Communication in Change Processes
Effective communicaton during the change phases
For successful change communication, it is important to have the right format for the right target group at the right time. At the beginning of the process, the intent and purpose of the project takes center stage in order to work on the acceptance of all affected parties. In later phases, other topics become the primary focus.
We view change communication as accompanying measures and interventions of the actual project. During the process, we work together closely with you as the client, as well as with all important communication departments. Targeted coordination and a close link between the project-related change measures and the communication team is crucial.
Change communication - How to support change effectively!
In the beginning, there´s the change story
The fundamentals of change communcation
As part of the change process, it is necessary to communicate the change story to all involved parties in a way that allows them to accept the meaningfulness, usefulness and seriousness of the change. It includes the reason why the company has to change, future strategies and goals the company aspires to accomplish, the path to reach them, and which personal opportunities, as well as consequences, are a part of this change for each individual person.
As change management consultants, we´ve got plenty of experience in writing new or challenging already existing change stories. This takes a bit of finesse and a knack for choosing the right words. The secret recipe for change stories is: Keep it simple! We need a clear and simple language - not "management talk" or "buzzword bingo". We ensure clarity!
The following classification is an example of a concrete structure of a change story:
1. Necessity of change
2. Upcoming challenges
3. What this means for you (the affected person)
4. What you (as an affected person) can expect from your leadership
The first two points cover the levels of meaningfulness and usefulness, as well as describe what they mean for the present and the future of the company. The last two points make the changes more specific for each individual and show what kind of support can be expected "from the higher-ups".
The history of change provides information to all participants and is intended to be the foundation for all individual contributions to the change process. Generally, the change story is explained by management or the management board, who thus show a personal commitment to the change process. The transmission trickles down to the lowest employee level (cascading briefings). A thoroughly thought-out and well-communicated change story prevents the spreading of rumors, as well as the "telephone game" and it ensures that the content reaches all concerned parties. The targeted management of the change story, therefore, strongly influences how the change management process is communicated, assessed and supported by executives and employees in the company.
TOOLS & METHODS FOR CHANGE COMMUNICATION
The Dialogue Box - A tool for communication in dialogue format
Those affected by change processes often complain about not having been well informed enough - even if presentations, posters, roadshows and town hall meetings were prepared and implemented with great effort. Why is that?
Good communication is more than just having your audience listen
Our experience is that those affected want to talk, express themselves, position themselves, ask questions and express their opinions. It is only then that an active discussion on the change topics can take place. Information flow from both directions is a necessity.
One goal of change communication is to create a dialogue
The Dialogue Box is a communication tool that ensures the dialogue takes place across the entire organization. The Dialogue Box is a communication workshop completely customized to your situation and your communication goals, readily assembled in a box - co-developed by us in co-creation with you.
Change Communication in the Cascade
The concept of the Dialogue Box
The workshop materials include playing fields, halma skittles and cards, sometimes even play-dough. The dialogue box is less like work and more like a game.
The participants are guided through the communication process in 4 steps:
- Explanation of the terminology.
- Deliberation and discussion about which prerequisite is a necessity for the success of the change process.
- Team assessments of the actual situation using a scale of 1-10: What prerequisites are present, what is still lacking?
- Conversation and documentation of what the team and each individual can contribute to the success of the change process, starting tomorrow.
Promoting dialogues effectively and sustainably
The Advantages of the Dialogue Box
Dialogues across your entire organization
The cascading of content within the Dialogue Box is extremely fast and effective:
1. They reach many teams (from the top team to the shop floor, through all hierarchical levels)
2. in a short amount of time (parallel workshops are possible)
3. in different locations (at one location or at several, even worldwide)
4. with approximately the same quality (structure of the dialogue is delivered)
By the way, the Dialogue Box is not only useful for conveying a change story.
- The Dialogue Box returns to a direct communication culture (vs. information distribution in the form of one-sided e-mail communication).
- The Dialogue Box provides a common understanding of the change.
- The Dialog Box serves to reconcile various views across the company and to uncover the reasons for potential oppositions.
- The customized content allows for practical discussions and learning.
- Your managers can moderate the workshops themselves. They are introduced to conducting and moderating real dialogues through a clear structure and detailed, prepared workshop materials. Support by co-moderators is also an option.
- Via reporting the (anonymous) results to HR or management, the company benefits from identifying where support is still needed.
It can be used for almost any topic: values, mission statement, strategy, etc.
Have we peaked your interest in a Dialogue Box?
Communication is helpful
We have been able to gather a plethora of good experiences with the Dialogue Box on a variety of topics and are convinced that this tool is effective. We also know that the Dialog Box must be seen, touched and experienced. We would like to introduce it to you live. Set up an appointment with us!
I was impressed that the involvement of the employees is so important to management. I feel that I am being taken seriously and valued in my concerns about the changes."
The clearly structured and well-managed concept of the Dialogue Box definitely convinces me. It enables a team to be able to communicate critical issues objectively and thus be able to get closer to the common goal. I will definitely consider the Dialogue Box structure for other topics in the future."
SEMINARS ON THE SUBJECT OF CHANGE COMMUNICATION
Communication during change
Achieving effective communication in change management is not easy, but also no sorcery. In order to develop and pursue a good communication concept, a solid understanding of change processes and communication
Additionally, those who learn how to identify stakeholders and approach them in a targeted way have established a good toolbox for the next change project
Our seminars on change communication offer:
After this seminar, you will…
- The fundamentals of communication and special requirements in change processes.
- The phases of change and what they mean for communication.
- Guidelines for communication within change projects.
- The Change Story - and what do we do with it?
- Knowing your stakeholders and skillfully getting them involved.
- Why is the dialogue so important? Successful formats.
- Input, discussions, working in groups, exchange of experiences.
- know how to support change processes through communication.
- be familiar with the success factors and tools of change communication.
- be able to plan and implement communication in change management.
- have worked on your own practice examples, looked at your stakeholders and written a change story.
- have met other communicators and change managers and will be able to continuously exchange information and support each other.