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Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes

Time to bring change in from the cold and embrace, not just face, the strange

It’s an age-old adage that ‘change is a constant’. Strategies, objectives, leadership, culture, the world around us (and the rest) mean that, as internal comms folk, we deal with change so often that it’s almost becoming the norm – see what we did there?

So, acknowledging that is one thing. But what do we do about it? Well, change the way we work, of course.

How?

Here are our six steps to shaping your change communications:

When we’re not sure of the future, long term goals seem too lofty and far away. Instead, set short-term goals, and keep them at the front of people’s minds. This means they feel achievable and allows you to remain adaptable, agile, and reactive – but in a planful manner, with one eye on the big picture.

Celebrating past achievements, short-term milestones and behaviours with thank yous, well dones and check-you-outs will keep people motivated when change is afoot. It might not even be directly linked to the change programme but it can celebrate some of the behaviours you need – so work out what those behaviours are in advance.

Our brains crave information. When we don’t have it, we make it up and fill in the gaps. We need the big picture. We love to explore the detail. And we love it even more when we can generate our own snippets of insight too. Encouraging exploration on platforms where you can guide people to come to well-founded conclusions is the key; whether it’s open-conversation sessions or looking out for threads on your ESN, the more you encourage it, the more you can guide it.

We need to know that the folks in charge have our backs and that they’re people like us. Time for leaders to roll up their sleeves and have some meaningful conversations with their people. They could even encourage exploring while they do ;) .

Time after (once upon a) time, we know that storytelling works. It inspires empathy, it tells people why, it helps people care and, done right, it’s more likely to generate commitments. Get your ‘whys’ clear, your short-term narrative set, and tell your story far and wide…

Finally, there’s scientific proof that the fun stuff is not just for the lolz. We have a tendency to stick to the facts and be worried about frivolities. But, when our brains get bored, or scared, we look for ways out – be that the task in hand or the business itself. Our brains need novelty. Keeping it light – where it suits – helps us to stay focused on the stuff that matters.