Communication teams have a significant role to manage change in rapidly changing and complex environments by facilitating “agile listening.” Agile listening is the ability to connect leaders, change collaborators and initiators, and employees or change recipients to ensure change implementation is based on real experience. The communication function has a role in creating the connection, providing tools and processes to capture and share these perspectives, adding value by interpreting and distilling insight and being a “listening advocate” across the organization.
Change is changing, rapidly
Talk to anyone involved in driving change across an organization and you’ll no doubt hear about the importance of leadership buy-in and sponsorship, articulated business benefits identified up front, a training plan, and integrated communication plan—all written and submitted before the change process has even begun.
But the nature of change itself is changing. And so is the way employees respond to change. People are working differently. Organizations are expected to be more agile and responsive.
So how do you drive change in this new agile world? Especially when the kinds of changes many companies are looking to drive are not black and white? Although there is a growing range of tools and methodologies in the contemporary change communication toolkit, there remains no “one size fits all” mandate or policy to tell people what they must do. Change is both essential and discretionary at the same time.
Whether it’s adopting digital tools to reduce paper, embracing enterprise social, or adopting new ways of working, change is no longer linear and neat. Neither are the methods we use to foster and enact change.
This “discretionary” change is often at the heart of transformation. Shifting employee—and leadership—behaviors that underpin adoption, or create incremental benefits is where change programs create genuine value....
This content is available to IABC members only. To continue reading, log in below.