Change Management Training Communicate Effectively

The Most Powerful Way to Muscle Up Your Change Management

Want to know the #1 reason why change management projects bog down? Or why so many eventually fail?

Here’s the dirty little secret: communication failure. The problem is hiding in plain view. And that’s probably why companies don’t catch on. “Communication failure” sounds so boring. So mundane. But you need to look at it this way—communication is the oxygen for change. It’s how we get things done…or not. If your messaging approach lacks muscle, your change efforts will cripple along or even die.

Now for a second secret: Communication is failing because organizations still rely on the old-school, 20th century messaging style. Stop and think about it.

  • Is your change management messaging designed for today’s smartphone audience? 
  • Have you crafted your messages to fit people’s rapidly shrinking attention span?
  • Are you using video?
  • Does your communication bore people, or sell the message like great advertising?
  • Are your messages captivating enough to slice through today’s information overload?

Bottom line, has your change management communication changed as much as the world has changed?

If not, you’re probably just adding to the noise level, wasting time and money while failing to get through to your people.


So many of the generic problems that develop during organizational change are rooted in misunderstanding. Your people don’t pay attention, they aren’t properly informed, or they aren’t persuaded. This adds significant risks.

The hard fact is that communication problems seldom remain mere communication problems. They give birth to other serious issues such as:

  • Productivity decline
  • Loss of team play
  • Power struggles
  • Slippage in morale and job commitment
  • Lack of alignment
  • Damaging turnover

These red flags are symptomatic of weak communication practices, and they get expensive.


Let’s also respect the fact that it’s more difficult to communicate effectively during organizational change. People become preoccupied with their “me issues.” They get jumpy and start to sweat—you can almost smell the fear. Sometimes anger crackles through the air . . . and some people tune out with an “I don’t give a damn” attitude.

Change also triggers more information flow, making it harder for your message to get through. Email traffic increases. The rumor mill hits high gear. Plus there are more meetings, reports, inquiries, etc., for people to deal with.

You really have to raise your game to communicate effectively. Conventional practices simply don’t have the muscle for the high-priority messaging that’s needed in support of major change initiatives.


What kind of messaging grabs your attention and sticks in your mind? No doubt it’s very different from the typical “corporatespeak” you see in conventional company communication. Muscle up your change management messaging by following these design principles:

  1. People think using pictures. So use visuals . . . particularly video.
  2. Be brief, specific, and clear. As Martin Luther said, “The fewer the words, the better the prayer.”
  3. Seize attention! You have to fight to capture the eyeballs. “Boring” is a sin.
  4. Design your message to fit mobile. We’re living in a smartphone world.

Good communication doesn’t guarantee successful change, but bad communication promises change management problems.