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Case Study on Change Communication

The New Strategy Must be Communicated

The new strategy runs the risk of being ridiculed if it is only partially or unilaterally communicated.


The strategy was developed by the top team. The following concepts were identified as the new cornerstones of the company:

New markets

Depending on the communication skills of the individual manager, it has already been communicated to the middle management level. But the message has not been delivered to the rest of the company.

The communications department has developed and produced posters with cornerstones of the strategy, and have sent these to the secretaries of every business unit executive, who are now responsible for their distribution.

But because employees asking "Are we expecting a visit or why are we hanging posters again?", we have been asked to develop a communication strategy that makes sense and engages employees with those responsible for corporate communication and HR. 
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There is No Uniform Understanding of Innovation

In the past, the word innovation has been so heavily strained that employees are becoming increasingly cynical of its use.

  • Innovation as a pillar of the strategy was drilled into companies by managing directors so often that "nobody wants to hear it anymore".
  • A uniform understanding of the need for a new strategy and the rethinking of innovation needs to be established.
  • The company is too sluggish, innovations are either not being developed in the market or do not reach the market in time and on budget.
  • According to employee surveys, trust in management has declined in recent years.

The following 9 steps help us arrive at a coordinated communication concept:
  1. Appointing a communications team
  2. Clarifying order/conducting a stakeholder analysis
  3. Deciding whether it is an explicit or an implicit change. If explicit: Branding of the project
  4. Defining communication goals
  5. Developing a communication strategy
  6. Evaluating existing communication measures
  7. Selecting communication measures and timing
  8. If necessary, coordinating the communication plan with management
  9. Integrating the communication plan into the project plan
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Confidence and insight through dialogue

In addition to the already well-functioning and implemented corporate communication measures, we have developed and integrated a dialogue concept that, in contrast to the past, builds on exchange and participation instead of one-way delivery of information.

  • Develop / rework to an audience-oriented change story
  • Development of an innovation workshop, which is implemented throughout the company 

  • Dialogue Box Workshop: The "Innovation" dialogue box is a closely controlled workshop that enables managers worldwide to discuss the topic of innovation with their employees through a structured 5-step approach, translate the concepts into their everyday life and participate in discussions about "why" and "what does it matter to me?" of innovation.
  • Breakfast talks with CEO: During the batch process, employees from a wide range of areas participate in a joint 1-hourbreakfast with the CEO in the cafeteria and can both ask questions and express their concerns.
  • Open Space at an Annual General Meeting: At a company meeting, discussions on the emerging topics are held with the works council in various sessions in open groups.
  • Chatroom: Corporate Communication creates a chatroom that is open at specific times and monitored by rotating members of the Change Board.
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The Impact of a Dialogue Box

How exactly does this Dialogue Box work?


The workshop materials are rather playful. With cones, play-dough and cards, the dialogue box looks like a game rather than familiar "work".
In 5 steps, the participants will be introduced through a lighthearted opening - an initial comparison of the interpretation of the concept of innovation - through the consideration of which prerequisites are needed - evaluation of the team - to the question: What can the team and each individual take responsibility for to make a difference, starting tomorrow?

  • By reporting the results to HR, companies will benefit from knowing which area needs more support.
  • Creating a common understanding of the importance of innovation.
  • Comparing the various perspectives in the company.
  • Better cooperation beyond interfaces.
  • Anchoring of a common goal - worldwide cascade - at approximately the same level of quality.
  • Leadership is introduced to the control of a real dialogue on a "non-technical" topic. The manager performs the management task.
  • Back to the direct communication culture (vs. one-way email traffic).

Participant comments

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I was impressed that the training and development of my employees seemed so important to management and I feel valued because of it".

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I was convinced by the structured and well-run concept of the dialogue box. Using this concept, a team will be able to exchange views on cross-critical issues and thus reach a solution. In the future, I will definitely consider using this structure for other topics."