In this podcast, Jason talks to Caroline Sherman, a seasoned communications expert and Vice President of Corporate Affairs for Mars Multi Sales. Together, they delve into the power of effective communication in driving change and shaping organisational culture.
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As a data professional, communication is key to not only driving change and nurturing a thriving organisational culture but also to unlocking the full potential of your team and stakeholders. Mastering the art of communication enables you to create a shared understanding of goals and foster an environment that promotes innovation, adaptability, and resilience. By connecting with others on both logical and emotional levels, you can empower everyone to embrace transformation and work collectively towards lasting success in an ever-evolving landscape.
01:19 Caroline’s journey from studying psychology in college to becoming a communications executive
03:55 Defining change communication
05:44 The emotional side of change
12:10 The role of communication in change management
17:15 Using storytelling to help communicate change
23:13 Communicating change unilaterally along the business as opposed to a top-down hierarchical approach
26:51 An example of how to use storytelling to communicate change effectively
32:08 The different phases of communicating change between an organisation and different stakeholders and customers
Change communications is an essential aspect of helping professionals and executives lead organisations through change initiatives. Understanding and processing both the logical and emotional sides of change are crucial for helping people adopt and take ownership of the transformation. Change communications is focused on getting the message out to create the desired change, while considering the impact on people’s feelings and behaviours.
Change communications works closely with change management, which is often more focused on people and talent. The two disciplines are complementary, and successful change initiatives require the collaboration of both. The ultimate goal is to create sustainable transformation within organisations and empower people to embrace the changes that come with it. It is a delicate blend of balancing the emotions of change versus the necessary and practical steps that need to occur.
Navigating change in the workplace involves four key components: clarity, confidence, capacity, and compassion. Clarity is essential for understanding and processing change, while confidence helps build trust in the story and the leadership. Capacity ensures people can accomplish what is being asked of them, and compassion treats people as human beings, acknowledging their emotions during the process.
There is a bell curve of people who either love or hate change. Reducing ambiguity and providing answers quickly can help people move closer to acceptance. Acknowledging these different attitudes and addressing them effectively is crucial for successful change management.
Storytelling plays a significant role in driving change and shaping culture. Through storytelling, leaders can create a framework that helps people understand the reasons behind change initiatives and their potential impact. By outlining a clear and compelling story, individuals can better connect to the change and buy into the overall vision.
Effective communication during change management includes sharing the discrepancies between the current state and the desired future state. This transparency allows people to join the journey and work together towards achieving the shared goal.
Authenticity and clarity in communication are essential for successful change management. Transparent communication helps to build trust and bring various stakeholders on board. This includes not only internal employees but also external audiences such as customers and government stakeholders.
A well-executed change management plan touches every aspect of the business. Ensuring all stakeholders are engaged and informed throughout the process is crucial for achieving the desired outcomes without negatively impacting the organisation’s growth.
Data and business leaders face the unique challenge of navigating the complexities of change while fostering a culture that embraces transformation. Mastering the art of communication can empower these leaders to generate insightful and meaningful connections with their teams and stakeholders.
By going beyond mere information sharing, they can create a shared understanding of the organisation’s goals, fostering an environment that encourages innovation, adaptability, and resilience.
Ultimately, effective communication serves as a catalyst for sustainable transformation, enabling data leaders to unlock their organisation’s full potential and drive lasting success in an ever-evolving landscape.