Need help guiding employees through change? Imagine hosting a dinner party

Take these four steps when planning change communication efforts.

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Handle change like a dinner party

You open your email and see a message from a senior leader in your organization.

The subject line is “Change communication plan.” Here you are again, tasked with writing another communication plan for a large change. As you dive into the work, you wonder, “What can I do differently to make this an easier process?”

Here’s an analogy that will help you break down the assignment: hosting a large, formal dinner party. As the host, the orchestrator of the party, your job is to plan the evening, take on tasks and enlist others to make sure everything runs smoothly.

Put on your host hat, and work through four steps designed to efficiently create and implement a great change communication plan.

1. Get the party started.

Your first step as host is to figure out the team (who will plan logistics, order food, decorate, cook, serve and attend) and get everyone up to speed.

The same is true for change communication. Start with getting people on board and enthusiastic about what’s ahead. Members of the planning team might be fully committed, but other key stakeholders, especially leaders, must understand the change before it is introduced to the entire organization.

To get stakeholders and leaders on the same page:

2. Conduct prep, prep and more prep.

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