Change is everywhere. That’s how comms leaders described the state of play at a recent Kademy roundtable. And we couldn’t put it better ourselves. As outlined in our special report on change comms, communicators are facing more constant, complex and challenging change than ever before.

We know you and your teams are used to dealing with change. Change comms is a perennial issue after all. But the speed and type of change occurring today is novel and unprecedented. And this calls for a new approach to change comms. It is no longer adequate for change comms to be handled as a side-project and separate skill. Big change has become business-as-usual, and change comms needs to be approached with a business-as-usual mindset.

That’s all well and good you might think. But how?

Developed by Kademy’s expert trainers, we’ve created six priorities to help you and your team successfully navigate big change. A quick overview of our six steps, featured in our special report, ‘What’s changed about change comms,’ is included below.

 

Priority 1: Know how your organisation manages change and match your communication to the model

Do you know how your organisation manages change? Is it top-down, bottom-up, tell/sell or appreciate inquiry? It is only by understanding how your organisation deals with change that you can assess where your communication team fits in – and how it can best serve the model.

Top tip: You might find that your business doesn’t have a well-defined change model – and that a conversation with business leaders is a necessary first step!

 

Priority 2: Demonstrate the unique value and role of communicators

You know no other team has the relationships, acumen, insights and expertise that yours does. But you’ll likely need to communicate this to the organisation writ large. Make sure to explain to your business leaders why your team needs to be involved in the change process from the outset – and the invaluable role they play in it.

 

Priority 3: Update your team’s skills for the big change environment

Comms leaders we’ve interviewed have flagged key skills gaps that are prevalent in teams, including business acumen, empathy, influencing stakeholders and writing. Dedicating time, energy and resources to build these core skills is essential.

Top tip: At Kademy, we encourage taking a long-lens view on skills-building; skills are not built overnight and they are not static!

 

Priority 4: Engage and empower leaders and managers

You’ve told us how hard it can be to get leaders and managers to actively engage in change comms. Start by helping them to understand their roles in communicating change within the organisation. They need to know the unique and trusted position they have in the business to feel empowered and inspired to take a more active role.

 

Priority 5: Clarify the change narrative – and tell great stories

Change is best delivered when couched in a coherent narrative. Without one, change messages can be confusing and contradictory. Make sure to craft and share an overarching and well-defined change story that your team can use to anchor all change communications.

Top tip: Your change narrative should filter up and down the business – to your leaders and the rest of the organisation – to join the dots for everyone.

 

Priority 6: Focus on the human response to change – and build empathy into your communication

Change is unsettling for all of us. It is important to take a human approach to change comms and think about how employees are experiencing change and how you can help them adapt to it. At Kademy, we believe that the secret to leading organisational change is empathy

 


Get insight from Rolls Royce and Volvo Group

Want to know how your peers are navigating big change in their organisations? Download our change comms report for a full overview of our six priorities – and insight from global brands, including Rolls Royce and Volvo Group.