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Managing change is a critical component of any major transformation. It is a necessary process that helps companies successfully implement new strategies. Change management gets results by building sponsorship from the top, creating leaders who will act as change agents, and by changing behaviors in frontline teams and individual employees in business units.
Communications are a crucial change management tool in realigning culture and building commitment and enthusiasm for change. Carefully designed and deliberately timed communications will be critical to the success of the change program.
The best change programs reinforce core messages through regular, timely advice that is both inspirational and actionable. Communication is both outbound and inbound. It should be targeted so as to provide employees the right information at the right time, to solicit their input and feedback and to check in on their emotional response to what they’ve heard. Change programs often require over-communication through multiple, redundant channels. However, communication must be timed, coordinated, consistent, and personal. The best change leaders speak from the heart and convey a deep sense of personal commitment. They tell a consistent story and view telling the story as a key responsibility in the change process. The detailed communications plan will fall out of Phase 1 work but should adhere to a set of common guiding principles: