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How well do you communicate major organizational changes?


SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership — tracks feedback from more than 210,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each week in our e-newsletter.

How well do you communicate major organizational changes?

  • Very well — Everyone knows what’s going on and why in a timely manner: 19%
  • Well — We get most of the information out but occasionally miss some things: 44%
  • Not well — We could do a much better job of communicating the reason for change: 24
  • Poorly — People find out about change as it’s happening to them: 13%

Tell them what’s going on. If you don’t tell people what’s going on during a major change effort, they’ll fill in the blanks themselves. Invariably the answers they fill in will be full of doom and gloom. That kind of forecasting on their part hurts morale and distracts them from their job. And don’t just tell them what’s going on – tell them why it’s going on too. If they don’t understand the rationale, they’re less likely to support rolling out your changes. That’s the biggest key to reducing execution risk. Just because you’ve made a decision, that doesn’t mean it will happen. Up your game on communication if you want things to go smoothly.

Mike Figliuolo is managing director of thoughtLEADERS. Before launching his own company, he worked at McKinsey & Co., Capital One and Scotts Miracle-Gro. His is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He’s the author of three leadership books: “One Piece of Paper,” “Lead Inside the Box,” and “The Elegant Pitch.”