Communicating change - a practical and engaging approach


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A presentation made by Ann Pilkington to the APM South East branch and People SIG on 6th February 2014, in Swanley near Kent.
Ann has kindly provided some notes with her slides.

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Communicating change - a practical and engaging approach

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  5. 5. Another light hearted look at some of the challenges of getting communication right 5
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  7. 7. This is where we start to introduce some theory. Quick open discussion about what is missing from this model of communication, e.g. receiver’s view of the ‘sender’, culture, the channel used etc. Having done this, we can see that communication is rich and complicated so why does so much communication adopt a mass media approach? Note that the mass media (ie newspapers etc) are good at telling you what to think about, but don’t tell you what to think 7
  8. 8. How much of internal communication today takes a ‘mass media’ approach? 8
  9. 9. The point of these models are they aren’t appropriate ways to communicate change but are, in fact, how it is often done 9
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  12. 12. The danger with this and other models based on the same approach is that those who are perceived to do of low power may not be given sufficient attention. In an age of social media this is risky and also could be considered less ethical The Marks and Spender “We boobed” campaign is a good example 12
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  15. 15. Sponsors: these stakeholders set the direction, hold the budget and can release resources. They are comfortable dealing with a high level of ambiguity. Shapers: these stakeholders get involved at the design stage (this could be the design of an IT system, new ways of working or a product). They can see what the future looks like and are relatively comfortable with ambiguity. Schedulers: these stakeholders are often ‘gatekeepers’ they can get things done and make the implementation of the project happen. To do their job they often need detail on timescales and tasks so find ambiguity unhelpful. Those who will use the new service, adopt different ways of working etc (according to what the project is delivering). This group is less comfortable handling ambiguity because they want to know exactly what they need to do differently. Everyone will be in this position at some point in the project. The secret is to understand that every time you engage with a stakeholder they are thinking “what does it mean for me and what do you need me to do?” If you can’t answer (which isn’t the same as not wanting to answer) those questions, then maybe that person doesn’t need to be fully engaged just yet. If the person doesn’t need to do something to make the current project phase successful then they shouldn’t be your primary focus. That doesn’t mean you ignore them, but the approach is more measured. 15
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  32. 32. What do you want your channel to do? Different channels which achieve different things 32
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