Organisational Change Management Volume 2

Give People Information, and do it Again and Again

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. There are lots of rationalisations for not communicating

"...They don't need to know yet. We'll tell them when the time comes. It'll just upset them now..."

"...They already know. We announced it..."

"...I told the supervisors. It's their job to tell the rank and file..."

"...We don't know the details ourselves, so there's no point in saying anything until everything has been decided..."

. Most of the time, information is withheld because managers are afraid to give it. This fear often arises not from anticipated long-term effects, but simply from the short-term impact. Not communicating information, in fact, can add to the confusion and suspicion that occurs in the change process, ie it will generate distrust between management and staff

. Not communicating can produce these 3 consequences:

i) staff won't dare to stop doing anything. They'll try to do all the old things and the new things. After a while they'll burn out with the overload

ii) staff will make their own decisions about what to discard and what to keep, and the result will be chaos

iii) staff will toss out everything that was done in the past, and the baby will disappear with the bath water

Early, effective and repeated communication can help to avoid these 3 negative outcomes

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