Communication, the Key for Implementing Change

July 28th, 2010

Tags: teamwork, communications, implementing change, change management

Human beings are inherently curious. We want to know what is going on and why. Social networks are booming because they fill the curiosity void through communication. It doesn’t have to be a book. The communication can be as little as 140 characters. Implementing change without communicating the Why, What, and the How can lead to failure.

 When teams are formed to tackle issues and implement change everyone outside of the inner core team becomes curious. Why are they getting together? What are they doing behind those closed doors? How will this affect me? The rumor mill will fill the curiosity void with answers to all of these questions. Proactively getting out ahead of the rumor mill through communication is the key to successful implementation of change. If we haven’t communicated proactively even the best technical solutions will be difficult to implement and sustain.

 A study was conducted by John P. Kotter and published in the Harvard Business Review entitled “Why Transformation Efforts Fail.”  The following are the key points from the article.

  • Not Establishing A Sufficient Sense Of Urgency
  • Not Creating A Powerful Enough Leadership Coalition
  • Not Creating A Vision
  • Under Communicating By A Factor Of 10
  • Not Removing Obstacles To The Vision
  • Not Systematically Planning For And Creating Short-term Wins
  • Declaring Victory Too Soon
  • Not Anchoring Changes In The Culture

It is clear from this list that communication that was proactive, easily understood, and delivered in a timely manner would circumvent all of the above. Even though we often think of communication as a soft skill it is the key for implementing change. To enhance your skills enroll in the Teamwork and Communications Course.

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