are instantly adopted.
I have never been in a workshop where communication hasn’t been mentioned as a critical component in project success. And yet, so many organisations devote insufficient time and resources to getting it right.
We’ve learned to do things differently – a better approach. Here are some of the questions you should be asking if you want to be part of the 50 per cent of changes that actually succeed .
Are you thinking about your people?
It seems redundant to say that the most important factor in change management is the people. But how do you reach your people? How do you get them to act?
Effective strategic communication has the capacity to steer substantial change. Without it, organisations struggle to take people with them and achieve what they set out to do.
Research has shown consistently that band-aid solutions, token consultation and dictating cultural change from the top are all doomed to fail. So why do organisations continue to try and implement major organisational change doing just that?