Tag Archives: Change Communication Plan

Building a Better Change Communication Plan

ACMP Standard Visualization

by Braden Kelley

In the ACMP Standard for Change Management the second phase is to “Formulate the Change Management Strategy” and its first step is to “Develop the Communication Strategy.”

The quality of your communication strategy and its execution is one of the most important determinants of success for your change or transformation initiative. But let’s be honest, most of us studied something other than communications in our university education and as a result don’t know the keys to successful communications. Because we have all learned how to write and speak in high school we make the mistake of thinking that we are expert communicators, but we’re not – at least without work and a conscious focus on the key principles of effective communications.

The most important of these is to know your audience and to speak to them as individuals. When it comes to change, there are many different motivations for people to choose change.

When crafting your communication strategy for your change or transformation initiative it is incredibly important for people to refer to the best practices of marketing communications. Chief among these is the recognition of the importance of segmenting your audience so you can send relevant communications to the different segments of your audience.

One of the best ways to segment your audience for change communications is to leverage The Eight Change Mindsets:

1. Mover ’n’ Shaker

  • give these people the chance to be first

2. Thrill Seeker

  • these people like to try new things and experiment

3. Mission-Driven

  • these people need reasons to believe

4. Action-Oriented

  • these people just want to know what needs to be done

5. Expert-Minded

  • teach these people how to do it, and they will seek mastery

6. Reward-Hungry

  • these people want recognition for adopting the change

7. Team Player

  • these people are happy to help if you show them why the change will be helpful

8. Teacher

  • show these people how to get others to choose change

You can download The Eight Change Mindsets as a PDF from Slideshare here:

Leveraging The Eight Change Mindsets in your change communication strategy will enable you to focus on creating the messaging, symbols and artifacts that will help each mindset choose change.

But many change managers either aren’t familiar with the basic principles of marketing communications or choose to take shortcuts and treat the entire organization as a single audience and craft a single set of communications. This is a mistake.

It’s actually a bit ironic because ProSci’s ADKAR methodology is clearly a re-purposing of marketing’s AIDA view of customer progressions:

  1. Awareness
  2. Interest
  3. Desire
  4. Action

As a quick refresher, ADKAR as a comparison is:

  1. Awareness of the Need for Change
  2. Desire to Support the Change
  3. Knowledge of How to Change
  4. Ability to Demonstrate Skills & Behaviors
  5. Reinforcement to Make the Change Stick

If you really want to build a better change communication plan, then crash these two things together:

  1. The Eight Change Mindsets for the segmentation of your audience
  2. ADKAR for the creation of a communications sequence

Download the PDF of The Eight Change Mindsets above or go here to get the infographic if that’s easier for you.

If you need a little more guidance or just want to save time, then I’ve added a worksheet to v13 of the Change Planning Toolkit that I introduced in my latest book Charting Change.

The “Eight Change Mindsets Communication Strategy” worksheet is but one of the 70+ tools and frameworks that you’ll get when you purchase an annual license or a lifetime license of the Change Planning Toolkit developed as part of the Human-Centered Change methodology.

I’ve designed it as an 11″x17″ work mat to use with sticky notes. But this tool, and the others in the Change Planning Toolkit, can also be provided as 35″x56″ posters to licensees on an as needed basis. In addition, these tools are also designed to be used with virtual collaboration tools like Miro, Mural, Lucidspark, Microsoft Whiteboard and others.

So, start building a better change communication strategy today!

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The Importance of Effective Communication in Change Management

Highlighting the significance of clear and consistent communication throughout the change process, and providing best practices for engaging employees.

The Importance of Effective Communication in Change Management

GUEST POST from Art Inteligencia

Change is inevitable in any organization. Whether it be a minor adjustment or a major transformation, effectively managing change can make or break its success. One critical element in successfully navigating change is effective communication. Clear and consistent communication throughout the change process not only ensures that everyone is on the same page, but it also helps to alleviate resistance, engage employees, and ultimately drive the desired outcomes.

Clear communication is essential in change management as it helps employees understand the reasons behind the change and how it aligns with the organization’s goals and strategy. When employees have a clear understanding of the rationale and have their concerns addressed, they are more likely to embrace the change rather than resist it. In contrast, a lack of communication can lead to confusion, skepticism, and resistance, hindering the change process.

One case study that highlights the significance of clear communication in change management is the transformation of a large manufacturing company. The company decided to implement a new production system to improve efficiency and reduce costs. However, when the change was announced, employees were skeptical and resistant. The management recognized the importance of communication and initiated a series of town hall meetings to explain the need for the change, how it would benefit the employees, and what support would be provided during the transition. As a result, employees felt heard, and their concerns were addressed. The clear and consistent communication helped to alleviate resistance, and employees became active participants in the change process.

Consistency in communication is equally crucial throughout the change process. When leaders communicate consistently, it creates a sense of trust and transparency. It reassures employees that they are receiving accurate and up-to-date information, which is crucial in building support and maintaining engagement. On the other hand, inconsistent communication can lead to confusion and frustration, eroding trust and undermining the change effort.

Another case study that highlights the significance of consistent communication is the rebranding of a global technology company. The company decided to rebrand to better reflect its evolution and vision for the future. The management recognized that consistent communication was essential in ensuring that employees understood the rebranding and felt included in the process. They established regular communication channels, such as newsletters, weekly updates, and virtual town hall meetings, to keep employees informed about the progress of the rebranding and to provide them with an opportunity to ask questions and share their feedback. The consistent communication not only helped to align employees with the new brand but also fostered a sense of ownership and pride in the organization.

To ensure effective communication in change management, organizations should adopt best practices that engage employees throughout the process. Firstly, leaders should be open and transparent about the reasons for the change and the expected outcomes. This creates trust and allows employees to understand the need for change. Secondly, organizations should provide ample opportunities for feedback and questions. This not only shows that their voices are being heard but also helps address any concerns or misconceptions. Thirdly, leaders should communicate consistently and through various channels to reach all employees effectively. Lastly, organizations should provide ongoing support and resources to aid employees in adapting to the change. This can include training programs, mentorship, and guidance to ensure a smooth transition.


Effective communication is paramount in change management. Clear and consistent communication helps employees understand the rationale behind the change, alleviates resistance, and fosters engagement. Through case studies, we have seen how clear and consistent communication played a vital role in successful change initiatives. By embracing best practices that engage employees throughout the change process, organizations can increase the likelihood of successful change implementation.

Image credit: Pexels

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Crafting a Change Management Communication Plan

A Guide Featuring Relevant Case Studies

Crafting a Change Management Communication Plan

GUEST POST from Chateau G Pato

Change management is a systematic approach designed for the transition of individuals, teams, and organizations from a current state to a future desired state. For any transitional process to be successful, stellar communication is crucial. This skill is even more vital when dealing with changes within an organization, making the need for a compelling change management communication plan a prime necessity.

Developing a robust change management communication plan can sometimes get quite complex, given the diverse organizational structures, numerous stakeholders, and interrelated business processes. Yet, armed with the right blueprint, the benefits are substantial and deeply impactful on the organization’s transition. The following discussion explores effective strategies for creating a communication plan for change management. To bring those strategies into context, two case study examples are also illustrated.

Case Study 1: Microsoft’s Transition to Cloud Computing

Perhaps one of the first significant changes organizations had to manage was the shift from traditional servers to cloud computing. Microsoft is a prime example of how a company strategically used change management to transition into a new era.

In 2010, Microsoft announced its shift to the cloud-first approach, a move that left not only its employees but also its massive customer base requiring serious convincing. It aimed to manage the transition smoothly and ensure it didn’t disrupt normal operations.

Microsoft used two primary communication strategies. First, they communicated why the change was necessary, emphasizing that delay would result in falling behind competitors. Secondly, they explicitly described what to expect from the change and how it would affect them.

The importance of effectively communicating the ‘why’ and ‘what’ of change cannot be overstated and must be engrained within any change management communication plan. Failure to do so would only lead to resistance and potential conflict.

Case Study 2: Adobe’s Shift to Subscription Model

Another excellent case study is Adobe’s transition from a licensing model to a cloud-based subscription model in 2013. Despite the move attracting significant backlash from users initially, Adobe managed to navigate this change remarkably well.

Adobe’s communication plan’s credibility was key to their success. They had to convince their user base that the transition was beneficial while addressing their uncertainties. Adobe effectively leveraged multiple communication channels – videos, blogs, user forums, press releases – to convey the pricing structure, advantages, and the overall rationale behind the transition.

Their transparency garnered user trust. Adobe emphasized the value they were providing and alleviated customer aversion to the change by clearly communicating.

Key Takeaways For Communication Plan

Learning from these successful change management examples, here are few steps you can implement in your communication plan:

1. Identify key stakeholders: Ensure you identify and understand all your stakeholders, anticipating their reactions, objections, and pain points to address them effectively.

2. Communicate early and often: The importance of beginning communication early cannot be overstated. Consistent, periodic communication reaffirms your messages, alleviates concerns, and mitigates potential resistance.

3. Deliver clear messages: Messaging must align with your change strategy. It should be clear, concise, and jargon-free. Also, be sure to communicate about the purpose, benefits, and impact of the change.

4. Engage all communication channels: The channels you choose to communicate changes influence the reception of your message. Consider a mix of presentations, newsletters, email digests, or webinars to communicate effectively.

5. Provide support and training: Allay stakeholder concerns by assuring support and training to facilitate a smooth transition. This further demonstrates your commitment to the change and the welfare of those affected.

Change does not occur in a vacuum. It is inextricably tied to people and processes. Thus, effective communication plans are crucial for successful change management. Crafting a change management communication plan with crucial input from all stakeholders is vital for the plan’s success, bolstering the acceptance and smooth transition during times of change.

Image credit: Misterinnovation.com

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