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Perspectives on Teaming

“Successful organizations need to be managed as complex adaptive systems rather than as intricate controlled machines”  This wisdom is part of Amy Edmondson’s excellent work Teaming: How Organizations Learn, Innovate and Compete in the Knowledge Economy.  Edmondson provides a refreshing update on management theory and connects those principles to the realities of leading organizational performance…

A Checklist for Your Communications Strategy

As a communications strategist, one of the cold hard facts that I face is that most communications strategies fail – that is, that they never get implemented. And yet, my experience is that a solid communications strategy (particularly one developed through a robust consultative process) can have a transformative impact on an organization`s results. This…

Turning Consulting on Its Head: The Case for Change

I have been a consultant for my entire career – first, as an internal consultant providing communications advice to the organizations I served as an employee, and for the last 14 years, as a professional consultant in communications and change management. Looking back on my experience as both an internal and external consultant, what strikes…

The Change Communicator’s Christmas

As we all careen into hitting “send” on our year-end deliverables, this final blog post of the year offers a few Christmas ideas to our loyal readers. Top blog posts of 2015 Thanks to you, here are the top 3 blog posts of the year. We are already hard at work developing the line-up for…

What I Learned About Change Management From Parenting Teenagers

The other night, reflecting on an exhausting day at work and an exasperating evening with my (otherwise darling) kids, it struck me – the challenges I face in my work helping organizations lead change are actually remarkably similar to the challenges I face at home as the mother of two teens. Here are a mother’s…

The Power of Hope

Susan Delacourt nailed the current post-election ethos in the capital in writing: “Hope is in fashion these days in Ottawa.” While it’s hard to put a finger on it, an unmistakable air of optimism has taken flight (particularly among those working in or with the government) over the past several weeks. Certainly, there is traditionally…

Changing Minds by Reaching Hearts

Canada’s recent election offers a master class in change communications. At its essence, the election was about change – the Liberals set out to convince Canadians that a change was needed, and that they were the best alternative. They succeeded, in large measure, by recognizing a fundamental truth of change communication: Experience tells us that…

A Case Study in Symbols

As we arrive at the one-month mark after the election, it’s been fascinating to watch the first days of the new government’s outreach efforts, which provides an unparalleled front row seat in a master class in the use of symbols to communicate change. One of the fundamental principles in change communication is that it can’t…

Ministerial Mandate Letters: What Do They Mean for Communicators?

On Friday, Prime Minister Trudeau outlined his marching orders to his ministers through the unprecedented move of publicly releasing the Ministerial Mandate Letters. These letters hold important signals for government communicators: Form follows function. The PM has repeatedly emphasized his commitment to transparency. His decision to publish the Ministerial Mandate Letters online (a Canadian first)…

The Surprise of Being Surprised

In his seminal work, Managing at the Speed of Change, Daryl Conner makes the point that one of the most challenging aspects of dealing with reactions to organizational change is when employees find themselves “surprised to be surprised”. “It’s not the surprises in life that are so debilitating. The truly crushing force is being surprised…