Pre-emptive precision

Managing change requires speed and accuracy both internally and externally

The time cycles of changes have been becoming ever shorter. This is especially true for global players in industries with a high level of pressure to innovate and strong prerequisites for approval and cost reimbursement, such as the IT, service and healthcare sectors. As is the case with most societal phenomena, change processes have become more complex and differentiated over the past few years. Managers should take into account that their change communication has to cope with this growing complexity and involve all key stakeholders. With the high level of abstraction omnipresent today, the need for simplification has grown. This is why we have chosen the metaphor of an expedition to help identify and assess different situations of change and according communicative challenges and measures. There are certain denominators which change and expeditions have in common, e.g. both have a specific starting-point and a predetermined goal, both require a purposeful planning of resources, both must take unforeseeable incidents into account. The metaphoric expedition provides a framework for managers to analyse and discuss the change processes they are being part of.

Joachim Klewes

Joachim Klewes is an associate professor at the Freie Universit├Ąt Berlin and founding partner of com.X. He is a frequent writer, publisher and speaker on communications subjects. He has had national and international assignments in the fields of corporate communications and change, as well as corporate crises management.

Markus Pickel

Markus Pickel heads global corporate communications at Bayer HealthCare and has significant experience in the pharmaceutical and chemical industries. He has managed large change programmes in the area of mergers and acquisitions.