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Advice to Practitioners: A Review of the Popular Press Literature on Planned Change Communication
Unformatted Document Text:  Advice to Practitioners - 20 team meetings, or troubleshooting sessions. Most of the authors recommend using a variety of channels to communicate and Kotter (1998) suggests using every possible communication vehicle to communicate change. However, Larkin and Larkin (1994) recommend forbidding use of “traditional communication” such as videos or company newspapers and use only direct face to face communication. Manage the Style of Communication Several of these books offer advice on the style of communication that implementers / managers ought to adopt to carry out effective change communication. Some advice is extremely specific: pointers for the use of colored and scented markers in use of flip charts (Miller, 2002); suggestions to pay attention to tone, candor and projection of credibility and concern (Ackerman Anderson & Anderson, 2001); advice on clarity and consistency between verbals and nonverbals (Conner , 1992); and the declaration that implementers should be able to describe the change in succinctly in one minute or less (Bridges & Mitchell, 2002). More general advice provides the reader with topics that should be addressed. For example, Heller (1998) suggests the presentation of the program should break down the overall objectives into aims of specific units and departments. He further recommends emphasizing the positive points of the change and de-emphasizing the negatives. In a different approach, Conner (1992) argues for the delivery of “pain messages” wherein the painful truths of current problems must be disseminated before people can be motivated to accept the future state embodied in the change. Davidson (2002) agrees with the pain management philosophy and argues that stakeholders’ “heads will follow their hearts.” Once they feel the pain, they’ll be more likely to be willing to endure the problems associated with transition. A few of these books discuss the persuasive tactics that ought to be adopted during change. Conner (1992) agues for “sober selling” which entails telling people about the costs that will be associated with the change. Miller (2002) recommend “selling up” the idea to the project sponsor’s boss by identifying the hot buttons that will provide benefit and “selling down” by identifying the possible objections and concerns of the people who will have to implement and live with the change. Many of the authors recommend adapting the messages to the audience and creating two-way communication as part

Authors: Lewis, Laurie., Stephens, Keri., Schmisseur, Amy. and Weir, Kathleen.
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Advice to Practitioners - 20
team meetings, or troubleshooting sessions. Most of the authors recommend using a variety of channels
to communicate and Kotter (1998) suggests using every possible communication vehicle to communicate
change. However, Larkin and Larkin (1994) recommend forbidding use of “traditional communication”
such as videos or company newspapers and use only direct face to face communication.
Manage the Style of Communication
Several of these books offer advice on the style of communication that implementers / managers
ought to adopt to carry out effective change communication. Some advice is extremely specific: pointers
for the use of colored and scented markers in use of flip charts (Miller, 2002); suggestions to pay attention
to tone, candor and projection of credibility and concern (Ackerman Anderson & Anderson, 2001); advice
on clarity and consistency between verbals and nonverbals (Conner , 1992); and the declaration that
implementers should be able to describe the change in succinctly in one minute or less (Bridges &
Mitchell, 2002). More general advice provides the reader with topics that should be addressed. For
example, Heller (1998) suggests the presentation of the program should break down the overall objectives
into aims of specific units and departments. He further recommends emphasizing the positive points of
the change and de-emphasizing the negatives. In a different approach, Conner (1992) argues for the
delivery of “pain messages” wherein the painful truths of current problems must be disseminated before
people can be motivated to accept the future state embodied in the change. Davidson (2002) agrees with
the pain management philosophy and argues that stakeholders’ “heads will follow their hearts.” Once
they feel the pain, they’ll be more likely to be willing to endure the problems associated with transition.
A few of these books discuss the persuasive tactics that ought to be adopted during change.
Conner (1992) agues for “sober selling” which entails telling people about the costs that will be associated
with the change. Miller (2002) recommend “selling up” the idea to the project sponsor’s boss by
identifying the hot buttons that will provide benefit and “selling down” by identifying the possible
objections and concerns of the people who will have to implement and live with the change. Many of the
authors recommend adapting the messages to the audience and creating two-way communication as part


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