Communication: The Key to a Successful Long-Term Business Transformation

Business transformation is a complex process that requires careful planning and execution. A key factor in ensuring success is communication; specifically, effective communication from leaders. It is essential for business leaders to intentionally plan, develop, and implement clear, transparent, and consistent communication at every step of the transformation process. This communication plan should be based on a deep understanding of employees' needs, wants, and weaknesses to address concerns and reinforce transformative behaviors.

Communicating about change management is an essential component for raising awareness and supporting organizational change. It helps stakeholders understand what is changing and why, and how it will specifically affect them. It provides timely information and materials to support key milestones, ensures that stakeholders receive consistent information about what is important to them, and provides a mechanism for sharing comments and asking questions. Behavior change occurs one person at a time and the more you can connect your communication on a personal level, the more effective it will be. At a preparatory meeting for transformation leaders, 95 leaders were informed about the plan, the expectations of the functions were set out, and the communication toolkit for ATP leaders was presented, with tips and key messages for leaders, as well as several tools for sharing.

Middle management plays a critical role in defining the company's culture, core values, and objectives, so it's important to demonstrate the long-term benefits of business transformation. With the vision defined, employees should be involved in identifying solutions to achieve what was called the “ATP transformation” (a set of scientific terms to designate the molecule that uses energy to power cells). Only after you have a clear idea of the organization's current processes and obstacles can you better understand how new technologies and processes can eliminate the biggest business challenges. One of the main reasons for the high failure rate of business transformations is inadequate communication. Leaders must ensure a constant flow of information, engage stakeholders, and continuously manage feedback in order to help people feel more comfortable as they move into the future and adopt new ways of working.

After launching a project or on key milestones, seek the opinion of leaders, change agents and your multidisciplinary team of advisors to understand what type of communication works well and what can be done to better meet the needs of employees. In organizations that use best practices, the communication responsibility assigned to these leaders is clearly expressed by their direct supervisors who set expectations and hold them responsible for providing information and collecting feedback. For business transformation to succeed, employees must understand what is happening in the organization before, during, and after the implementation of changes. Set smaller short-term goals to motivate your employees and some long-term goals or milestones to celebrate with the entire organization. Out of necessity, organizations and employees transformed themselves in ways they never imagined possible as the world suffered from COVID-19. This broader point of view allows organizations to frame and link execution to the value defined in the transformation ambition.