Implementing and communicating change in business improvement projects

24 February 2014 in Business Improvement

Back in 2012, I was asked to provide insight based on my professional experiences for the book Strategic Internal Communications: Boosting Corporate Culture, Productivity and Profitability. (Authors: Leanne Mills and Shirley Anne Fortina. Published by: Ark Group). Here is a snapshot, focusing on business improvement projects, specifically implementing and communicating change in complex environments.

The key to successful and profitable business – is to deliver communications and change effectively. Change is an ever present thing and yet nothing has greater potential to cause failure or is more vital to the survival of any organisation.

It is human nature to be fearful of change and, though change is a constant and a natural part of life, some organisations will go out of their way to make it look like everything is exactly the same as it was before.  The irony is that changes will take place in the internal and external environment but denying it, ‘road-blocking’ new ideas or stating that changes are not required or have not happened, is what does the most damage to companies and their communication.

Many organisations, do have change programs or “management of change” processes to support new projects overall. However these processes are more to address operational specific changes which need to occur. Whilst it is necessary and valuable, and addresses the critical need operationally, it is not always the transformational style of change.  Although complete transformational change is very complex, particularly for large and dynamic companies.

Fears of tackling change through an organisation. How does it affect the middle managers most?

As individuals, it is in our natural brain sequence to block any new ideas when they are initially introduced. So, positive changes that are likely to benefit the greater cause can be quickly derailed by the people working in major organisations.

Change has the most profound effect on leaders and managers, particularly in larger organisations, as they are quite often, implementing and championing the change on behalf of the organisation, and it is their role to engage and manage the change process, as well as manage their day-to-day duties.

The change required can impede on the ability of managers to lead their team and manage output effectively.

If the leadership team and management are not equipped with the right tools to manage the change (this includes a solid communication strategy which supports the change organisationally), they will likely face significant resistance

It is imperative that they have clear and strong support from their leadership team otherwise change efforts will fail.

Author: Lorena Paglia, LVP Consulting

 

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