There is little point in having a agreed vision for change if it is not communicated. Communicating the vision is the fourth step in Kotter's seminal book called Leading Change. This step builds on the change process so far where a sense of urgency has been established, a guiding coalition formed and the vision created.
Communicating the vision is so important as it creates a shared sense of a desired future and motivates and coordinates action towards the change outlined in the vision.
In Leading Change the 7 elements to effectively communicate the vision are:
- Keep communications simple, direct, focused and jargon-free.
- Use metaphors, analogies, and examples to bring the messages to life.
- Deliver the message across lots of different forums and vehicles.
- Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.
- Lead by example. Behaviour is the most powerful way to communicate so walk the talk.
- Address inconsistencies and communicate with honesty and openness.
- Listen and be listened to in a two-way endeavour. Solicit feedback and encourage questions, challenges and arguments about the vision and what it means for your organisation.
The amount of time, effort and resource to communicate a vision properly can be overwhelming, however building the key messages of the future vision into already established communications will help somewhat. Encourage ownership of the messages at all levels and ensure the change effort is not seen as something additional to, or outside of, the day to day business activities but integral to the organisation's future and success.
The other 7 steps:
Step 1: Creating a sense of urgency
Step 2: Forming a powerful guiding coalition
Step 3: Creating a vision
Step 5: Empowering others to act on the vision
Step 6: Planning for and creating short-term wins
Step 7: Consolidating improvements and producing still more change
Step 8: Institutionalising new approaches