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11 Examples of Organizational Change Communication

Organizational change communication is the process of communicating change that can expect resistance. This is often documented in a communication plan. However, no amount of planning will substitute for persuasive messaging from a leader well versed in change management. The following are illustrative examples.

Audience Identification

A classic failure of change management is to restrict communication to a small group of stakeholders and exclude everyone else. This opens the door to resistance to change and gives it legitimacy such as stakeholders who can point out they weren't consulted.

Message Framing

Crafting your message to have an effect. Explaining why a change is required is key. For example, communicating the competitive pressures that demand change.


Avoid deception and insincerity. If a change is bad news, express it as such and express empathy.


Nudges are gentle suggestions that allow people to come to their own conclusion such as "we need your help ...". This tends to be more persuasive than commanding language such as "you must ..."


The goal of change communication is to ask for agreement and enthusiastic support.


Generally speaking, buy-in can't be achieved without partnering with stakeholders and incorporating their feedback or at least capturing and considering it.

Anticipating Objections

Anticipating objections is the practice of generating a list of likely objections to your message and planning to handle each.


Change communication shouldn't be construed as purely informational. It is designed to create emotions such as camaraderie, fear, pride and excitement. This requires a storyteller as opposed to an administrator.

Setting Expectations

Although you may frame your message as asking for help and buy-in it is important to be candid about what is expected and required.

Continued Engagement

A common failure of change management is to have a big upfront communication about a change but fail to followup. As a change encounters issues and problems that are inevitable in any large change, change communication continues.


As change progresses, it is helpful to celebrate milestones and recognize agents of change. This can fight the impression that a change is failing or doomed. It also sends the clear message that agents of change are rewarded and obstacles to change are sidelined.
Overview: Organizational Change Communication
Definition (1)
The process of communicating change that can expect resistance.
Definition (2)
The process of communicating major changes.
Related Concepts

Change Management

This is the complete list of articles we have written about change management.
Agents Of Change
Anticipating Objections
Bias For Action
Big Bang Adoption
Business Change
Business Stakeholders
Business Transformation
Change Agent
Change Analysis
Change Characteristics
Change Drivers
Change Fatigue
Change Impact
Change Management
Change Plan
Change Planning
Change Principles
Change Process
Change Readiness
Change Resistance
Change Risk
Change Strategy
Choice Architecture
Communication Mgmt
Contingency Planning
Emergent Change
Goal Setting
Impact Analysis
Initial Excitement
Lessons Learned
Message Framing
Nudge Theory
Organizing Principle
Resistance To Change
Revenue Impact
Scope Creep
Status Quo
Turnaround Management
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