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Communicating a Vision for Change

Background
I am a student at California InterContinental University pursuing Doctorate Degree in Business Administration – Information Systems and Enterprise Resource Management. This video is one of the requirements for the completion of MGT 616 - Organizational Change and Development in Management System program.

It has been proven for centuries that communication, involving employees and consultation are the driving forces in the success of any plan. The same principles apply when it comes to vision for change, which can only succeed when majority of the organization employees understand its goal and direction.

The video that is discussed in this article looks at the importance of communicating organization new vision. Any organization that is planning to undergo any change must communicate with its employees about the reasons for change and its implications for them. Early communication of the organization vision will minimize resistance and dispel any employee’s fears.

Objectives
After this discussion and watching John Kotter’s video you will be able to;
 Know why it is important to communicate Vision for Change.
 Know how much to communicate
 Know where and when to communicate
 Know the type of media or channel to use when communicating Vision for Change.

Link to the video http://www.kotterinternational.com/HowWeDoIt/videos

Discussion
In this video John Kotter discusses the importance of understanding how much information to communicate, as any bit under-communication can result with a huge under communication resulting with killing the intended change although that change was important to the organization and people. Vision for Change must clearly be communicated to the rest of the organization including leaders who must “walk the talk”. The vision must not only be discussed during formal meetings, but must also be communicated at every available opportunity.

Here are some of the discussed action ideas in Kotter’s theory.
 Change vision must be communicated frequently using every possible communication medium.
 Being open and honest when addressing other’s concerns can come a long way to swing their attitudes towards the support of the vision.
 Lastly the vision must be tied to all the operations within the organization.

The following are key elements in communicating the vision for change as discussed under Leadership and Management Website.
 Simplicity – vision for change must be kept as simple as possible and must be free of jargons.
 Example, metaphor and analogy – come up with a presentation that will emotionally touch the audience and make them visualize the future.
 Multiple forums – as discussed in this video, every available media or channel must be utilized, different meetings or forums, newsletters, memos, email, intranet, posters and logos. In this way different audiences with different appeal will be catered for.
 Explain inconsistencies – explain why certain things seem to be inconsistent particularly by management who appear not to be “walking the talk”.

Summary
A vision for change often start with ideas originating from a leader, but this does not mean the leader have all the knowledge to develop the vision that will appeal to all the stakeholders whose support is necessary to accomplish major organization change. Communicating the vision for change to all stakeholders will ensure their participation resulting with them refining the original ideas into a vision with widespread appeal.

It is important to be aware of how much we communicate and what channels we use to communicate when we communicate vision for change. We must also ensure that all the different levels of the organization structure are reached and taken aboard.

References
http://www.eyesonsales.com/content/article/creating_and_communicating_a_compelling_vision_for_change/
http://blogs.forbes.com/johnkotter/2011/06/14/think-youre-communicating-enough-think-again/
http://www.ehow.com/way_5908638_effective-communication-organizational-change.html
http://ctb.ku.edu/en/tablecontents/sub_section_main_1130.aspx
Yukl, G. (2006). Leadership in Organizations, Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River,
New Jersey
http://www.leadership4success.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=96&Itemid=78
http://www.leadership-and-management.com/organisational-change-management.html

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