“Change is business-as-usual now” was a shared sentiment at our recent roundtable for comms leaders in Zurich. Given the countless forces shaping the business landscape, this is no surprise. The scale and pace of change today are arguably unprecedented. So, what does this mean for change comms, and how can communicators effectively navigate today’s accelerated pace of change?

We delved into these questions at our senior leader roundtable, and we’ve compiled some of the key insights to give you a sneak peek into the event.

Move beyond linear change projects

With so many different changes happening at once, comms leaders warned that approaching change as neat, linear projects with a start, middle and end won’t cut it anymore. Change is constant and it needs to be accommodated as a core, intrinsic part of everyday business for the function. For a lot of teams, this will require an intentional shift away from a traditional view of change comms.

Be clear on the role of comms in change

With change accelerating, communicators risk taking on even more responsibility in their unofficial “change agent” role. Naturally, comms should steer change narratives and messaging – but they should not be regarded as de-facto change managers. That’s why comms teams need to establish clear boundaries and define their roles within the change process. Doing this should enable you to support your business with change without overloading your team.

Consider skills and competencies

Leaders emphasised that communicators must expand their skill sets to handle today’s accelerated pace of change effectively. Kademy research shows that key competencies for successful change comms include business acumen, empathy and stakeholder influencing. Roundtable participants stressed empathy as the most crucial aspect—since change ultimately revolves around people. They also highlighted the importance of good data skills, with digital transformation being a key priority for organisations today.

Put well-being front and centre

Change can be challenging, and employees may struggle to adapt to the supercharged pace of change. That’s why prioritising employee wellbeing is so crucial. Leaders at our roundtable stressed the importance of listening and giving employees space to ask questions and share concerns. Practically, this might mean facilitating more 1:1s with line managers or using change ambassadors to lead peer-to-peer conversations. Ensuring your comms team is closely aligned with HR will help too.

Change management as business success

As one participant noted, perhaps more than ever, “managing change is a key success factor for a business today.” This means that businesses and their senior leaders need to think strategically and proactively about managing change. With a unique view across the organisation, you and your comms team are well-positioned to help your company navigate change – but you cannot shoulder the burden alone. Comms leaders should concentrate on defining their team’s roles, responsibilities and development needs in today’s big change environment.

 


What’s changed about change communication?

In our conversations with comms leaders, one theme always comes up: constant change and how to deal with it.

That’s why we created What’s changed about change communication? – a special report to help you successfully navigate today’s supercharged change environment.

Informed by interviews with 50 global comms leaders, our report contains:

  • Six priorities you can enact now to set your team up for success.
  • Good practice examples on managing change from Rolls Royce and Volvo Group.
  • Perspectives from comms leaders at Aegon, Audi, Groupon and SSAB to help you benchmark against your peers.
  • Practical advice on approaching change comms with a business-as-usual mindset.

What's changed about change comms? Kademy - download