Best Practices in Change Communication

Last week, I was honoured to have the opportunity to present a workshop on Change Communications in partnership with IABC Ottawa.

We had a full house of engaged and passionate communicators from across the health, academic, private and not for profit sectors – a perfect “living lab” to explore best practices in change communication, and test out various tools and techniques to real-world situations.

Here are the main themes I picked up on from the session discussions:

  • Change has become business as usual, and this is presenting real challenges in terms of organizations’ capacity to function day-to-day, while also assimilating transformation.
  • Communicators are increasingly challenged to contribute to their organizations through change communication. This need is adding pressure, but also real opportunity to make a difference, and contribute at the heart of the organizations we serve.
  • Change communication is different from other forms of engagement in many important respects: we have to deal with resistance, focus on emotional and not just intellectual content, work at the leadership level, and find creative ways of tapping into social capital in order for our change initiatives to gain traction.

If you’re interested in learning more about the workshop, check out the presentation, as well as our Best Practice Paper on Change Communications. You can follow and join the conversation on Twitter at #IABCchange.

Other session materials included a one-page guide to developing a change management strategy at a glance, a Transformation to Action Worksheet, a tool to develop change messages from the inside-out, and a list of our recommended resources on change management published on our brand new website launched in conjunction with the event.

We look forward to our next IABC event – the always energizing IABC CanWest Conference in Calgary this October!