Sizing up change challenges

A recent survey shows that some processes of transformation are easier to handle than others

On hearing the word change, what crosses your mind? Is it ‘Yes, we can!’ or rather ‘Please, not another change project’? Employees and executives all have their own perspectives on changes affecting the daily routine of their companies. Literature is full of advice about what can go wrong in change management and how people should act. There is, however, very little empirical evidence about how change processes actually proceed and how they affect people’s emotions. A constant over recent years has been that about two-thirds of all change projects have little or no success. Communication is, of course, only one of many drivers for organisational change within companies. But even the planned communication management does not work properly in almost every second project. According to the the results of a survey among communication directors from the top 250 companies in Germany, the three most important success factors for change communication are a strategic concept, a clear focus on stakeholders and organisational conditions that foster cooperation and a rapid flow of information.

Claudia Mast

Claudia Mast holds the Chair of Communications Sciences and Journalism at the University of Hohenheim. In this position she is responsible for journalism, corporate communication and public relations. Prior to her academic career, Mast worked as head of a department at the German company Siemens, where she was in charge of management training and internal communications for senior executives.