The business world is operating in a state of constant transformation and this is driving the demand for change communications, skills and experience. 

This extract from recruiter VMA Group’s latest Inside Insight benchmarking report is underlined by their findings that ‘change communications’ is the third most important skill for an IC practitioner. (Communications planning and Employee engagement take the first and second spot).

How good are your change comms skills?

If you suddenly need to communicate change in your organisation, where do you start? If colleagues are looking to you to be a trusted adviser who can guide the organisation through, are your skills good enough?

A strategy is “a cohesive response to an important challenge” (Rumelt 2011). However, when it comes to change comms, I think it’s often the lack of cohesion that leads to failure.

If you need to communicate change, are you scared of the gaps in your knowledge being discovered by your colleagues and organisation?

We use the word change to describe various scenarios in our organisation, from bike-to-work policies to mergers and acquisitions and job losses.

Here are just some of the scenarios that are implied when we talk about change:

What if you’ve never communicated an office move before or written the Q&A for restructures? Where do you start? (I know from the search terms showing me how people reach my blog, that you find help here, which I’m delighted to know).

Getting help is a good idea.

Last year I introduced my brand new Change Communication Masterclass. Regular readers of my blog will know I hold monthly one-day training courses here in London and invite up to 10 practitioners to join me for the day. My next Change Comms Masterclasses are on 20 June and 22 November 2018 and I’d love you to join me.

Five reasons why getting help with change comms is a good idea – and how I can help you:

1) Your work is visible

Everyone can see what we write or the impact of what we advise. As ever in the wonderful world of internal communication, we are visible. Therefore, our skills (or lack of) are visible. My Masterclasses provide a safe space where you can check your work behind closed doors with your peers.

2) Your knowledge is on show

How good is your understanding of change comms theory? What impact does it have if you don’t have a model to refer to or experience in this area? What’s the impact of your knowledge gaps? I can help you fill the gaps and identify how to turn the theory into reality.

3) You need advice

If you are an internal comms team of one, it can be incredibly lonely. I work 1-2-1 with practitioners and teams as a comms coach to advise them. From investing a one-hour phone call with me, to a whole day or even six months of VIP mentoring, let me be the trusted adviser to you as a trusted adviser to help you succeed.

There is no such thing as a daft question. Even if you have 20 years of IC experience, there will still be scenarios that are new to you. We can work together to get you through it.

4) The desire to check your thinking 

In a group: If you’re not sure whether your comms plan is strong enough or your key messages are clear enough, bring them to one of my Masterclasses. We can create time as a group to hear a short update from you and brainstorm together. I also regularly work with comms team as an extension of their team for a day.

Get help 1-2-1: You can book my VIP one-hour Masterclass place, which gives you and I a whole hour together 1-2-1 following one of my monthly Masterclasses, please note there is only slot available each month. Or you can even have an intensive VIP day with me 1-2-1 where we’ll spend the whole day concentrating on you.

I regularly host these days for comms pros. If your office is in London I can come to you, or I’ll hire us a room at one of the training centres I use.

During change comms, clients have told me it’s useful to check their thinking with someone who isn’t connected to the internal situation and can spot errors and offer guidance and advice.

Here are some of the bespoke Masterclasses I’ve run and ways I’ve supported practitioners individually or as a team:

5) Benchmarking your ideas

What are other people doing? How are they communicating change? My monthly Masterclasses are strictly confidential. You can air your challenges and concerns, see what other people are doing and benchmark your work. Some delegates have tested ideas, others have shared what’s not worked and as a result everyone has learnt a lot, me included.

I regularly sign non-disclosure agreements and help my clients through some of the trickiest change comms situations by using my years of experience and impartiality.

6) Follow-up

As an added bonus, everyone who attends one of my monthly Masterclasses is invited to join my closed alumni group on LinkedIn. This means you can continue conversations and discover peers who have also attended.

Further reading about change on the All Things IC blog: 

What’s it like to attend a Masterclass?

My Masterclasses are for you if you want to build on existing knowledge and take your internal communication to the next level and if you’re happy to share experiences and examples with peers and provide and receive honest and constructive feedback. You’ll also meet other communication professionals and expand your network.

You’ll leave with practical skills and confidence to:

  • Understand change communication theory
  • Examine the role of the modern senior communicator and their team when communicating change
  • Ask for advice with your change communication needs
  • Know how other people communicate change including restructures, office moves and much more
  • Analyse communication methods, including planning and stakeholders.

If this sounds like you and you’d benefit from coming to one of my Change Comms Masterclasses, you need to be there on 20 June or 22 November 2018. I’ll show you how to get up-to-speed on comms theory, detail mistakes companies make, share some of my own failures and highlight successful campaigns.

By the end of the day you’ll leave feeling inspired and ready to go back to your workplace and tackle change head-on.

What’s it like to attend my Change Comms Masterclass? Here’s what your peers think:

“I came away from the Masterclass feeling completely inspired and rejuvenated. Sometimes as comms professionals we get so caught up in delivery that we don’t take a step back and think about the theory behind what we’re doing. The Change Comms Masterclass from All Things IC addressed that head-on and I can happily say it was the most enjoyable and valuable course I’ve been on for years!” – Catherine Bissell, BBC.

With a well-paced look at change theory, the Masterclass provided us with the tools to go back into our organisations, plan change comms effectively and have those difficult conversations with senior stakeholders. I thoroughly recommend this Masterclass to any comms professional, I guarantee you will learn lots!” – Helen Alexander, General Dental Council.

An excellent and inspiriing day, which leaves you with lots of tools, hints and tips for managing change. Lots of opportunities to discuss, in a safe way, challenges issues and concerns faced day to day back in the real world! – Gillian Donohoe, Well Pharmacy. 

I hope to see you on 20 June or 22 November 2018. Your investment is £599 +VAT and CIPR and IoIC members can save 20% and earn CPD from my Masterclasses. Non-profit organisations and my Masterclass alumni can also save 20%.

See my Masterclasses website for full information.

Thank you for stopping by

Rachel

Post author: Rachel Miller

Further reading about change on the All Things IC blog 

First published on the All Things IC blog 22 May 2018.

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