George B. Lampere, Ph.D. 1
We have found to change behaviors, employees need the answers to just five sets of
1. Why change? How is this important to what I do?
2. What do you want me do differently? What are the priorities?
3. How will I be measured and what are the consequences?
4. What tools and support do I get to help me make this change?
5. What’s in it for me? What’s in it for us?
What is at Risk?
Employees need to believe in and experience the change by tapping into all of their senses.
They need to:
Hear the senior leadership talk about the change using one voice.
See that that things are changing and that action is being taken at all levels.
Feel the sense of urgency by creating excitement.
Involve themselves in the change by allowing employees to participate in the
Use multiple communication vehicles and communicate often with facts,
feeling, and understanding.
Successful change is defined in five questions
George B. Lampere, Ph.D. 2
The most successful change initiatives have been linked to unique ways
to communicate change. Here are some examples:
A video showing actual customer comments and complaints along with a-day-in-the-life scenario of how
work is currently performed was shown to employees by the CEO in an open forum.
A baseball theme was used to identify the changes associated with the project. Each time the employees
would see the logo, they would think of the new way of performing their work. Major milestones were
celebrated with tickets to a baseball game.
A lottery style game was introduced where employees could win money by encouraging employees to
identify and change performance and quality issues as quick wins during the change initiative.
An open house event was created to allow employees to “try out” the new system, talk to project team
members, hold group forums, receive a gift bag of little trinkets, and enjoy snacks.
Departmental action teams were created to diagnose and provide recommendations to the project team
on potential impacts the change would have on their department.
A “wake” (social hour) was conducted to lay to rest the old process and recognize the efforts and
frustrations of the old way of conducting business.
A bonfire was built using the old policy and procedure manuals to signal that there is no turning back.
George B. Lampere, Ph.D. 3
Change communication re-negotiates work relationships
Most of what passes for change communication is based on a partial premise. Knowing
“why we’re changing, where we’re heading” or even “creating a shared vision are just
steps in the negotiation process. Change communication is about re-negotiating the
relationship between the organization, the individual and the customer.
Redefining Communication for Organizational Change
…in a way that gives employees the ability to navigate through change for themselves.
Organizing and delivering what we know about…
…what is important
…Redefined rules and roles
…How we will work
Target Communication to specific audiences by providing messages important
to them and hear what they have to say.
What is at Risk?
Employees will feel as though they are loosing control of their job. Lack of pertinent
information may lead to distrust, fear, resentment, and increased stress.
George B. Lampere, Ph.D. 4
When people choose between doing nothing, acting by complying, or committing
to act, they consistently make their decisions based on the answers they get to the
five questions of Behavioral Communication.
Since 1994, this concept has been tested with over 300,000 people in 17 countries (Northern Illinois
Have conversations that make a difference
• How is this relevant to what I do?
• What, specifically, should I do?
• What does success look like? (What does failure look like?)
• What tools and support are available?
• WIIFM — What’s in it for me? And for us?
Organizational Change Management Communication must address the
organizational needs as well as the Individual needs.
What is at Risk?
Employees will either do nothing or make undesired decisions based upon their
assumptions or rumors
George B. Lampere, Ph.D.George B. Lampere, Ph.D. 5
Use Multiple Voices when communicating the message of change
We have found that it is not a good idea that for all communications to emanate
from the CEO, Executive sponsor or a designated person.
Each individual will describe the change initiative from a different point of view,
enriching what is said as well as broadening how it is said.
What is at Risk?
If members of the leadership team have not accepted or committed to the
change, they will choose not to communicate rather then risk voicing their own
opinion. This passive resistance will create barriers to change that will become
apparent to employees.
Get others involved in communicating the message of change
George B. Lampere, Ph.D. 6
Don’t assume that everyone communicates the same way
Technology has allowed us to communicate quickly and easily…
…however, it has created expectations, and assumptions that are not always correct.
Here are some examples:
I sent you a text message, why did you not reply right away. Are they ignoring me?
The email reply was in capital letters, they must be mad.
The email reply that I received from my boss was very short, he must be mad at me.
The information about the change is on the web site, why do they not understand.
I have directed my managers to keep their employees informed on what is going on.
What do they really mean when they say…
Understand the unique communication styles and language that are used by each
group and incorporate it into the communication plan. Conduct an audit to
determine its effectiveness.
What is at Risk?
The message will be interpreted wrong and result in undesirable behaviors.
George B. Lampere, Ph.D. 7
Segment the audience
Use multiple channels
Use multiple voices
Communicate, communicate, communicate
Honesty is the only policy
Use emotions, not just logic
Heal, console, encourage
Make the message tangible
Listen, Listen, Listen
Ten Principles for Organizational Change Management Communication
These principles that are applied to the project can also be applied across
multiple projects to reinforce the same future state vision
George B. Lampere, Ph.D. 8
The Value of Effective Change Management Communication
Creates an underlying foundation of trust needed to engage all levels of the
organization in change.
Controls messages about change.
Minimizes destructive rumor mills.
Connects the organization to a single vision.
Energizes people for change.
Supports rituals of sharing, participation and community.
Creates or strengthens participant’s faith in who they are, what they believe, and
what they do.
Builds credibility in those who are driving the change.
Links executive management to employees
Helps build a business case for change
The change programs and projects will become much more effective by improving
the quality of decisions, decreased time to implement, and greater overall
George B. Lampere, Ph.D. 9
For Additional Information Contact:
George B. Lampere, Ph.D.
Navitsumo Consulting Ltd.