Capability Insights Consulting



Organizational Change Isn't

Posted on April 30, 2010 at 3:42 PM

The term organizational change is a bit misleading. Yes the change may be needed for the health of the organization and yes, change can and should impact the organization. But change actually happens to individuals. If your people don’t acknowledge, accept and ultimately embrace the needed change, your improvement initiative will fail.


Effective communication will reduce your frustration in managing the change and significantly increase the success of your improvement efforts.


Communicate the organizational context

Everyone needs this. Here you have to communicate the what, why, where, when and who of the change. In the previous post (Just What is the First Step to Managing Change) we talked about you and your management team having a clear understanding of the business drivers and rationale for the change. Share this widely...share it often! Share it in many forms: e-mail, presentations, newsletters and one-on-one.


Help your people and teams see that there is a reason for the change and that they have an important role to play.


Communicate the individual context


While the organizational context is necessary, the personal context is critical. We are human units first and ambulatory work units second! We need to make sense of the change in our own personal context.


Be prepared to answer and re-answer the following questions:

  • Will I have to change?
  • How will I have to change?
  • Will my salary, where I work or my leader change?
  • Will I get training/time to make the change?
  • Are others changing?
  • What’s in it for me?
  • How will I know when the change is complete?
  • Am I there yet?
  • Am I doing OK?

Even your most ardent supporters from an organizational context will need to have a good picture of the personal change context to stay focused and help you move forward.


Be prepared and plan for you to handle these questions for your management team and for them to communicate with and coach their people.




Categories: management of change, communication

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1 Comment

Reply Kristin Nickells
3:17 PM on May 18, 2010 
Nice touch to recognize that coaching not only assists people through change, but helps to ensure that the change is retained and doesn't revert back to 'old tape' ways. Coaching is an integral part of effective change. You have touched on many fundamental pieces of successful change in a well-articulated, grass roots way and I concur with your thoughts!
Kristin Nickells, CEC