organisational change

Organisational Change and Communication

Did you know that 70% of all changes attempted in organisations fail? The single most important reason for this is so obvious and so simple. Yet we don’t do it! Can you guess? Let me give you a clue: will you arrange a holiday for your family without consulting and talking to them? Yes, you’ve got it. The answer is communication!

What is a business? It is a group of people united to create a desired, profitable result. Who is tasked with implementing a change in that business? Those same people. It is surprising that in the most sophisticated of businesses we fail to communicate adequately when introducing change.

So what is communication about when it comes to change? I’ll use the ANCHOR TM model below, unique to BIOSS Southern Africa, to illustrate this clearly:

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Change Management Training based on the ANCHOR CHAIN model available at BIOSS.

Assess Start with an assessment. Why is the organisational change needed in the first place? It is not only about communicating what the change should look like, but also about communicating WHY the change is needed. The case for making a change should be clearly articulated to all affected stakeholders.

Need Creation. Organisational change will not happen without a burning platform or a compelling, co-created VISION. Without a full understanding of why a change is needed, some employees will be threatened by it and will thus resist it out of perceived self-interest. Change is not easy for most people. If you want your team to buy into a change, you need to understand how important it is to involve, early on, those who will be asked to implement the change. Get their thoughts and feedback. Also be sensitive to the fact that change is challenging and that it can cause individual or personal stress.

Communicate Even if the reason for the organisational change is explained, the actual PROCESS of communicating the desired change should be done in a way that people can readily understand. Don’t use corporate mumbo jumbo in place of actual words that mean something, don’t use statistics and numbers that people don’t understand. Use clear and honest reasons and a vision. And finally don’t use fear, use a compelling, optimistic, positive path instead.

Hear Hearing is part of communicating. We need to allow people to VOICE their resistance and their ideas. We need to take these seriously. When employees feel alienated or excluded or if the change is a top-down dictate, where the team had no real chance to give their input, the result will likely be people who don’t own the change and therefore resist it.

Operationalise Only once we have done all of the above we plan, operationalise and IMPLEMENT change.

Re-inforce Maintain momentum and ensure the SUSTAINABILITY of the change.

If you follow this basic, common sense advice, chances are much higher that your desired change will be embraced!

For more information on BIOSS SA’s change management model and process email or visit our website