Is it just communication?

coffee chat

Communication or Change Management?

I had an interesting conversation recently with a consultant in my strategic network about defining the real point of managing a change. Many call it simply communication. Change management purists would say that communication is one solution utilized to drive a change (the others being training and reinforcement).

Let’s think about this from a business person’s lens… so, if you’re wearing a change practitioner hat, please remove it. How many times have we heard “we need a comms plan” or “we need to communicate this”, but never think about “we need to teach people how to do xyz” or “we need to make sure we’re rewarding and recognizing people for doing the right (new) thing”? Probably a lot. This is the business view of change management. It’s a no brainer, right? If we don’t tell any one about this, they’ll never know.

OK, so, let’s call it Communication:

  • Let’s communicate to uncover what it is you’re trying to do and build a strategy.
  • Let’s communicate that strategic direction and goals to people who can help us get there.
  • Let’s communicate to discover who those people are who need to do something different.
  • Let’s communicate to discover what they need to do differently and then how we’ll get them to understand that.
  • Then, let’s communicate to find out how it’s going.

Get my drift?

Communication is the anchor that pulls together everything else in change management.

So, maybe we should simplify the language and not make “change management” look so overwhelming and complex. Call it communication. Call it whatever you want, but please let’s focus on the people when there is changing, adapting, and pivoting that needs to be done!


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