change communications

Communication volumes could be killing your business

aaeaaqaaaaaaaajmaaaajgzizdhhnmriltc0odmtnduwzi05ytkzltvknjnmnmjly2i5nqIn the book, Leading Change, John Kotter identifies “a failure to communicate” as one of the major factors causing low success rates among corporate change initiatives. He estimates that in one month:

  • the total amount of communication reaching the average employee is roughly 2.3 million words or numbers
  • the typical communication of a change effort is approximately 13,400 words

It follows that the average change communication effort will capture what he calls “information market share” of about .6 percent (13,400 divided by 2.3 million) per month relative to every other company-related piece of content.



By | August 8th, 2016|change communications, internal communications|0 Comments

Managers are the fulcrum for successful change

Frontline managers are the center of activity for companies — where grand strategy becomes practical activity. They also establish your organization’s most nuclear bond of trust. Employees generally turn to their immediate supervisor, not just for messaging content, but also for tone: Is this really going to work? Should we take this initiative seriously? Do we have a reason to worry?



By | August 1st, 2016|change communications, internal communications|0 Comments

Three ways employee communications can be more strategic

Most groups want to be strategic, but we often make assumptions about what that might look like. I addressed the topic of strategic communications at a high level in one of my recent posts.


This time, I want to be more specific about the tactics of strategy. What can employee communications specifically do to be more strategic, support change and help drive better business outcomes?


Studies in simplicity: Microgoals

Big and complicated problems often generate big, complex solutions. Ken Segall puts it very well in his book, Think Simple, when he writes, “It’s in our DNA to prefer simpler things, yet we so often open the door to complexity. That’s because being complicated is easy. Making things simpler is the more challenging task.”


If you want to do one thing today that will greatly increase your chance of success on any project, personal or business, do the hard work up front to make it simpler.



The human factor

We focus on finding solutions to our problems, but sometimes the bigger challenge is choosing the right problem to solve. Sports like basketball make it easy — score points and the team with the most wins. Business and life, on the other hand, are much harder. You can spend decades scoring baskets only to find out that rebounds are what mattered … or time of possession … or total electrolytes consumed.


When we look at widely admired leaders, we often find people who have an unshakeable sense of the problem they were solving. It guides them, tells them when to compromise, when to be radical and when to be unyielding despite the odds.



Change is personal

I have worked with many change experts over the years, collaborating to bring effective communication practices to their differing methodologies.


I especially remember a man who visited our organization with his entourage every few months. He projected authority and conducted direct conversations with our executive team about “alignment” and “accountability.”


Early on, I read his introductory book on change and found some value in it. In particular, my wife and I were having a minor disagreement about how to handle a situation with our daughter. I used an idea from the book to help me approach it with her more constructively, and I decided to share the experience.



By | May 24th, 2016|change communications, change management|0 Comments

Three ways to help employees accept the next big change

Lack of employee acceptance is a main reason for the failure of many company initiatives. Leaders can generate a lot of electricity at the corporate power plant, but if the “power lines” to employees are broken, your energy will not translate to action or results.


What good is a brilliant strategy that never comes to fruition? What is the real cost of failed or forced implementations in terms of employee morale and institutional inertia when the next big initiative comes around?